How to Read Your Residential Electric Meter

Electricity is measured in kilowatt-hours. For example, a 100-watt light bulb burning for 10 hours uses one kilowatt-hour. There are two types of electric meters that measure how many kilowatt-hours you use each month – digital and dial.

The Dial Meter

On a dial meter there are five dials, numbered 0 through 9, with the 0 at the top. You’ll notice that the numbers go around the face clockwise on some dials, but counterclockwise on every other dial.
Read the dials from left to right. When the pointer lies between two numbers, record the smaller number. If the pointer is directly on a number, look at the dial to its immediate right. If that pointer has not passed zero, write down the smaller number.
Just subtract the previous reading from the new reading, and you will know how many kilowatt-hours you have used.

This meter is reading 81384.
This meter is reading 81384.

The Digital Meter

Reading a digital meter is similar to reading numbers on your vehicles odometer. Every time the number increases, you’ve used another kilowatt-hour.

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