Meter Readings

March 11, 2021

Sending regular meter readings is the best, and only, way for you to get accurate energy bills for your property. These readings are so important because they tell our energy suppliers exactly how much energy you have been using in your property, so they can bill you for exactly the right amount. Without these reads, the suppliers will bill your property on estimates. These are usually at least 30% higher than actual bills, so it’s really worth your while to send them in, and without a real read, we can’t challenge them on your behalf!

The most important meter readings you can send us are your opening meter reads, and the sooner you send them in the better. When you first move into a house, the energy supplier that was supplying the last tenants will still be supplying the property until we make the switch to our supplier. The old supplier will have put you on their most expensive tariff, so the quicker we can switch you to, the more money we can save for you.

Where can I find my meters?

Most meters are on the ground floor, where the energy enters the house. They could be under the stairs, in the hallway, in the kitchen, or in a cupboard. If you are in a block of flats they could also be in the basement. They can sometimes be inside a beige cabinet bolted or built into the outside walls of the house.

If you’re not sure, ask your landlord or agent to help you locate them.

Gas Meters

Your gas meters will look a little something like these:

Quite often they have a yellow sticker on them, which helps to identify them. Gas is measured in m3 or ft3.

Electric Meters

Your electric meter should look a little something like one of these:

Electricity is measured in kWH.

How many meters will I have?

Most houses have two meters, one for electricity, and one for gas. However, your property may be electric only. You will be able to tell that you have no gas meter if you have no gas appliances in the house, e.g. a gas cooker.

So I’ve found my meters, and know how many I have – what do I do now?

There are over 100 different types of meter out there, but thankfully they all fall into 3 types:

  1. Mechanical – dials or counters
  2. Digital – simple LCD numeric display
  3. Smart – LCD plus keypad, sometimes with a remote inside the house.

What do we need from you?

We need two things for each meter:

  1. The actual read in number. Some electric meters (Economy 7 produce two reads, and we need both)
  2. A photo from your phone of the meter, showing the read and the meter serial number (barcode), so we can verify it’s the right meter and your readings. It’s best to capture the entire meter, not just the read.

So, let’s read that meter!

Mechanical meters (dials)

These are a little tricky. Read each dial going from left to right, taking a number from each dial. Some of the dials move clockwise while others move anti clockwise, which you can see by the way the numbers are increasing or decreasing. When reading the dials, always read it as the smaller number, unless the hand is directly on a number Do not include the red dial in the reading.

Mechanical meters (counters)

These are much easier. Just provide the numbers before the decimal place/before the numbers in red.

If you have an economy 7 meter, it will have two counters. Read them as before, but label each read with what the meter says – Day, Normal R1, or Night, Low, R2.

Digital meters

These are usually straight forwards. Just provide the numbers,  but ignore the digit after the decimal dot.
It gets a bit more complicated if you have an Economy 7 electric supply. We need two reads, normally labelled in a small LCD flag as “R1” and ”R2”.
Press the big button to get all reads. If you are unsure send us a video of all the displays instead of a picture.

Smart meters

Here’s how to get that read:

  1. On the keypad, press the number 9 button
  2. On an electric meter, we need the reading after the display “Input kWH” The reading will have a flag with kWH, a lightning or plug symbol and possibly “R1”.
  3. If you have an economy 7 meter, you will also get a read with “R2” in it.
  4. The meter will also show you reads with kVH in it, and “£” and months and all sorts, which you can ignore.
  5. If it’s a gas meter, or combined meter, the process is the same, but the display will probably read “Volume” and the read we need has a flame symbol and a “m3" or "ft3” symbol.

Phew! We know it can seem complicated, but once you get a handle on it, it’s not too bad. Some of our tenants just video the whole stream of screens for us, and that’s fine, we’ll decipher them for you.

Having issues?

If you are still unsure on how to read your meter, the best thing to do is just to drop us a call on 0333 358 3377 or email us on reads@the-bunch.co.uk. We would be happy to talk you through it! We will be asking for your meter readings every month, so it’s really worth finding out how to do this sooner rather than later.