Electricity Meter Reading
One of the easiest and most effective ways you can take control of your energy bills is to ensure you take regular electric meter readings. This is because your energy supplier charges you on the information you provide them. If you do not provide a regular electric meter reading to your supplier, they are forced to estimate what your bills will be. Such estimations can lead to problems later on, including overpaying or underpaying for your energy needs. You are, therefore, recommended to provide regular, monthly, electricity readings to your energy supplier to avoid any such issues.
How to take an electric meter reading
When taking an electric meter reading it is important to know exactly what you should be looking for:
- To read a meter correctly, you should first ensure you read the dials from left to right
- When taking a reading, if the pointer is between two numbers, you should use the lower number
- If the pointer falls between 9 and 0, you should write down 9 and then lower the dial reading on its left by 1
- The last dial on the right does not need to be noted down
When reading electric meter dials, it is important to follow the above instructions to provide your energy supplier with accurate readings that ensure you only pay for exactly what you use.
How to submit an electricity meter reading
When submitting an electricity meter reading, you can do it in one of two ways. Firstly, you can provide your meter readings directly to your supplier online. This way has proven popular in recent years because of the use of smartphones and other smart devices and the subsequent convenience they provide. The entire process is very simple and usually involves logging into your private account and inputting your latest meter reading. This means you can now provide meter readings from anywhere and at any time.
Secondly, your other option is to submit electricity meter readings over the telephone directly to your energy supplier. Your energy supplier will have agents on hand to take your information. Ensure to check the operation hours before calling.
If you have a smart meter, you won’t need to update your supplier as your devices smart electric meter reading technology will automatically let them know how much energy you’re using.
Why it’s best to avoid estimated energy bills
The main reason why you always ensure to provide regular meter readings to your energy supplier is to avoid estimated billing. Estimated billing occurs when your energy supplier does not have an accurate, up-to-date reading from you. When this happens, they are forced to estimate how much you have used that month depending on previous figures. Of course, with monthly energy bills usually differing from one month to the next, this can lead to one of two things; overpaying or underpaying.
If your bills are overestimated, you will find yourself suddenly paying more each month for your energy. This overpaying will continue until the energy supplier is given an accurate reading. While you will, of course, get back any money you have been overpaying, it may set you back financially until you receive a rebate. If your energy bill has been underestimated, you may suddenly find yourself owing your energy supplier a big sum. If you are unable to pay this in the allocated period, you may experience problems with your energy supply, as well difficulties switching to other suppliers and taking advantage of cheaper tariffs later on.
What are the different types of electricity meter?
There are numerous meters currently available on the market, each slightly different from the other in terms of the information they provide or how they need to be read. For example, smart electric meter reading can be very simple as many automatically update your energy supplier for you, eliminating the need for you to do anything. The following meters are currently available:
- Standard meters – The most common type. They display energy usage in kWh using a basic mechanical display
- Digital meters – Provide readings on an LCD screen. Often required to press a button for the reading to appear
- Dial meters - Similar to standard meters, but with the information in the form of a series of clock-like dials rather than using numbers.
- Prepayment meters - Prepayment meters require you to pay for your energy in advance – often through the use of a card of key to activate the power in your home/business
- Smart meters - Smart meters provide much more information, such as your energy usage in real time. Often connected directly to your energy supplier – meaning readings are taken automatically.
No matter what type of energy meter you have installed, you need to make sure you're on the bets