electric meter

How to read your electric and natural gas meters

Standard electric and gas meters

  • Stand directly in front of your meter. Looking at dials from an angle can distort the reading.
  • Read your meter dials from left to right.
  • If the dial hand is between numbers, use the smaller of the two numbers.
  • If the dial hand is positioned exactly on number, look at the dial to the right to determine correct reading. Has the dial to the right passed zero?
  • If no, use the smaller number on the dial you're reading.
  • If yes, use the number the hand is pointing to on the dial you're reading.

electric meter dials
Note: You may have either a four- or five-dial meter. The correct readings for the example meters A and B above are: A - 9183, B - 98940.

Digital electric meter

Your meter cycles through many numbers and letters when operating. Every display starts with a display identification number. Here is what those numbers mean (your meter may not display every item):

  • Your meter should show all 8s during LED segment check
  • 00 – Meter number (should match number printed on meter)
  • 1 – Date (i.e., April 10, 2017 registers as 041017)
  • 2 – Military standard time (i.e., 2:45 p.m. registers as 1445)
  • 3 – Kilowatt-hours
  • 4 – Kilowatt-hours used during on-peak time period
  • 5 – Maximum demand in kilowatts in 15-minute interval during on-peak hours
  • 6 – Date of on-peak maximum demand (month/day/year)
  • 7 – Time of on-peak maximum demand (military standard time)
  • 89 – Program I.D. of current program in meter
digital meter LED all 8s

LED segment check
Meter should read all 8s.

digital meter example kilowatt-hour reading

Example kilowatt-hour reading
Display identification number in this example is 3 – kilowatt-hours. Meter reading is 00000.


time-of-use meter
  • Number in display 03 is kilowatt-hours (kWh). Note number and label as kWh.
  • Number in display 04 is on-peak kWh. Note number label as on-peak kWh.
  • Meter does not record off-peak kWh. Calculate off-peak usage by subtracting on-peak usage from total usage:

Total kWh – on-peak kWh = off-peak kWh