Business & Finance

How to Read Residential Electric and Natural Gas Meters

Reading your electric or gas meter may not have been something you ever considered until service costs went through the roof. As the war in the Ukraine rages on and the shortage of materials continues to increase, you can bet that your bill will go up.

If you know how to read your meter, you can watch the usage as you make changes to save on your power consumption. So, with that in mind, let’s figure out how to read the residential electric and natural gas meters so you can make an informed difference.

  • Location – The first thing you need to do is figure out where the meter is. Most of the time, it can be found on the side of the house where the wires branch off to your home. The easiest way to find the meter is to look around the building and locate where the service connects to your home. Once you find that, you will be able to see the meters.

The older your house is, the more likely it will be that the meter will be located in a strange place, such as under the sink or in the hallway closet. If you are having a hard time finding the meter to take a reading, you will need to start checking into every nook and cranny in the house.

  • Electricity Clock Face Meter – If the meter has a bunch of clock-like dials on it, you will need to write all the numbers down in the order you see them. This number will give you the latest amount of usage since the meter was installed. Once you take another reading in a day or two, you can subtract the numbers to get your actual usage during that period of time.
  • Electricity Digital Meter – If you have this type of meter, you must press the button that says display. You will get the amount of electricity you have used since the meter was installed. Wait a few days and take another reading, then subtract to get your current amount used.
  • Electricity Smart Meter – This will be a digital type on your end. On the other end, your service provider can tap into your usage in real-time to get you the bill for the month.

When you take the time to learn how to read electricity meters, it may be confusing at first, but if you follow this guide, it will no longer look like a bunch of numbers and gadgets all combined into one little space. The meters are easy to read once you figure them out.

  • Gas Meter – Your basic gas meter will have a set of rolling numbers that will give you the current amount of gas you have used since the unit was installed. If there are numbers in red after the decimal point, ignore them because they are used by your gas supplier.
  • Gas and Hot Water Meter – When your home has a combined gas and hot water meter, you will need to read the rolling numbers and use them as your current amounts that have been used. You will want to include the first two numbers in red with your reading.

That is all that there is to it. It truly is a simple thing to read your meter. The hardest part may be finding the location of it. The thing to always keep in mind is that your home will use more power in specific months and at certain times of the day. If you want to reduce your bill, avoid overloading the grid during busy times, such as early evenings when everyone is cooking, will be imperative.