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HOW TO READ A METER

1. Why do I have to take meter readings?

If you have a non smart meter, suppliers require that you to provide them with a meter reading so they can determine your actual energy consumption. This guide provides you with instructions on how to read your electricity and gas meter and how to use the readings to calculate your energy consumption. 

In order to determine how much energy you consume, you have to record the difference between your meter readings over a set period of time. For example, if you wanted to measure how much energy that is consumed between 07:00 am – 08:00 am then a meter reading should be taken at 07:00 am and another at 08:00 am. The difference between the two meter readings will tell you how much energy is consumed in that hour.

2. How do I read my electric meter?

All energy suppliers charge you for the energy you consume over a prescribed period of time. All electrical meters record energy in kWh, so below is an example of how to read your electricity meter so you can calculate how much electricity you have consumed. However, it is important to note that calculating the amount of energy you consume for gas will differ and I will provide more information below.

Electricity meter reading example

To record the amount of electricity used between 07:00 am-08:00 am, take an electrical meter reading at 07:00 am and then another at 08:00 am. I have given an example below:

Reading at 07:00 am is 50kWh as shown on dial 1 below

Reading at 08:00 am is 200kWh as shown on dial 2 below

Important note

It is important to note that not all meters are the same and some will show meter readings a set number of decimal places.

3. How to calculate my electricity consumption from a meter reading?

Determining the amount of energy you consume through the use of electricity is calculated based on the difference between the meter readings. 

Using the electricity meter reading example above the amount of electricity consumed between 7:00 am – 8:00 am is a 200kWh (reading at 08:00 am) – 50kWh (reading at 07:00 am)= 150kWh.

4. How to calculate my gas consumption from a meter reading?

Below is an example of how to read your gas meter and how to calculate how much gas you have consumed based on the meter reading taken.

Gas meter reading example

To record the amount of gas used between 07:00 am-08:00 am, take a gas meter reading at 07:00 am and then another at 08:00 am. Gas is measured in meters cubed (m3) I have given an example below:

Reading at 07:00 am is 200m3 as shown on dial 1 below

Reading at 08:00 am is 400m3 as shown on dial 2 below

Important note

It is important to note that not all meters are the same and some will show meter readings a set number of decimal places.

5. How to calculate my gas consumption from a meter reading?

Determining the amount of energy you consume through the use of gas is slightly more complex compared to electricity. This is because the amount of gas recorded by a gas meter is the volume of gas consumed which needs to be converted to energy and below is an example of how to carry this out.

Using the gas meter reading example above the amount of gas consumed between 7:00 am – 8:00 am is a 400m3 (reading at 08:00 am) – 200m3 (reading at 07:00 am)= 200m3.

To convert m3 to kWh we need to multiply the 200m3 by the calorific value which converts the volume of gas used to energy. The typical value of calorific value in the UK is 39.2MJ (megajoules) per m3,

so 200m3 x 39.2MJ = 7,840MJ.

The amount of gas consumed is also multiplied by the correction factor of 1.02. The correction factor corrects the volume of gas metered to account for fluctuations in the pressure and temperature of the gas. These fluctuations increase the volume of gas consumed, which cannot be measured by a standard mechanical gas meter without the use of a gas corrector. This means that corrected amount of gas consumed is

7,840MJ x 1.02 = 7,997MJ

There are 3.6MJ per 1kWh so;

7,997MJ/3.6 = 2,221kWh.

So to summarise, if you used 200m3 of gas between 7:00 am to 8:00 am, the amount of energy consumed would be 2,221kWh. If the rate of gas was 6 pence per kWh the cost of gas consumed during that period would be

(2,221kWh x 6 pence) / 100* = £133.26

*the figure is divided by 100 in order to convert it to pounds