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Sample meter reads

Why is it important to take regular meter readings?

It is essential that an accurate record of your meter readings are given to suppliers when you take on or leave business premises.
Over a third of bills issued are based on estimated figures. These can result in bills which do not accurately reflect total usage. Fuel suppliers are obliged to read your meter only once every two years so it is always sensible to check estimated readings against your meter and to monitor your meter readings at regular times throughout the charging period. Large difference, either high or low, may mean that you have an issue with either energy being wasted on the premises or a problem with your meter. To keep fully up to date it is best to provide your energy supplier with an accurate meter reading. The details of how to give your energy supplier a customer meter reading will be on your bill.

It is critical to check meters against supplier records before the commitment to new premises is made to ensure that the first issue that you have to deal with is not an energy dispute.

Different Types
There are different types of meters and different meters will be in place for both electricity and gas. Meters are usually found in a cupboard and while this will usually be near a front door in a residential property it may be very different in a commercial property and will usually be in an area only accessible to the owner / staff rather than the general public.

Whether for gas or electricity a meter will either be:-

  • Credit - fuel is used and a bill is sent at a later date.
  • Pre-payment - fuel is paid for as it is used.

This is used to measure the volume of gas passing into your property. This is usually measured in cubic meters (m³) although some older models measure in cubic feet (ft³). Although gas is supplied by volume, it is actually billed in kWh, and the way to work this out is shown on your bill.

Electricity consumption is measured in kWh. The meters can either have one or two counters. If you have a meter with two counters, your electricity usage is charged at two different tariffs; a daytime 'on-peak/normal' rate and a cheaper night 'off-peak/low' rate. 'Off-peak' meters are usually known as 'Economy 7' or 'White Meter' depending on your fuel supplier.

Reading Credit Meters
The majority of credit meters are 'digital' i.e. a straight row of numbers. However some older types are 'dial' these consist of a number of dials to be read in a set order.

All digital meters are read in the same way. For modern gas meters which measure intake in cubic meters (M³) and electric meters read the first five digits. For older gas meters which measure in cubic feet use the first four digits. Read from left to right, including all 'zeros' but ignoring the red number(s) or any number(s) after a decimal point. Once you have read the meter, you can work out how much electricity or gas you have used by taking the previous total (found on your last bill) away from the new total. This will give you the number of units you have used in that period of time.
For example if your meter looks like this (modern gas digital meter), use the first five numbers:-

Modern Gas Digital Meter

The reading on the example above is: 32764
If your meter looks like this, use the first five figures:-

Digital Gas Meter

The reading on the example above is: 07519
If your meter looks like this, use the first four figures:-

Digital Gas Meter

The reading on the example above is: 7519.

These have rows of dials/clocks with pointers which move from 0 - 9. Read from right to left. For electricity read the five dials from 10,000 to 1. Ignore the dial marked 1/10 of a unit; this is for testing only.

For the following example:-

Dial Meter

Always write down the number the pointer has passed (this is not necessarily the nearest number to the pointer). So if the pointer is anywhere between for instance 2 and 3 (see dial 4), write down 2.

  • If the pointer is directly over the figure i.e. the 8 in dial 5, write down that figure and underline it.
  • The sample meter reading shown above will read 4 5 9 2 8.
  • This reading now requires adjusting to eliminate small variations to the pointer positions. Look at the figures underlined. If one of these is followed in the next dial by a 9, reduce the underlined figure by 1. The correct reading in this example is 44928.

Gas dial meters have mostly been phased out. However if you encounter an imperial (cubic feet) gas dial meter it is read in the same fashion as the instructions above except with only four dials.

Should you require any advice regarding meter reads then please  contact our Billing & Metering team on 02476 328 995 or email:

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