Guide to Meter Readings

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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 you 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 – ideally within 5 days! 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:

Gas meters | Guide to Meter Readings
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:

Electric meters | Guide to Meter Readings
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?

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. This photo is uploaded via the customer portal.

Please note, if you have a smart meter, please send a video of all of the screens to [email protected], so we can prove the reading to the energy supplier.

So, let’s read that meter!

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

  1. Mechanical – dials
  2. Digital – counters, or simple LCD numeric display

Smart – LCD plus keypad, sometimes with a remote inside the house.
**** Get MAx to put a link to the different types of meters, so the user can jump to them, rather than scroll through.

Mechanical meters (dials)

These are a little tricky, as the dials can be difficult to understand.  Here’s how to do it:

  • Read each dial going from left to right, taking a number from each dial. 
  • The dials are legended, 10,000 1000, 100, 10 and 1
  • When reading the dials, if the hand is between numbers, always read it as the smaller number
  • If the hand is directly on a number, say 3, look at the hand of the dial on the right to work out what the left hand number is. 
  • The correct reading will be either 3 or one less, 2
  • If the dial on the rights’ hand is between 8 and 0 (or 0 and 8), use the lower of the two possible reads = 2
  • If the dial on the rights’ hand is between 0 and 2 (or 2 and 0), use the higher of the possible reads = 3
  • Do not include the red dial in the reading.

Here’s a picture of a real electricity dial meter to help you understand

meter | Guide to Meter Readings

Here, the 10,000,1,000 100, and 10 dials are nearly on the number, so it’s easy to get wrong.

  • So starting with the 10000, the hand is over the 1, so the read could be either 0 or 1.  But looking at the right dial (1000) the hand is between 0 and 8, so  the 10000 reads 0
  • The 1000 dial is over the 9, so the read could be either 8 or 9.  But looking at the right dial (100) the hand is between 0 and 2, so  the 1000 reads 9
  • The 100 dial is over the 2, so the read could be either 1 or 2.  But looking at the right dial (10) the hand is between 0 and 8, so  the 100 reads 1
  • The 10 dial is also over the 9, so the read could be either 8 or 9.  But looking at the right dial (1) the hand is between 0 and 2, so  the 10 reads 8
  • Finally the 1 dial reads 0.  If it was over a number, just use that number
  • So this meter reads, 09180

Copy down the reads and enter them into your tenant portal, with the date you took the read.

Finally, when taking the picture to support your read, try and make sure you point your phone camera directly in line with the meter, so all the readings are clear.  Check that the photo is in focus too.  When you’re happy, you can send us the read and the photo

Digital meters

These are either mechanical or LCD screen based meters, and are easy to read.

Mechanical Meters

Just provide the numbers before the decimal place/before the numbers in red. If you have an electric economy 7 meter, it will have two counters. Read them as before, but label each read with what the meter says – Day, High (H), Normal (N)  R1, or Night, Low (L), R2.

If a digit is in between numbers – like the last digit in the photo below, use the lower number

Here’s an example

mechanical meters | Guide to Meter Readings

This reads 09076

Copy down the reads and enter them into your tenant portal, with the date you took the read.

Finally, when taking the picture to support your read, try and make sure you point your phone camera directly in line with the meter, so all the readings are clear.  Check that the photo is in focus too.  When you’re happy, you can send us the read and the photo

LCD Meters – Not economy 7

These are usually straight forwards. Just provide the numbers,  but if they have a decimal dot, ignore the digit after it 

Here’s an example of an electricity digital meter:

LCD meters | Guide to Meter Readings

This reads 09136.  There isn’t a decimal place in this meter

Copy down the read and enter them into your tenant portal, with the date you took the read. Finally, when taking the picture to support your read, try and make sure you point your phone camera directly in line with the meter, so all the readings are clear.  Check that the photo is in focus too.  When you’re happy, you can send us the read and the photo

LCD Meters – Electric Economy 7

It gets a bit more complicated if you have an Economy 7 electric supply. We need two reads,

  1.  one labelled for the day, high(H),  normal(N)
  2.  and one labelled for the night, low(L) 

There are also a few different types of meter:

  • Some permanently display both reads.
  • Some automatically alternate between the reads, displaying after the other, pausing for a few seconds on each read
  • Others only display one read, but have a big button on the meter. Press the big button to get the other read.

Copy down both reads, making sure you know which read is which, and enter them into your tenant portal, with the date you took the read.

Finally, when taking the pictures to support your reads, try and make sure you point your phone camera directly in line with the meter, so all the readings are clear.  Check that the photo is in focus too.  When you’re happy, you can send us the read and the photo

For the meters that flash the reads alternately, or you have to push a button, send us a short video instead, so we can be sure that the readings are correct

Smart meters

For technical reasons that are simply too boring to go into, a lot of smart meters no longer talk to the supplier, so they can’t be read remotely…
This unfortunately means that you will still have to read these meters, and they are the most unfriendly ones to read!

Some smart meters also have displays inside the house (IHDs).  Unfortunately, these do not display the data that the suppliers need to verify the reads, so you’ll have to find the actual meter.

There are multiple types of smart meter, but they all have the same sort of technology:

  • A digital display for the read, usually  backlit so you can see it easily
  • A set of buttons to extract the reading you need and display it
  • Lots of different internal reads that can be displayed on the single display.  We generally only need one or two reads, so you have to cycle through the reads, using the buttons to get the right read
  • Usually the correct reads are only displayed for a moment, so we recommend you video the process to make life easier for you and us to verify the reads

Here’s how to get that read:

Smart meters with keypads – Not Economy 7

Here the display shows a legend describing the next screen, then a read screen and so on.  Once you set it going, it will display 6 to 8 screens.  The number 9 button sets off the process.

To read it:

  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”. You can ignore any numbers after the decimal point
  3. The meter will also show you reads with kVH in it, and “£” and months and all sorts, which you can ignore.
  4. If it’s a gas meter, or combined meter, the process is the same, but the display will read “Volume” and the read we need has a flame symbol and a “m3″  symbol.

Copy down the read, and enter them into your tenant portal, with the date you took the read.

Finally, when taking a video to support your read, try and make sure you point your phone camera directly in line with the meter, so all the readings are clear.  Check that the video is in focus too.  When you’re happy, you can send us the read and the video

Smart meters with keypads – Economy 7

This is similar to the above, but the number 6 button sets off the process.

To read it:

  • On the keypad, press the number 6 button
  • On an electric meter, we need the reading after the display “IMP R01” The reading will have a flag with kWH, a lightning or plug symbol and possibly “R1”.
  • Then there will be another reading after the display “IMP R02” The reading will have a flag with kWH, a lightning or plug symbol and possibly “R2”.
  • Just to confuse you, R1 is for the night read, R2 is for the day read

Copy down the reads, making sure you know which read is which, and enter them into your tenant portal, with the date you took the read.

Finally, when taking a video to support your reads, try and make sure you point your phone camera directly in line with the meter, so all the readings are clear.  Check that the video is in focus too.  When you’re happy, you can send us the read and the video.

Smart Meters with buttons – Electric, not Economy 7

These are similar to the keypad versions, but generally have less screens!

Here you generally push one button, and you get the reading straight away

There are these main types:

  • Meter has A and B buttons under the screen
  • Push the A button repeatedly until you see a screen with “TOTAL ACT IMPORT” and a reading with kWH after it.  This is your reading
  • Meter has a green A button to the right of the screen, and a white B button below the screen
  • Press the B button to activate the screen
  • Wait until the screen says “Meter Boost”, then click the A button (the screen may show “no”)
  • The following reading shown is the reading you want
  • Meter has 3 buttons in a line to the right of the screen
  • Press the middle button, and you should see a display with IMP and kWH after a reading. This is your reading
  • Meter has one orange button, and two blue buttons
  • Press the orange button, the screen should show a reading followed by kWH. This is your reading
  • Meter has two white buttons to the right of the screen
  • This meter cycles through all it’s screens automatically – you don’t have to press a button
  • The reading you need is labelled kWH.  Use this reading
  • Meter has two buttons to the left of the screen, labelled Reconnect and Display or Display Select
  • Click Display repeatedl ( Display Select), until you see a reading followed by kWH.  It may also have IMP on the display.  This is your reading
  • Meter has a green A button and a grey B button to the right of the screen
  • The display shows the reading you need, followed by kWH.  You don’t have to press a button.  Use this reading

Copy down the read, and enter them into your tenant portal, with the date you took the read.

Finally, when taking a video to support your read, try and make sure you point your phone camera directly in line with the meter, so all the readings are clear.  Check that the video is in focus too.  When you’re happy, you can send us the read and the video

Smart Meters with buttons – Electric, Economy 7

These are similar to the the ones above, but you need to use a different key press to get the economy 7 readings

There are these main types:

  • Meter has a green A button to the right of the screen, and a white B button below the screen
  • Press the A button repeatedly until you see a display with “Rate 01 Act Imp” and a reading with kWH.  This is your night read
  • Press the A button again until you see a display with “Rate 02 Act Imp” and a reading with kWH.  This is your day read
  • Meter has 3 buttons in a line to the right of the screen
  • Press the middle button, and you should see a display with R1 IMP and kWH after a reading. This is your night read
  • Press the middle button again, and you should see a display with R2 IMP and kWH after a reading. This is your day read

Copy down the reads, making sure you know which read is which, and enter them into your tenant portal, with the date you took the read.

Finally, when taking a video to support your reads, try and make sure you point your phone camera directly in line with the meter, so all the readings are clear.  Check that the video is in focus too.  When you’re happy, you can send us the read and the video.

Smart Meters with buttons – Gas

These are similar to the keypad versions, but generally have less screens!Here you generally push one button, and you get the reading straight away

There are these main types:

  • Meter has A and B buttons under the screen
  • Push the A button repeatedly until you see a screen with “METER INDEX” and a reading with M3 after it.  This is your reading
  • Meter has three square buttons under the screen
  • Press the left most button, and you’ll see a reading followed by M3
  • The reading shown is the reading you want
  • Meter has a circle button and two arrow buttons
  • Press the circle button,  and you’ll see a reading followed by M3
  • The reading shown is the reading you want
  • Meter has an orange and a blue button
  • Press the orange button, the screen should show a reading followed by M3. This is your reading
  • Meter has two white buttons to the right of the screen
  • Press the rightmost button, and you’ll see a reading followed by M3
  • The reading shown is the reading you want
  • Meter has one  button to the left of the screen, and one to the right
  • Press either button, until you see a label “01” followed by a reading and M3.  This is your reading

Copy down the read, and enter them into your tenant portal, with the date you took the read.

Finally, when taking a video to support your read, try and make sure you point your phone camera directly in line with the meter, so all the readings are clear.  Check that the video is in focus too.  When you’re happy, you can send us the read and the video Phew! We know it can seem complicated, but once you get a handle on it, it’s not too bad.

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 [email protected]. 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.