Electricity Saving: How to Read Your Meter

You can reduce your electric bill by learning how to read your electric meter. It is generally located outside, on the side of your house. The meter consists of five dials, each numbered from 0 to 9. Each number represents a kilowatt hour of energy.

Reading the Meter

Start at the dial on the far right. Similar to a second-hand on a clock, this dial will move faster than all other dials. Record the number that the dial just passed. For example, let's say the dial just passed the number “5.”

Now read the next dial to the left. Record the number that the dial just passed. Let’s say it just passed “7.” Combine the numbers from these two dials. Your kilowatt hours usage would be “75.”

Continue reading the dials from right to left. Record the latest number passed by each dial. If you do not use much electricity, the dial on the far left may be “0.”

Calculating Total Energy Usage

To calculate your home’s total energy usage, subtract your meter's current reading from a previous reading. For example, if your current reading is 10,123 and your prior reading was 9,123, your kilowatt hour usage would be 1,000. Multiply that by your electric supplier’s rate. For example, if your electric supplier rate is 0.12, your electric bill would be $120, based on the examples above.

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