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How to read your electricity meter

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

If you have an electricity credit meter, try to take regular meter readings yourself, so that your bills are based on how much you really use, not an estimate. This will reduce the chances of you paying too much or too little.

Who is responsible for meter reading?

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) is responsible for carrying out the reading, testing, installation and inspection of the meters of all electricity customers. The meter readings are then passed on to your electricity supply company, who will issue your bill.

Reading your electricity meter

There are several different kinds of electricity meters:

  • digit meters, which have an electronic or digital display, showing five numbers in black or white.
  • keypad meters, which display the reading when you press a button.
  • clock-type meters, which have five or more dials, each turning to point to a number between 0 and 9.

How to read the meter will also differ depending whether you have:

  • a single rate meter. This means you pay a flat rate for your electricity all day.
  • a dual or multi rate meter. This means you pay different rates for your electricity throughout the day. For instance, you may pay a higher rate during the day and a lower rate overnight.

NIE has a guide to reading your meter on their website at

Make sure that the serial number on your meter matches the meter number shown on your bill. If it doesn’t, query your bill with your energy supplier.

If it’s difficult for you to access or read your own meter, you may be able to enroll on your energy supplier’s Customer Care Register. This scheme offers extra free services to people who are of pensionable age, are registered disabled, have a hearing or visual impairment, or have long term ill-health. This service is provided by all energy suppliers.

Services may include:

  • moving your meter free of charge to make it easier for you to access
  • a visit to read your meter on request

Find out more about your supplier’s Customer Care Register

Next steps

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