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How to read your gas or electricity meter

This advice applies to Scotland

Your supplier needs regular readings from your gas or electricity meter to work out your bills. If you don’t send them readings, they’ll estimate your usage. This means your bill might be too high or low.

Call your supplier to give them the readings - or check if you can submit one on their website or app.

If you have a smart meter

Smart meters are different to standard meters - they normally send readings to your supplier automatically.

You’ll normally also get a portable device called an ‘in-home display’ - this shows how much you’re spending on your energy.

Find out how to:

Electricity meters

Single rate digital meter

Single rate digital electricity meter

This meter reading is 75085. The red number should be ignored. 

A digital meter has an electronic or digital display. It will show 5 numbers in black or white, and might be followed by 1 or more red numbers.

To read the meter:

  1. Write down the first 5 numbers shown from left to right.
  2. Ignore any other numbers.

Two rate digital meter

Two rate digital electricity meter

This meter has 2 readings - 25404 and 54250. You'll need to give both readings to your supplier.

If you get cheaper electricity at certain times, you might have a two rate (or ‘dual-rate’) meter. This means it will have 2 rows of numbers.

The top row (labelled ‘low’ or ‘night’) shows how many units of cheaper electricity you’ve used.

The bottom row (labelled ‘normal’ or ‘day’) shows how many units of standard-price electricity you’ve used.

To read the meter:

  1. Read both the top and bottom rows.
  2. Write down the numbers shown left to right.
  3. Ignore any numbers shown in red.

Two rate single display meter

Two rate single display electricity meter

This meter has 2 readings - 75085 and 46806. You’ll need to give both readings to your supplier.

Some two rate (or ‘dual rate’) meters only have 1 digital display. They will either flash up the different rate readings in a cycle or have a button that you need to press to make the display cycle through the readings for the different rates.

To read the meter write down the numbers shown left to right, for each reading.

To read this meter:

  1. Write down the numbers shown left to right.
  2. Make sure you get both readings.

Dial meter

Electricity dial meter with 5 clock dials in a row and arrows on the screens showing the direction each dial turns.

This meter reading is 1 5 6 4 9

An electricity dial meter has 5 or more dials. They each turn to point to a number between 0 and 9.

Each dial on your meter will turn in the opposite direction to the ones next to it. Some dial meters start with a clockwise dial and some start with an anticlockwise dial - check the direction of your dials before you read them.

To read the meter:

  1. Read the first 5 dials from left to right - ignore any red dials or dials marked 1/10.
  2. If the pointer is between two numbers, write down the lower number - if it’s between 9 and 0, write down 9.
  3. If the pointer is directly over a number, write down that number and underline it.

If you’ve underlined a number, check the next dial to the right. If the pointer on that dial is between 9 and 0, reduce the number you’ve underlined by 1. For example, if you originally wrote down 5, change it to 4.

Gas meters

Digital metric meter

Digital metric gas meter

This meter reading is 00544.

A digital metric meter will have an electronic or digital display, showing 5 numbers then a decimal point, followed by some more numbers.

To read the meter:

  1. Write down the first 5 numbers shown from left to right.
  2. Ignore the numbers after the decimal point, sometimes shown in red.

Digital imperial meter

Digital imperial gas meter

This meter reading is 1860.

A digital imperial meter has an electronic or digital display, showing 4 black or white numbers, followed by 2 numbers shown in red.

To read the meter:

  1. Write down the first 4 numbers from left to right.
  2. Ignore the rest of the numbers, shown in red.

Dial meter

Gas dial meter with 4 clock dials in a row and arrows on the screens showing the direction each dial turns.

This meter reading is 7241.

A gas dial meter has 4 or more dials. Each one turns to point to a number between 0 and 9.

Each dial on your meter will turn in the opposite direction to the ones next to it. Some dial meters start with a clockwise dial and some start with an anticlockwise dial - check the direction of your dials before you read them.

To read the meter:

  1. Read the first 4 dials from left to right - ignore the large dials or red dials.
  2. If the pointer is between two numbers, write down the lower number - if it’s between 9 and 0, write down 9.
  3. If the pointer is directly over a number, write down that number.
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