Lowering your bill
Understand your usage
How to read your meters
Reading your meter can help you better understand your energy usage. Below we explain how to read various types of electricity meters, including Time of Use meters, as well as your gas meter.
The analogue electricity meter used as an example below uses five dials to give a reading.
Using our example image above, the numbers recorded should be 3-4-9-4-6. This reading shows 34,946 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Are you confused by the second number recorded from the dial reading in this image?
Not all dial meter displays look like the above example. In some meters, the placement of numbers in each dial runs in the opposite direction to the dials shown above.
This analogue electricity meter looks like an odometer in your car. Numbers are read from left to right.
The meter has five white digits that show the kilowatt hours of electricity that have been used.
The above image shows 92,992 kilowatt hours of electricity.
The electronic electricity meter is read using the display button to switch through a series of screens. All readings are recorded in a non-volatile electronic memory, so no readings will be lost in the event the meter loses power.
There are many different styles of electronic meters. The following illustration and instructions pertain to a common example of the electronic electricity meter.
To read the meter, press the display button. The first screen is the test pattern and shows a series of eights. To read the other screens, press the display button to move onto the next one. Beside each reading a number will appear:
Not all electronic electricity meters look like the illustration above. For example, the latest meters installed display the kilowatt hours used in three separate registers.
TOU meters have a scroll rate of five seconds for each display window. To manually scroll through each window, momentarily press the right-hand button to access the next screen. In some cases this button will activate the boost function for controlled loads (such as storage hot water) if the button is pressed for five seconds. Boost mode switches on controlled load devices outside of programmed off-peak operation times.
Not all TOU meters look like the illustration above.
For more detailed information on how to read 3-phase meters (sprint 200), single-phase single element meters (with green push buttons) and single-phase twin element meters (with blue push buttons) you can download our guide to reading TOU meters (PDF, 300kb).
The default display for all customers will be a TOU display, however consumption will be billed as per the pricing plan you have in place with your retailer.
The numbers on your gas meter's dial show the total volume of natural gas that has passed through it in cubic metres.
To calculate the amount of gas you have consumed during this period, you need to deduct the previous reading from the figure on the meter. You can find your previous reading on your last gas bill.
You can then work out your energy usage in mega joules (MJ). Using this consumption figure multiply it by the conversion factor that is on your gas bill. The conversion factor refers to the amount of energy (MJs) per cubic metre of gas.