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How to Read Your Business Electricity Meter


Energy suppliers typically employ people as data collectors or meter readers to take meter readings for you. However, there may be times where you are required to take your own meter readings so it is important you know how to collect a reading from your meter to submit to your supplier.

Taking meter readings to monitor your business electricity usage can be very confusing if you’re unsure how to take a correct reading. If you’ve recently had a new electricity meter installed on your business premises, you may have upgraded to a modern meter type which may be difficult to read at first. However, if you follow our quick and easy guide on how to read your business electricity meter, you’ll have no problems submitting your own readings to suppliers.

How to read a digital electricity meter

To read your business’s digital electricity meter, you should read the numbers from as they appear from left to right. You should ignore the last red number.

Reading a digital electricity meter can become difficult when your business uses more than one rate in its tariff – a day rate and a night rate for example. In this instance, a register will be used to count your business electricity usage in each period.

single rate digital electricity meter

Some businesses may use meters that have multiple registers which are labelled for the period they measure. For example, day rates may be measured by Normal/Peak/Unit 1 and night rates may be measured by Low/Off Peak/night/Unit 2.

two rate digital electricity meter

How to read a dial electricity meter

To read a dial electricity meter, you should take your business’s reading from left to right, and similarly to the digital electricity meter, ignore the final red number.
Dial meters typically have six dials but only the first five are used to take the meter reading. However, this meter can be slightly more difficult to read compared with other electricity meters.

There may be times where the needle is between two numbers, in which case you should take the lower number for your electricity reading. If the needle is between 9 and 0, then use 9.

If the needle is pointing on a number exactly, you should write it down and underline it. If the underlined number is followed by a 9 in the next dial, then you should subtract 1 from the underlined number.

dial electricity meter

How to read an electronic electricity meter

Many modern electricity meters display readings electronically. The readings from this meter will either be displayed one at a time or together on the same screen. Electronic electricity meters will indicate which rate the reading relates to, for example, it may say R1/Rate 1/N/Normal/Peak or R2/Rate 2/L/Low/Off Peak to identify the reading.

Similarly to the digital and dial electricity meters, take your reading from left to right. When taking your reading, you should also ignore the numbers after the decimal place.

two rate electronic electricity meter

We advise you take regular readings from your business electricity meter to keep track of your energy usage and confirm you are paying for the electricity you use.

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