Reading Your Electric Meter and How to Lower Utility Bills

Reading Your Electric Meter and How to Lower Utility Bills

The average utility bill is increasing year after year and so it’s never been more important to find out how you can lower your utility bills to overcome this problem. The first step is to understand how to properly read your electric meter — this will allow you to monitor your electricity usage and make educated decisions about your usage.

Throughout the next few sections we’re going to discuss two topics: reading your electric meter, and lowering your utility bills.

Reading Your Electric Meter

Reading your electric meter shouldn’t be too difficult, however, many people get overwhelmed because one person’s electric meter can be different from another. There are four types of electric meters.

Take a look at the list below to find out about the types of electric meters and how to properly read them:

Single rate meter – these are the simplest meters to read as they only have one display; the display can either be electronic or digital. You will see five numbers, usually in black or white, and one or two red numbers following. Simply write down the numbers in white, the red numbers can be ignored.

Two rate digital meter – these meters are a bit more complicated. You will have two displays: a top row (marked “low”) and a bottom row (marked “normal”). Follow the instructions for the single rate meter, make sure to get both readings.

Two rate electronic meter – this is a two rate meter which only has one display. Your electric meter will either cycle between readings or have a button that you can press to cycle yourself. Simply note down the two readings, make sure to note down all of the numbers.

Dial meter – these meters are more complicated, but still aren’t that difficult to read. Take a look at the first five dials (some meters only have five), ignoring the dial marked 1/10. Simply take the number from each of the dial with the help of the pointer, you should note down the number which has just been passed by the pointer. If the pointer is directly over a number, note that number down and underline it.

Lowering Your Utility Bills

Now that you know how to properly read your electric meter, you should only be paying for what you have used. However, let’s take it a step further and find out how you can reduce your utility bills even more.
First and foremost, make use of comparison websites, they will show you the cheapest deal and find you reliable suppliers. The best part of this is that it will only take around 10 minutes, and you can save hundreds on your utility bill every year. You should also look at the payment methods available, some payment methods are cheaper than others.

You should make an effort to only use the electricity when you actually need to use it. This is one of the most common — and most damaging — ways in which people use too much electricity and get sky-high utility bills.

You might also want to think about installing some energy-saving products such as a new boiler, double-glazing windows, and insulation. Even though these might be quite expensive initially, you’ll definitely save money in the long-term.

Closing Notes

Hopefully you are now able to properly read your electric meter, and have a few good ideas to lower your utility bills. We often take our electricity for granted and don’t realize just how expensive it can be to leave lights, kitchen applications, and other electrics running for just a few extra hours every day.