Your questions, answered.

How to read your meters

Step One

Check that your gas meter’s serial number, matches the meter number shown on your bill. The number will often be somewhere in the small print of your bill. If the serial numbers don’t match, you could well have a problem and you should contact your supplier to check they have the right information.

Step Two: Different Types of Meters

Smart Gas Meter

Smart gas meters should send your meter readings to your energy supplier automatically. Many in-home displays will also show your meter readings (you may need to scroll through the menus) to save you going outside or into a tight cupboard to access your meter. If your smart meter isn’t sending automatic meter readings, or you want to check, you still take a reading manually. How you see the reading depends on the meter.

Digital Metric or Imperial Gas Meter

The digital or older imperial gas meter is arguably the most common type of gas meter found in UK homes and in terms of reading is pretty straightforward.

The first thing to do is establish exactly what type of meter you have.

If your meter only has 4 numbers to the left of any numbers in red then your meter is an older imperial-type meter.

If your meter has 5 numbers to the left of a decimal point or space then you have a newer-style metric meter.

In either case, to read your meter and provide your supplier with a meter reading simply note down the 4 (imperial meter) or 5 (metric meter) numbers to the left of any numbers in red, spaces or decimal points, reading them from left to right and adding them to your suppliers online meter reading facility of on the provided form if using a paper form.

Dial Gas Meter

If you don’t have the above digital metric or imperial-type meter, then the chances are that you have a dial gas meter.

If you’re not familiar with these types of meter then on first glance they can appear very confusing to read, but once you’ve got your head around how they work and what each dial is displaying, they’re fairly simple.

Here follows a few rules on how to read a dial gas meter:

  • Read each dial from left to right, ignoring any dials in red, the large dial and also any that are marked up as “100 per rev”
  • If the dial hand/pointer is resting between two numbers, always go with the lower number
  • If the hand/pointer rests between 0 and 9, always go with 9
  • After noting down your meter reading, if any of the numbers are stated as 9 you will need to take 1 away from the dial immediately to the left
  • Pay attention to the way in which the numbers run around the face of the dial, some will run clockwise others counter-clockwise. Generally the first and third dials will run clockwise and the second and fourth will run counter-clockwise. Depending on which way they run, make sure you read the dial accordingly

Step Three

If you follow the simple rules above then reading a dial meter is as easy as reading any other type of meter.

If you have read through all of the information and tips above, you should now be familiar with exactly how your supplier produces your gas bill, how you can work out your gas usage yourself and check your bills are accurate and also how to read all the common gas meters to get a reading.

All energy bills are priced in kilowatt Hours (kWh), so your supplier has to do a calculation to turn the numbers on your gas meter (units) into kWh’s. This calculation differs, depending on whether you have an imperial meter or a metric meter.