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How to read your energy meter

Your electricity and gas meter tracks how much energy is being used and helps the supplier calculate your bill to determine your monthly direct debit (if this is how you pay for your energy). When the energy supplier does not receive a meter reading, an estimated bill is generated and could leave you with bills that are too low or high.

You should give your supplier regular gas and electricity meter readings – you should be able to do this over the phone or via your supplier online account – which we’ll setup for you.

There are a wide variety of gas and electricity meters being used in the UK, but we’ve outlined the most popular meters and those which you’re most likely to have in your home. If you have a meter type which we haven’t covered here please do get in touch and we’ll walk you through how to take a reading.

Electricity meters

How to read a single rate digital meter

This meter reading is 75085. The red number should be ignored.

A digital meter has an electronic or digital display. It shows 5 numbers in black or white and may also display 1 or more red numbers.To read the meter:• the first 5 numbers shown from left to right is the meter reading• ignore any numbers in red or any others

How to read a two-rate digital meter (Economy 7)

This meter, sometimes called an economy 7 meter has 2 readings – 25404 and 54250. You’ll need to give both readings to your supplier.

If you get cheaper electricity during peak and off-peak times, you might have a two rate, dual-rate or an economy 7 meter. This means it will have 2 rows of numbers.

The top row, labelled low or night shows how many units of cheaper electricity you’ve used during off-peak periods.The bottom row, labelled normal or day shows how many units of standard-price electricity you’ve used during peak times.

To read the meter:
• take readings from both the top and bottom rows
• the first 5 numbers shown from left to right is the meter reading
• ignore any numbers in red or any others

How to read a two-rate single display meter

This meter has 2 readings – 75085 and 46806. You’ll need to give both readings to your supplier.

Some dual rate or two rate meters only have 1 digital display. There may be a button that you need to press to make the meter display the readings for the different rates or they will flash up the different (peak and off-peak rate) readings in a cycle.

To read this meter:
• write down the numbers shown left to right
• take readings from both the top and bottom rows

How to read a dial electric meter

This meter reading is 1 5 6 4 9

A dial meter has 5 or more dials. They each turn to point to a number between 0 and 9.

To read the meter:
• read the first 5 dials from left to right
• write down the number that the pointer has just passed
• underline any number that the pointer is exactly over when you write it down
• ignore the dial marked 1/10 (if there is one)

If you’ve underlined a number, check the next dial to the right. If the pointer on that dial is between 9 and 0, reduce the number you’ve underlined by 1. For example, a 6 followed by a 9 should be written as a 5 and underlined.

Gas meters

How to read a digital gas meter (Metric)

This meter reading is 00544.

A digital metric gas meter will have a digital or an electronic display, showing 5 numbers followed by a decimal point, followed by some more numbers.

To read the meter:
• write down the first 5 numbers shown from left to right
• ignore any numbers after the decimal point, sometimes in red

How to read a digital gas meter (Imperial)

This meter reading is 1860.

A digital imperial gas meter has an electronic or digital display, showing 4 black or white numbers, followed by 2 numbers in red.

To read the meter:
• write down the first 4 numbers from left to right
• ignore any numbers in red or any others

Dial meter

This meter reading is 7041.

A dial gas meter has 4 or more dials. Each one turns to point to a number between 0 and 9.

To read the meter:
• read the first 4 dials from left to right along the bottom row only
• write down the number closest to each pointer

If the pointer is between 2 numbers, give the lower number, if the pointer is between 9 and 0, write down 9.