How to read your electricity meter

Sending us a regular meter reading – ideally every month – will help to make your bills as accurate as possible.

It's pretty straightforward to do. Simply work out which type of meter you have, follow the tips on how to take a reading (below), and then send us your reading.

Which type of meter do you have?

You'll have one of three types of meter – a dial meter, a digital or mechanical meter, or a digital Economy 7 meter – look at the pictures below to find out which yours is.

  • Dial meter
  • Digital or mechanical meter
  • Economy 7 meter

(See also: How to read a gas meter)

How to read a dial meter (see Figure 1)

1. Ignore the red dial – it isn't required

2. Remember that each dial turns in the opposite direction to the dial next to it; clockwise for the first dial (on the left) and then anti-clockwise and so on

3. Always write down the number the pointer has passed. Or the lowest of the two numbers the pointer is between

4. If the pointer on a dial you're reading sits exactly on a number, use the dial to the right to determine which number to use. If the pointer on the dial to the right has just passed zero (between 0 and 1) the number you need for the dial you're reading is the number the pointer is on. If the pointer on the dial to the right is just before zero (between 9 and 0) the number to use will be the one lower

5. Now you know what to do, you can submit a meter reading.


How to read a digital or mechanical meter

Digital and mechanical meters are fairly easy to understand but can look quite different. The following three images show how different they can be. Despite this, all three are identical for the purpose of reading your meter – this is because the units in dials F and G are too small.

Digital meter reading
Digital meter reading
Digital meter reading

Read your digital or mechanical meter in four simple stages

1. Always read the numbers from left to right and include any zeros

2. Most of these meters will display readings to at least one – sometimes two – decimal places

3. Some meters show the decimal point on the display. Others use red digits to show the decimal units (0.1 and 0.01 of a unit). Please don't include the decimal units in your meter reading, they're too small for billing

4. Now you know how, submit a meter reading.

How to read digital Economy 7 meters

If you have Economy 7, you'll need to give us two readings: one for the day and one for the night. Most digital meters have one display, which you should obtain both readings from:

1. Small digital meters with no buttons to press display both readings with a flash between them. Note down the first reading, wait a few seconds for it to change, then note the second reading

2. If your meter has a button, take the first reading and then press the button to bring up the other reading(s). Finally, press the button until the meter shows the first reading again

3. If your meter has a button and shows more than two meter readings it's worth noting all of them to make sure we get the correct two readings. This is because some meters have three readings: a day reading, a night reading and the total of the two readings.

Note – most meters will display each reading as Day and Night. But they may also be shown as Peak and Off Peak, or Low and Normal. If your meter doesn't display any of these please send us your readings and we'll work out the day and night reads for you.