Read Your Meter

Keeping an accurate record of electrical consumption helps you know how much energy is being used in your home. To do this, read the electric meters regularly (daily, weekly or monthly) and write down in your records the numbers on the dials.

Electric meters measure the amount of electricity used in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A typical electric meter has four or five dials that are read from right to left and should be recorded in the same order.

Each dial is numbered 0 to 9. Usually, the pointer on a dial will be between two numbers. Always read the lower of the two numbers. Notice some dials move clockwise and some counterclockwise.

In cases where the pointer is directly on a number, say 8, you have to check the dial immediately to the right. If the pointer on that dial is between 0 and 1, record the higher number, 8, shown on the first dial. If the pointer is between 9 and 0, record the lower number, which would be 7.

For each electric meter, the amount of energy you have used, for a day, a week or a month may be determined by subtracting your first reading from your last reading. The end result is a reading of your kWh usage.