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How to Understand an Eletric Meter

How to Understand an Electric Meter

If you are living in Central Florida you may be trying to figure out why your electric bill is so high; a great first step is knowing how to read the electric meter on the side of your home. It can help you see errors in your electric bill and allow you to rectify them. As of now, there are four types of electric meters in use, smart meters, digital meters, electronic meters, and the old fashioned dial meters. Here are some ways to read different meters. The first step will be to record the data from the meter.

Digital Meters.

If you have a digital electric meter, it will show a series of numbers. Make sure to copy these numbers down from left to right. Ignore any numbers highlighted in red or inside of a red box. If there are two rows of numbers on your meter, you should copy the second row in the same way. The presence of two rows of numbers means that you have a “day rate” and a “night rate” on your electricity bill.

Electronic Meters.

On your electronic, electric meter, you may have to push a button to see the display of your reading, or, it may have an automatic scroll feature. Record the numbers from left to right, excluding any red numbers. If there are two rows of numbers, copy them down the same way as you did the first row.

Smart Meters.

The newest form of electric meter is a smart meter. For many, smart meters can be intimidating and somewhat confusing. To read the meter, you need to press the number nine on the keypad. It will bring up the letters IMP and KWH and followed by eight numbers with kWh at the bottom of the screen. These numbers are your meter’s reading. If your meter also records day and night readings, press down six on the keypad until you see IMP RO1 followed by eight numbers, which should be a night reading. Pressing and holding six again will show IMP R02 followed by eight more numbers; this should be the day reading. Many smart meters include instructions for finding your meter’s readings printed right on the meter; if not your manual (if you have one) will tell you, or looking up the model on the internet may instruct you on how to read it. If all else fails, call the power company for instructions on how to read your smart meter.

Dial Electric Meters.

Old style meters can be tricky to read for the elderly and younger people who are used to the digital age. Every dial on an old-fashioned meter turns the opposite direction from the one prior and has numbers ranging from zero to nine. The dials should be read from left to right. If the arrow is between two numbers, use the lower number. If the arrow is between the nine and zero, use nine and then subtract one from the previous dial. For example, if the arrow is between nine and zero, and the previous dial read seven, record nine and six. The dial to the far right is not used in your reading and should be ignored.

How to Interpret Your Meter Reading.

After recording your meter’s reading, locate last month’s statement from your electric provider. Because your meter will never reset to zero, you will need to subtract the previous month’s total from your current reading. The result will be your total kWh use for the current month. Next, multiply the current reading by the amount your utility charges per kilowatt-hour plus any static fees. The total should be a near approximation of your current bill. If there is a notable difference in the total of your actual bill when it arrives, first re-check your calculations, then call your electric provider and ask about the discrepancy.

If you are in the Lakeland, Kissimmee, and Clermont areas, and you feel your electric bill is higher than it should be, call 863-333-0762 or fill out our online contact form, one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members will be happy to discuss it with you.