how to read your meter can help you track your energy use and use your
energy more efficiently. If you've never read your meter before, follow
the instructions below for reading water
or electric meters. Reading a meter is easier than you think.
In order to keep a close check
on how much water you are using, you may want to take regular readings of
your water meter.
The first step is to locate your meter which is generally enclosed in a
concrete or plastic box located near the street, inside the curb in front
of your lot. Remove the concrete or plastic cover carefully to avoid
injury and damage and set it aside. Be careful to watch for insects,
particularly spiders. (Remember to close the lid and replace the
cover securely when you are finished).
There are two basic kinds of water meters - those with an odometer and
those with multiple dials:
The odometer type of water
meter reads exactly like the mileage indicator on your car.
Disregard any needle since this is used only for testing
The multiple dial type of water meter has small dials in a circle, each
marked off in ten divisions. Each dial reads like the hour hand on a
clock. Note that every other hand turns counter-clockwise. To read
the meter, start with the 10 dial (as marked) and always use the lower
number. Write the numbers down from right to left. A
"one-foot" dial is only for testing purposes. If your read
a meter a month later, subtract the old reading from the new and your will
find the amount you have used in cubic feet of water. Multiply by
7.48 and you will find the number of gallons of water used between the two
Locating Your Meter
If there are several meters
on the wall, yours will be labeled with the Meter Number as seen on your
bill. Before you can read your meter, you have to find it. Use the following
tips to locate your meter.
- The meter is usually near the main fuse
box or panel of circuit breakers.
- The meter is usually on the outside of
the house or apartment building.
- The meter is usually about 5 feet above
- The meter has a round glass bowl
covering four or five small dials that look like tiny clocks.
- If there are several meters on the wall,
yours will be labeled with the Meter Number in the Electricity Usage
Section of your bill.
Some meters have four dials and some have
five, but the method used to read them both is the same. Older meters have
"clock" hands that take some practice to read correctly, but
newer meters use "odometer" style dials that can be read
Reading Your Meter
Meter Read (AMR) meters (pictured at left) are now the standard for new
and replacement meters at homes, apartments and condominium complexes in
Pasadena. The meters transmit a radio signal that automatically transfers
billing data to handheld receivers our meter readers carry on their routes.
These meters allow PWP to collect billing data much more quickly and
accurately. To read an AMR meter, simply read the Solid State Digital
readout in the center of the meter. To determine usage for the current
billing period, subtract the meter reading on the previous bill from the
current meter reading.
If your meter has 4 or 5 round dials numbered clockwise from 1 to
0, follow these steps.
- Pointers indicate
the reading on each dial.
- The pointers
rotate in alternating directions (see example below).
1. Starting with the
dial on the right and proceeding to the left, record the numbers
- If a pointer is
between two numbers, record the LOWER number.
- If a pointer is
directly on a number, check if the pointer on the dial to the right
has moved past zero. If it has NOT passed zero, record the lower
number from the original dial.
2. Congratulations! The 4-
or 5-digit number (depending on the number of dials on your meter) you've
just recorded is your new meter reading. In
the example above, the four
dial reads 9045 and the five dial reads 97616.
3. To determine how much
electricity (measured in kilowatt-hours, or kWh) you've used since your
meter was read last, subtract the previous meter reading (from the usage
section of your bill) from your new meter reading.
The meter below reads
26064, as follows: