How To Read Your Energy Meter

Recording your energy meter readings doesn't need to be a difficult or laborious task – in fact it can save you money. By providing regular meter readings to your energy supplier you'll get an accurate bill for how much energy you're using instead of an estimated usage, which can result in paying too much.

Meter readings, along with energy rates, are the key components that make up your energy bill so it's important to stay on top of these to make sure you're on the best deal for you.

Read on to find out more about the different types of energy meters and how to read them.

Different types of meters

You'll need to know what meter you have before understanding how to read it. Most homes will have meters for both gas and electricity and even if you're on a combined fuel contract your meters will be separate.

There are many different types and designs of meters but each will have its own unique identification number. For gas this is a MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number) and for electricity a MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) and these will be displayed on your bills. For help on this read our guide on how to find your MPAN and MPRN.

Types Of Electricity & Gas Meters


  • Standard Meters
  • Dial Meters
  • Digital Meters
  • Prepayment Meters
  • Smart Meters


For electricity you may also be on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 meter which are variable rate meters that give you cheaper electricity rates is used at off-peak times.

How To Read Your Electric & Gas Energy Meter


  • Standard Meters - This is the most common type of meter. These meters use a mechanical display and record usage in kWh. To take a reading simply note the black numbers from left to right. You don't need to take note of any red numbers.
  • Dial Meters - These meters record usage in the same way as standard meters but show clock dials instead of numbers. Always read from 0-9 and remember to check the direction of the dials before taking a note of the numbers each dial points to. If a dial is between numbers then record the number the needle has passed.
  • Digital Meters - This meter will display your energy reading on an LCD screen and to access it you may need to press a button first. Record the first five figures for your reading and ignore any numbers in red.
  • Prepayment Meters - Most prepayment meters are digital and will show the energy consumed and remaining credit on your account. These meters work by paying in advance and topping up the credit via a card, key or app. These can be less cost effective in the long term.
  • Smart Meters - Unlike any of the above, this meter connects directly to your supplier submitting regular gas and electric energy readings. These meters have an electronic display and will show energy consumed in real time.
  • Economy 7 or 10 Meters - If you're on a variable rate meter this will display two different figures, one showing usage during normal rate times and one during off-peak times. You need to take a reading of both numbers.


Do I need To Read My Smart Meter?

It's not necessary to take meter readings once you have a smart meter installed. However, it is wise to keep an eye on energy use and you can check your usage at any time by taking a note of the numbers including any zeros.

For the best way to submit your meter readings, check with your supplier first and try to take a reading at least every month.

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