How to read an energy meter

How to read an energy meter

Why take Meter Readings?

Your energy meters measure the amount of electricity and – if you’re supplied – gas that you’ve used at your property. Submitting regular meter readings means you pay for the energy you actually use, rather than your supplier’s estimate.

Finding Your Meters

Before you can take a reading you’ll need to find where in your property your meters are located. This should be recorded in your property inventory, if not the best places to check are hallway or kitchen cupboards, near your fusebox or in your cellar or basement.

If you live in a flat your meters may be in a shared part of the building like a hall, landing or basement. The meters should be labelled with which Flat they record, but if you’re unsure you can check the serial number of each meter with your energy company to find the one for your flat.

Reading Your Meters

There are a few different kinds of energy meters, but the most common types are mechanical, digital and dial meters. All of these meters take readings in the same format, a five or six-digit number, with mechanical and digital meters also giving decimal readings.

To take a reading from a digital or mechanical meter, just make a note of the digits before the decimal place. If you have two rates for energy, usually a day and night rate, make a note of both the high and low readings and the total of the two. You may have to press a button next to the display to show both readings.

If you have a dial meter, make a note of the number the needle has passed on each dial. Check which direction the numbers of the dial are printed, they can be clockwise or anti-clockwise, to see which number has been passed. This should give you a five-digit reading. Occasionally there will be a sixth dial, coloured red and labelled 1/10ths – you can ignore this just like the decimal readings on other meters.

Disregard the numbers in red - the reading for the top meter would be 12345 kWh

Submitting Your Readings

Once you’ve made a note of the readings and the date they were taken you can submit them to your energy supplier. It’s easiest to do this through your online account or the supplier’s app, but most suppliers will also let you do submit readings by phone.

We’d recommend submitting meter readings every month where possible. This will stop you from building up more credit than you need over winter, or paying too much for your energy based on an overestimation.

    • Related Articles

    • What's an Economy 7 meter?

      An Economy 7 meter is an energy meter that measures your usage at two rates, a higher day rate and a cheaper night rate. You should be able to see both readings by pressing the button on the front of the meter. Some Economy 7 meters have one button, ...
    • What's a pre-payment meter, and how can I have this changed?

      A Pre-Payment, Pre-Pay, Key or Card meter is an energy meter that you top up with credit before use. Credit can be added online or through an app, or some older meters use a card or key you can top-up in a local store. You will be given directions ...
    • How can I check if my energy meters are faulty?

      If you believe your energy meters aren't recording your energy usage accurately there are two simple tests you can perform yourself to check. Creep Test Turn off your power at the fuse box. Wait five minutes and if the reading on your meter is still ...
    • How is my energy bill calculated?

      In the UK, your energy bill is directly based on the amount of energy you use, as measured by your energy meters. These record your usage in kWh, which is multiplied by your unit rate and then added to the daily standing charge of your tariff to ...
    • What are business rates for energy?

      Business rates are tariffs charged for energy usage by businesses and at commercial properties. This could be in place at your property either because a business was previously in operation there, or because it has not been switched back to domestic ...