Meter readings – everything you need to know

meter readings

Meter readings and energy rates are the two most important elements that make up energy bills. 

Giving meter readings to your supplier ensure you pay for the correct amount of usage. Without them your supplier will estimate how much energy you’re using. 

Energy rates on the other hand are how much your supplier charges for each unit of energy that you use.

We explain how to give a meter reading but also how to make sure you’re on the best deal.

How do you read an electricity meter?

There are three types of Electricity meters: single rate meters, two rate meters as well as dial meters. Electricity meters are always in kWh (kilowatt hours). Pictured below is a single rate meter and a dial meter.

Dial meter readings

Single rate meters

Read the numbers from left to right and don’t include any numbers in red or after the decimal point. This electricity meter reading is 01967. 

Single rate meter reading

Two rate meters

Two rate meters are mainly used for economy 7 or economy 10. It records two readings, one for your day usage and one for night usage. Day usage is called ‘normal’ and night usage is called ‘low’.

Two rate meter reading

For instance the electricity meter above would be recorded as:

Low (night): 80506 

Normal (day): 97192

Two rate meter on one display (digital meter)

Some two rate meters have one digital display. To view the day and night usage you’ll need to press a button to cycle through the readings.

Digital meter reading

The readings may be labelled as RATE 1 (R1) and RATE 2 (R2). You may also have other rates or readings on the meter which could be the live usage or the total usage. 

The rate number and it’s correlation to day or night depends on how the meter was set up. For example RATE 1 could mean ‘day’ for one meter but ‘night’ for another.

To figure out which is which, make a note of the readings in the morning and see which reading has advanced by midday.