Electricity Meters Explained

Electricity Meters ExplainedAn electricity meter is the device which measures the electricity your household has consumed over time, typically measuring in kilowatt hours or kWh also known as units.

Usually, the size of domestic electricity meters is around 6 inches in width, by up-to 6 inches in height and often have a digital display on the front although older models may still use analogue dials or a clock style interface.

Where is my Electricity Meter?

A frequently asked question by our visitors is ‘where is my electricity meter’ but the answer depends on a number of factors such as whether you live in a flat or apartment or a house.

If you live in a house your electricity meter will typically be located either under the stairs if you have cupboards or near the front door, possibly above the door or just next to it. In rare cases, there are reports of meters located in basements however, energy meters are usually situated in a position for easy access by your supplier to read when they visit your property.

If you live in a flat or apartment your electricity meter could be found outside in a communal area, often alongside other resident’s meters but with a number indicating the flat or apartment each meter belongs to.

If you still can’t find you energy meter consider speaking to your landlord, alternatively speak to your supplier. Usually electricity suppliers keep notes on where meters are located and can help you find it.

What does my electricity meter look like?

For most households, domestic electricity meters will look like a square shaped box on a wall often displaying 6 digits on an LCD display. They can vary in colour with more modern meters being white, with a plastic style face sometimes with a blinking red light on the front.

Older version electricity meters can be black or silver with clock style dials on the front or digit tickers like older vehicle mileage gauges however, these are less prevalent than more modern digital meters.

In rare cases, you may find your electricity meter is circular.

Most electricity meters measure around 6 inches in width and up-to 6 inches in height depending on whether your meter is a newer style.

What type of electricity meter do I have?

What type of electricity meter do I haveThere are two main types of energy meter, to identify what type of electricity meter you have take a look at the front of the meter itself.

Digital Electricity Meters: These meters usually have an LCD display or mileage style ticker on the front and only display numbers in the form of digits. Sometimes digital meters will have one or two digits in red at the end (which can be ignored when reading your meter).

Analogue Electricity Meters: The style of analogue meters varies wildly but they always have clock-style dials on the front. The number of dials and direction of rotation depends on the type of analogue electricity meter you have. Analogue meters are slowly being replaced by their more modern digital counterparts.

How to read my Electricity Meter

It is important to understand how to read your electricity meter, so you can provide up-to date readings to your electricity supplier and to confirm your electricity bills using our calculator.

To read your meter, you need to read and write down the digits or dials from left to right that are displayed on the face of your meter, ignoring any digits or dials in red and any numbers after a decimal point (should your meter show decimals).

How to read my electricity meter

If your electricity meter has a cycle display button (a button that allows you to switch between displayed figures), press this to view the current readings, if not your meter may cycle through the displays automatically.

Note: If you have economy 7, your meter may have two rows of figures. In this case, read and write down both rows of digits from left to right. One row of digits will be a ‘day rate’ the other row will be a ‘night rate’ these readings may have to be calculated separately.

If you have a dial-style analogue electricity meter remember each dial turns in the opposite direction to the one before it, as illustrated below. Read the dials from left to right. If a pointer is between two numbers, take the lower number. If the pointer is between 9 and 0, write down 9 and reduce the reading you've already taken for the dial on its left by one.

How to read my dial electricity meter

How do smart meters work?

Electricity smart meters have been widely hailed as the new generation technology to help make your life easier and save you money but how do smart meters work?

The first part of a smart meter system is a meter installed to replace your existing electricity meter. This monitors your electricity in the same way as your existing digital or analogue meter.

The second part of the system is a smart energy monitor. The smart energy monitor is responsible for displaying your current energy usage in an easily accessible area of your home allowing you to understand what is affecting your usage throughout the day and over time.

The main smart meter is then responsible for updating the energy monitor in your home with current usage and also sends your usage data including meter readings to your energy supplier via its own 3G sim card.

Not all homes in the UK are able to have a smart meter installed due to 3G coverage.

If you have a smart meter in your home you should still monitor and take down your meter readings regularly, smart meters are a new technology and as such could be prone to error and issues.

Where do you find your electricity meter number?

The easiest place to find your electricity meter number is on a previous bill from your energy supplier. It’s normally clearly visible at the top right-hand side of your bill.

If you don’t have a previous bill to find your meter number, you can also find it on the meter itself. You are looking for a 21-digit number (also known as the MPAN – meter point administration number), the number you need is the 13 digits at the bottom of the MPAN.

Alternatively, you can call your electricity supplier who will also be able to provide you with the meter number.

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