Electricity Meter Explained

An electricity meter measures energy use in kilowatt hours (kWh). It tells you how much electricity you use. It is important to understand how to take accurate measurements of your electricity consumption so you don’t end up spending more than you need to. When you know exactly how much energy you use, you can find out if you can get a better energy deal by switching.

If you are on credit meter, your energy supplier estimates how much electricity you consume and use this figure to calculate your bill.

How to read the different types of electricity meters?

There are 5 main types of electricity meters. They differ in what readings they give you and how they display the information. For special tariffs such as Economy 7 and Prepayment you will need a different sort of electricity meter.

1. Standard meters

This is the most common type of meter and uses a mechanical display to show your readings. You’ll need to take a reading of five black numbers from left to right – ignoring any red numbers (if present).

2. Dial meters

A dial meter show a series of clock-style dials with numbers from 0 to 9. When reading your meter, remember that each dial turns in the opposite direction to the dial before it. Read the numbers on the dials from left to right. If the pointer is between 2 numbers, record the lower of the 2. Ignore any red dials.

3. Digital meters

Record the first 5 figures on the digital display. Ignore any last figure (that begins 0.1).

4. Special electricity tariffs: Economy 7 and prepayment meters

Economy 7 meters: The Economy 7 meters have 2 displays, 1 for the “day rate” at the top and 1 for the “night rate” at the bottom. To take a reading, write down the numbers from both displays, ignoring any figures in red.

Prepayment meters: There are different types of prepayment meters (standard, Economy 7 or token meters). To take a meter reading, press on the main button on the meter so the display changes from showing your remaining credit to displaying the actual reading.

Compare energy prices with MyUtilityGenius and find out how much money you can save by switching energy supplier or by switching to an online energy tariff.

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