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Your energy supplier will appoint someone, known as data collector, or meter reader, to collect the readings from your meter. However, there may be times when they can’t access your site or they may simply not take a reading over the period of one quarter. This can sometimes happen if your business is in a remote area. When this happens you need to submit your own meter readings.
It’s a good idea to keep track of your meter readings even if someone comes in to read them on a regular basis. You should also ensure you submit them to your electricity supplier once a month so that you only pay for what you use.
If you’re submitting your own meter readings it’s important you know how to read your meter.
If you have a digital electricity meter you should read the numbers as they appear from left to right. Ignore the last red number.
The only time it becomes complicated is if your business meter has more than one “register”. If your electricity contract has more than one rate in the tariff (such as a night rate and day rate) then a register will be used to count the electricity used within these periods. Some businesses may have a meter with multiple registers which will be labelled for the period of day they measure e.g. Normal/Peak/Unit1 (day units) or Low/Off Peak/Night/Unit2 (night units).
If your business has a dial meter you should read the numbers on the dial from left to right and again, ignore the last red number. They usually have six dials but only the first five make up your meter read. Sometimes the needle may be between two numbers. In this case you should make a note of the lower number. If it’s between zero and nine then use nine.
If the pointer is exactly on a number then write it down and underline it. If an underlined number is followed by a nine then take one away from the number you have underlined.
Modern meters display readings electronically. Depending on the size of the meter the readings will be displayed one at a time or altogether. The electronic meter will show details of the register the display relates to such as R1/Rate1/N/Normal/Peak or R2/Rate2/L/Low/Off Peak.
Remember to read one register at a time and make a note of the numbers from left to right (ignore any numbers after the decimal place).
If you get into the habit of writing down and submitting your electricity meter readings every month it will get easier and help you to keep track of how much energy your business is consuming.
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