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How to Read Your Electricity and Gas Meters

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Measuring your electricity and gas usage is essential to living in a home. When you are charged every month for everything you use, you will want to know exactly how much. Finding this information can be challenging if you do not know how to read your meters.

Electricity and gas are two of the most important things involved with running a house, so it’s extremely rare to find a property that does not have a meter for both of these things. After all, your supplier wants to know how much to charge you – and you may want to know how much is being used.

For a clear guide to electricity and gas meters—including how to read the results yourself—and everything related to ‘Smart Meters,’ keep scrolling through our blog below.

What is an Electricity Meter?

The main purpose of an electricity meter is to measure the amount of electricity used in your house. Your supplier will then know how much electricity to charge you for in any given month.

In most cases, electricity bills are sent monthly, and you are charged for your electricity use every month. Many people read their electricity meter a few days before the month is over to see how much has been used and ensure that the bill that comes through a few days later is accurate.

Electricity meters are not only used in residential homes but also in commercial office spaces, as well as for an electrically powered device.

Your electricity meter will usually be designed to ensure that all electrical usage in your property is completely safe. For example, if the electricity installation is overloaded, there is an automatic ‘power cut’, which can prevent the possibility of electrocution or fire.

What is a Gas Meter?

Much like an electricity meter, a gas meter measures the amount of gas used in your residence. Gas is most commonly used for heating or cooking, and for this reason, gas bills tend to increase in the winter, as households need to heat their properties more during the colder months.

Gas bills are usually paid monthly, and many homeowners like to check their gas readings a few days before the bill is received to ensure they are being charged fairly.

When the gas supply is first connected to the property, it is usually fitted with an Emergency Control Valve (ECV). This can be used to turn off the gas supply if there is a suspected gas leak.

What is a ‘Smart’ Meter?

In recent years, the idea of a ‘smart’ meter has become much more popular around the United Kingdom. These meters show you real-time usage levels and the corresponding cost throughout the month, so you can monitor it all the time (if you wish).

Getting a smart meter is usually extremely simple: you simply need to contact your supplier and ask for one. A professional will then come round at a time that is convenient for you to fit it.

Smart meters enable you to be completely certain that you are charged the correct amount. They also allow you to more closely monitor exactly how, when, and where your electricity/gas is being used, making it easier to find ways to cut down and save money.

How to read your Electricity Meter

It is important to note that not all meters are the same, meaning there is more than one way to answer this question. 

If you have a single-rate digital meter, you should write down the five numbers in black and white on the left-hand side and ignore the red number.

If you have a two-rate digital meter, there should be two rows of numbers. Like above, you should focus on the five numbers in black and white. The top row (labelled ‘low’ or ‘night’) shows how many units of cheaper electricity you’ve used. The bottom row (labelled ‘normal’ or ‘day’) shows how many units of standard-price electricity you’ve used. You can ignore the number in red.

If you have a two-rate single display meter, you should note both five-number sequences. These may be listed on top of the other or flash back and forth in a sequence. Most meters will have a label that tells you which rate is ‘low’ or ‘night’ and which is ‘high’ or ‘normal’, but if it doesn’t, you may want to get someone professional to help you. Alternatively, you could determine which number has changed between the morning and the evening, as this is likely to be your ‘high’ or ‘normal’ rate.

If you have a dial meter, you should note down the number displayed on each of the five dials. These numbers, put together from left to right, are your reading. If the dial is stuck between two numbers, write down the lower number. You should also ignore any red dials.

Perhaps the quickest method is to speak to a professional when the meter is first installed and ask them for help reading it. 

How to read your Gas Meter

Just like with electricity meters, remember that not all gas meters are the same. 

If you have a digital metric meter, your reading is the first five numbers from left to right. You should ignore any numbers that appear after the decimal point.

If you have a digital imperial meter, your reading is the first four numbers from left to right. You should ignore any numbers that appear after in red.

If you have a dial meter, you should write down the number each dial points to, from left to right. You should write down the lower number if the dial is stuck between two numbers. You should also ignore any red dials.

How to read your Smart Meter

Reading your Smart Meter should hopefully be straightforward. In an ideal world, you would speak to the professional who comes to install it and can provide guidance on how to read it.

Not all Smart Meters are the same, but as you press the buttons and scroll through the screens, look for the one with a row of numbers in front of ‘KWH’. These numbers, from left to right, are your meter readings.

If you pay two electricity rates, you might see both readings on the same screen—or you might have to scroll to another screen to get your second reading.

Why it’s essential to be able to read your electricity and gas meter

Reading your electricity and gas meter allows you to provide information to the supplier, when applicable, on your usage. It also makes it easier for you to establish whether or not you are being charged the correct amount. Taking photos of the readings or calling someone out to inspect them should hopefully provide you with the proof to rectify the situation.

To sell your house fast, showcasing energy efficiency is critical. Buyers value homes with predictable and manageable utility costs. Demonstrating control over your electricity and gas consumption by providing detailed usage records can make your property more attractive. 

If you’re still struggling to sell your home, cash buyers SOLD.co.uk will buy your property no matter the energy rating. Contact our friendly team today to get a free cash offer.

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