How to read your electric meter
You can monitor your electric usage between bills by learning to read your meter.
Your meter has several dials that look something like watch faces. These dials have pointers that turn very slowly when electricity is being used. They don't turn in the same direction; every other one turns counter-clockwise. They keep track of the amount of electricity flowing through the meter by measuring kilowatt-hours.
The dials are similar to the odometer on your car where the number on the right records the smallest increments of travel. On an electric meter the dial on the right records one kilowatt-hour at a time.
- Read the dials from right to left and write the numbers down in the same order.
- If the pointer is between the numbers, record the smaller number.
- If the pointer is directly on a number, read the next smallest number, unless the pointer on the dial to the right has passed zero.
It's best to read your meter regularly, at about the same time each month or week. Then follow this formula to determine your kilowatt-hour usage:
- Subtract the previous reading from the present reading
- Multiply the difference by the number shown in the "multiplier" column of your electric bill. The meter will show the multiplier as well.
This will give you the number of kilowatt-hours used between your present and previous readings.
Note: Some meters only record part of your electricity use. In these cases, we use a multiplier to convert the meter reading to actual use. The multiplier is usually written on the face of the meter.
To calculate the cost of your use, multiply the number of kilowatt-hours you used by 8.16 cents (.0816) which is the cost of each kilowatt-hour.