Gas and Electricity Guide
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Reading your energy meters
Energy meters are used to measure the gas and electricity supplied to your home. There are a number of different types of energy meter, such as standard meters, dial meters, and prepayment meters.
In most cases, energy companies estimate their customer’s usage and then bill them accordingly. If you want your bill to be accurate, reading your energy meters is very important. You will need to submit your readings to your energy company.
Reading your energy meters is very important so that you don’t pay too much or too little. Unless you have prepayment energy meters, your energy company will estimate your energy consumption. This estimate is usually based on past usage. If you have reduced your energy consumption, then you could be overcharged. Alternatively, if you are using more energy than your supplier has estimated, you may receive a surprise when the company next takes an energy meter reading.
The only way to avoid paying too much or too little is to phone your energy supplier and give a correct energy meter reading every time you receive an estimated bill.
Most households have standard energy meters which are mechanical and display a series of digits. You’ll need to take a reading of the five black numbers from left to right – ignoring any red numbers or any numbers after a decimal point. Your gas meter will either display your consumption in cubic metres (m3) or cubic feet (ft3). Your electricity meter usually measures your consumption in terms of kilowatt-hours.
Alternatively, you may have dial energy meters, which look like rows of small clocks. Record the numbers left to right as indicated by the dial pointers on the four dials. If the dial pointer is between two numbers, read the lowest of the two numbers – except when the dial pointer is between 0 and 9, in which case you would record the number 9. When reading your dial energy meters, you should always remember that dials next to each other go round in opposite directions.
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