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Reading your meter
The numbers on electronic and digital displays should always be read from left to right. Write down the first five numbers shown. Red numbers, or numbers after a decimal point, should be ignored.
If you want to work out how much electricity you use, write down the numbers and take a note of the date. The next time you take a reading subtract the second reading from the first and you will know how many units (kilowatt hours) you have used in the period since you took your first reading.
The same principle applies for reading dial meters. These should also be read from left to right, ignoring the final (usually red) dial. Write down the number closest to each pointer. If the pointer is between two numbers, write down the lower number, but if the pointer is between 9 and 0, write down 9.
If there are two rows of numbers, the top row is usually for off-peak and may be marked ’low’ or ’night’. The bottom row is usually for peak and may be marked ’normal’ or ’standard’.
Some variable rate meters have only one digital display. This type of meter will usually show the charging rate that’s currently in use. These meters should have a button that will cycle through the readings for the different rates.
If you are working out how much electricity you have used, make sure you note clearly which reading is which.
Prepayment meters normally display the amount of credit remaining for use. To obtain a reading from a prepayment meter, you will have to press a button on the meter to change the digital display. Pressing the button repeatedly will allow you to cycle through the display screens (to return to the original screen, stop pressing the button). Every prepayment meter provides a range of information but all are configured slightly differently. However, most use letters to count the display screens and include displays for:
    current credit;
    total credit accepted – ie, amount topped up onto meter;
    reading for rate 1;
    price per unit for rate 1;
    reading for rate 2 (if appropriate);
    price per unit for rate 2;
    standing charge;
    amount available for emergency credit;
    debt repayment level (if appropriate).
Note: you may have to insert your key/card/token to view all the displays.