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It's a good idea to know how to read your gas or electricity meters. You can keep an eye on the energy you're using and give us your meter readings to make sure your energy bills are accurate.

Our meter reading guide shows how to read different types of gas and electricity meters. And to make it simple to follow, we've included pictures of meters so you know what to look for.

Your meter may not look quite like what's in our meter reading guide. If you're not sure what to read, try comparing what's on your meter display to the reading shown on your last bill.

If you need any advice about reading your meter, please get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

Reading your electricity meter

Digital meters

Example of a mechanical digital meter

A digital electricity meter shows your current meter reading on a digital display. Here's how to read it:

  1. Read your meter display from left to right.
  2. Ignore any numbers in red and anything that appears after a decimal point or space.

Economy 7/Domestic Economy meters

If you've got an Economy 7 or Domestic Economy meter, you'll have two rows of figures on your digital display:

'Low' is the reading for night or off-peak units.

'Normal' is the reading for day or peak-time units.

You read your meter the same as a standard digital electricity meter.

Dial meters

Some older electricity meters have dials instead of a row of numbers. They're simple to read, but it may help you to write down the numbers as you go.

An electric dial meter looks like this:

How to read an electric dial meter:

  1. Read the dials from left to right. Ignore the dial marked 1/10.
  2. If the pointer on a dial is between two numbers, write down the lower number. But if the pointer is between zero and nine, it will always be nine. This is the case for the first and fourth dial on the diagram above.
  3. If the pointer is exactly on a number but the reading on the dial after it is nine, take one away from that number. On the diagram above the pointer on the third dial is exactly on the seven. But the reading on the fourth dial is a nine. So the reading on the third dial becomes six. 


Example: This meter reading would be 94694

Two-rate meters

Example of an electronic two-rate meter

Some electricity tariffs use meters that show two readings when you press a button on the meter. You may have a two-rate meter if you have Economy 7, Economy 10 or Evening and Weekend tariff.

Once you're at your meter display:

  1. Press the button on the front of your meter.
  2. Your meter will show each reading with a label next to it. This could be 'R1' and 'R2', '1' and '2', 'L' and 'N' or even 'low' and 'normal'. Which is your day reading and which is your night, depends on how your meter is set up.

    If you're not sure, check the previous readings on your most recent bill. This will show which reading belongs to which rate.
  3. You may have more than one electricity meter. If so, take your readings as explained above and make a note of the meter serial number on each meter. The meter serial number is usually found on the front of your meter. It may be on a sticker.

Reading your gas meter

Digital meters

Example of an imperial gas meter

Your gas meter will be imperial or metric. An imperial meter has four main numbers and a metric meter has five.

How to read your imperial meter:

  1. Read the first four numbers from left to right.
  2. Include any zeros at the beginning, but don't include any numbers in red, or anything after a red number.
  3. If your meter has reached 9,999, it'll start recording from zero again.

How to read your metric meter:

  1. Read the first five numbers from left to right.
  2. Include any zeros at the beginning, but don't include anything after a space or decimal point.
  3. Once your meter has reached 99,999, it'll start recording from zero again.

Dial gas meters

Some older gas meters have dials to read instead of a line of numbers.

A gas dial meter looks something like this:

How to read a gas dial meter:

  1. Read all the dials from left to right, but ignore the large dial or any red dials. If the pointer is between two numbers, write down the lower number.
  2. If the pointer is between zero and nine, use nine. This is the case on the first and fourth dial on the diagram above.
  3. If the pointer is exactly on a number, write it down and underline it. So on the diagram above, you'd write down and underline the number seven on the third dial.
  4. If any of the numbers you have written down are followed by a nine, take one away from the underlined number. As the third dial is followed by a nine on the fourth dial, you'd take one away from the seven on the third dial making it six.
     

Example - This meter reading would be 9469

How smart meters will help with meter readings

With a smart meter, you won't have to read your meter. Smart meters send your readings to us automatically - so no more estimated bills either.

Our handy in-home Smart Energy Tracker will display your usage as it happens. And with an online account, you'll be able to see even more detail. 

We'll write to you when we're fitting smart meters in your area, but if you can register your interest in smart meters  with us now.

 

Introducing smart meters