British Gas business blog

How to: Read your electricity meter

An electric meter on the side of a residential structure.

If you don’t have a smart meter that sends meter reads to British Gas automatically, being able to read your electricity meter manually is an important piece of knowledge to possess. We’ve put together a handy guide and some videos to show you exactly how to read your electricity meter.

There are three common types of electric meters and below you’ll find a quick description of each type and how to use it. Take a look below and learn how to accurately read your meter, this way you can supply us with your readings and start receiving more accurate bills.

1) Single rate electricity meter

The single rate electricity meter is a small, white meter that will have one set of numbers to read. The display is fairly straightforward to read, there will be a set of numbers that are digitally displayed across the meter. Looking at the numbers from left to right, and write down the first 5 numbers you see and you’re done.

2) Two-rate electricity meter

The two-rate electricity meter is very similar to the single rate meter. The main difference being there are two rows of numbers. Again, you’ll still only take note of the first five digits in each row. However, when you submit your readings online, there will be two separate readings that you must give. Be sure to take special notice of which reading is which so you give us the right readings for the right meters.

3) Dial rate electricity meter

At first glance, the dial rate meter looks like a confusing and complicated arrangement of dials, but in reality it’s much easier to read than you may think. When looking at the meter, you’ll see 6 different circular dials.To accurately read the meter, you need only pay attention to the first five dials (the sixth dial is usually red in colour, so you will immediately know which one to ignore). Reading the dials from left to right, make note  of the number that each pointer is aimed towards. If the dial is pointing between two different numbers, write down the lowest of the two numbers to ensure greater accuracy.

Submitting your meter reading

After you’ve gotten your reading or readings from of your meter or meters, you can easily submit them online. The route you’ll take will depend on whether you have an online account with us or not. Click the following links depending on your situation and we’ll have your accurate reading in no time at all.

Save time by upgrading to a smart meter

If you’re looking for a way to avoid reading your meter, you may want to consider upgrading to a smart meter as they can electronically send us readings each month. This is a great way to receive more accurate bills, as your bill will no longer be just an estimate.

If you have any questions about smart meters, please visit our FAQ page.

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