How to Read Your Home Electric and Gas Meters
If you’re trying to get a handle on your home energy consumption and want to verify what is shown on the bill from your utility company, it’s important to understand a few things about the electric and gas meters at your home.
First off, you need to make sure you’re comparing the readings with the same number of heating degree days for that same time period. A heating degree day is every day the high temperature is below 65 degrees. Your heating use should be proportional to the number of heating degree days.
For the electric gas meter, utility companies bill by the kilowatt hour (kWh) – the unit of measure for electric power is a watt, and one thousand watts is a kilowatt. As you use electricity, the gears on your meter move and your meter tracks how many revolutions the gears go around.
According to the Department of Energy, when reading an electric meter, read and write down the numbers as shown on the dials from right to left. When the pointer is directly on a number, look at the dial to the right. If it has passed zero, use the next higher number. If it has not passed zero, use the lower number. Record the numbers shown by writing down the value of the dial to your extreme right first and the rest as you come to them. Should the hand of a dial fall between two numbers, use the smaller of the two numbers
Gas meters operate similarly. A gas meter is driven by the force of the moving gas in the pipe, and also turns faster as the flow increases. Each time the dial with the lower value makes one complete revolution, the pointer on the next higher value dial moves ahead one digit.
When reading a gas meter, read and write down the numbers as shown on the dials from left to right (opposite of an electric meter). It is important to remember that the hands of adjacent dials turn in opposite directions to each other.
Still confused? Contact your local utility company with your specific questions or concerns, as they can best help you reconcile what’s on your meter with what’s on your energy bill. For HVAC questions and tips to keep your electric and gas meters low, contact your Minnesota heating and cooling experts.
For more energy saving and home comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.