The Importance of Reading Your Electric Meter

May 18, 2023

The Importance of Reading Your Electric Meter

The electricity meter is an electrical device that helps to measure the amount of electricity consumed by a tenant space or building. Your electric utility company uses the electric box or meter in your home to measure the electric quantity represented on your monthly bills.

It is important to read your electric meter to ensure that you do not pay more money than you are supposed to. Staying informed can alert you to any inconsistency, help you monitor your monthly energy use, and decide if you need to switch your energy supplier. This is only possible if you know how to read the meter. Read on to see the necessary steps on how.

How to read the electric meter

First, there are four types of electric meters. They are smart, digital, traditional, and electronic meters.

A smart electric meter might sound like an easy thing to handle but it isn’t. For smart electric meters with a keypad you have to press the number 9. A group of 8 numbers will be displayed on the screen. The abbreviation kWh will be under them. Pressing the number 9 gives you your overall readings. However, if the meters record day and night separately, press 6 to get your night readings. This is indicated by the words IMP RO1. For day readings, press the 6 button again. The day reading is indicated by IMP R02.

A digital electric meter is quite straightforward. The numbers for your reading are displayed on the screen. Copy these numbers from left to right excluding any numbers in red. Two rows of numbers on the screen mean your meter has day and night readings. Copy both rows from left to right.

An electronic electric meter displays readings the same way as a digital meter above. Even two rows of readings would mean the same as the digital meter and should be copied the same way. If your electronic meter does not operate this way, you need to press a button to get the readings.

The dial electric meter displays numbers in a funny way. Read these numbers from left to right. If there is an arrow in between two numbers, choose the lower number. Also, if there is an arrow between 9 and 0, choose 9, then subtract one from the number that follows. Don’t bother about the last digit on the right. A dial meter can be tricky but with time you get more familiar with it.

What to do with the long numbers

Yes, your bill doesn’t dump these long numbers on you as the energy consumed. Find the previous electric bill. Subtract the total of that previous month from what you have now. The figure is your total energy consumed for the month. Multiply this energy consumed by the rate per hour of your utility company and you have your bill.

Don’t sit idly on it, use your figures to check the bills sent to you. If it doesn’t match at any time, calculate again and place a call to the company.

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Last Updated: June 30, 2023