The different types of meters explained

Standard meter

This is the most common type of electricity meter and uses a mechanical display to show your readings. You'll need to take a reading of five black numbers from left to right - ignoring any red numbers (if present).

Dial meter

Look like small traditional clocks but are slightly more complex. When reading your dial meter, always remember that dials next to each other go around in opposite directions.

Read the numbers on the dials from left to right, ignoring the last red dial (if it is present), or any dials without figures or hands. If the needle is between two figures, write down the figure the dial has just passed.

The reading now needs adjusting to make allowances for any small variations in the pointer positions. If the figure is directly over the figure, say 5, write down that figure and underline it. Look at the figure underlined.

If one of those numbers in the sequence is followed by a 9, reduce the underlined figure by 1 (so the underlined '5' becomes '4').

Digital meters

Use the first five figures on the digital display and ignore any last figure that begins 0.1. You may need to press a button to get the figure to display.

Economy 7

There are two types of Economy 7 meter. The first type has two displays - the top row is for 'day rate' electricity marked 'Normal' and the bottom row, which is marked 'Low', shows 'night rate'.

Prepayment meters

There are several types of prepayment meters. Standard prepayment meters can be single or two-rate (with two rows of figures, as with Economy 7). Token meters are read as digital meters.

To take a meter reading, you will usually have to press a button on the meter (often blue). This will change the display from showing the remaining credit to showing the actual reading. From there on, it's just like taking a normal meter reading.

When taking an electricity meter reading, always check both displays. The second type has a single row of numbers that shows 'day rate' electricity. To provide a reading for 'night rate' electricity, press the red button.

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