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How to read your business gas meter – with pictures


It’s important to provide your gas supplier with regular readings. This simple guide (with pictures) explains how to read your business gas meter.

If your business gas supplier doesn’t have accurate data, they will estimate your usage, meaning your bills could end up higher than they should be.

Not all business gas meters are alike; domestic sized, industrial and commercial meters are all different.

How they are classed (domestic or industrial) depends on the amount of business gas that can be measured. You usually find domestic sized meters in small to medium sized businesses because only a relatively small amount of gas will pass through them.

Larger businesses will usually have industrial and commercial business gas meters which are respectively able to read medium to high volumes of gas. An increasing number of businesses are installing smart gas meters – which provide half hourly readings on gas usage. This allows customers to get a more complete picture of their energy usage, and can potentially lead to lower bills.

Gas meters are either imperial or metric. An imperial meter will read gas in cubic feet while metric meters measure gas in cubic metres. Imperial meter readings normally display four digits – ignore any digits after the decimal point. Metric meters on the other hand normally display five digits – again ignore any after the decimal point.

It’s a legal requirement that business gas meters are inspected every two years to make sure they’re accurate and safe. Business gas meters tend to last around 20 to 25 years.

How to read a digital business gas meter

Digital Gas Meter Imperial

Digital business gas meters are read in a similar way to digital business electricity meters. Remember to read one digit at a time and note whether it’s in cubic feet or cubic meters (ft3/m3). Read the digits from left to right and ignore any red numbers at the end (or they may be in a red box). When you provide your business gas supplier with meter readings, remember to let them know if it’s in cubic feet or cubic metres.

Digital Gas Meter Metric

How to read a business gas dial meter

Business gas dial meters tend to look a lot more complicated with individual dials that calculate each element of the meter reading. To make it more complicated, some dials move both clockwise and anticlockwise.

Dial Gas Meter

A business gas dial meter may have a number of different dials on it but only the bottom ones are required for your meter reading. Simply read the dials from left to right but remember that each dial moves in the opposite direction to the dial next to it. If the dial points directly over a number then use that one and if it points between two numbers use the lower one and 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.

How to read an electronic business gas meter

These are read in a similar way to digital business gas meters. Read one digit at a time and remember to make a note of whether it’s cubic feet or cubic metres. Read from left to right and ignore any red numbers or numbers in a red box. Remember to tell your business gas supplier whether the readings you are giving them are in cubic feet or cubic metres.

Electronic Gas Meter

Get into the habit of taking and submitting your business gas meter readings every month. Each time you do, it will get easier.

Remember, if you have any queries or would like to get a comprehensive business gas comparison and switch supplier in just 20 minutes, give us a call on 0330 0100 251 (or request a call back using our form). Our dedicated page has lots more information about business gas.

This article was updated 18th October 2016

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