How to Read Your Electric Meter
How to Read Your Electric Meter
August 9, 2019
We use electricity every single day, from the minute we turn on the coffee maker before work until we flip off the light switch to go to sleep at night. When your electric bill arrives in the mail every month, you may wonder where those numbers come from and how you can be more aware of your daily energy usage.
You can assess your energy use any time by checking the electrical meter located right outside your home. All of the knobs and numbers on your meter might seem overwhelming or confusing at first, but with a little extra help, anyone can learn! Here is our guide on how to read your electric meter from the team at Buzz Electrical.
How to Read Your Electric Meter – Analog
Some homes have digital electric meters with an LCD display. But most homes still use old school analog meters that look like a row of tiny clock faces. Here is a step-by-step guide to reading an analog electric meter.
1. Understand what your meter measures.
Your electric meter should have four to six different circular dials numbered from zero to nine around their rims. The dial turns as electricity flows through the meter. The amount of electricity displayed on the dials is measured in kilowatt hours. One kilowatt hour represents the energy it would take to power a 100 watt bulb for 10 hours.
2. Read each number on your dials.
Read your dials from left to right, the same way you would read a book. Some of your dials may be numbered in a clockwise pattern, while others are numbered in a counterclockwise pattern. Ignore the direction of the ascending numbers and simply read where the dial is pointed.
If your dial is positioned between two numbers, always record the lower number. If your dial is sitting right on top of a number, check to see if the dial on its right has passed zero. Record the number below if it hasn’t, record the higher number if it has.
3. Record your readings.
Since your electric company will not usually reset your meter to 0 at the beginning of each month, you will need to record your readings monthly and subtract to figure out how much energy you are using per month.
How to Read Your Electric Meter – Digital
Understanding how to read a digital electric meter or a smart meter is much simpler. There are no analog dials involved, just an LCD screen with a string of numbers.
There might be several different numbers displayed on your screen, but those are just reference tools for your electric company. Only pay attention to the largest and most central series of numbers on your screen. You will still need to record them and subtract them each month to determine your electricity usage on a monthly basis.
If you have any questions about how to read your electric meter or how to save energy each month, our team at Buzz Electrical can help. Check out this blog for energy-saving tips to use while you’re on vacation.
Family owned and operated Buzz Electrical is Fayetteville’s leading electrical company! If you are interested in reducing your energy consumption in your Arkansas home, we are here to help. Give us a call at (479) 267-2899.