Reading your electricity meter enables you to find out your energy consumption in kilowatt-hours by subtracting last year’s reading from this years’. When should you read your meter? How do you read different meter types (standard meter, dual-rate meter or budget meter)? And what’s the point? Answers in this article!
Various circumstances might lead you to read your electricity meter:
You will need to fill in an energy transfer document (PDF). This form, completed by both old and new occupants, will indicate your contact details and the readings from your electricity meter. Warning: If you do not fill in this form, your new instalment bill will be based on the energy consumption of the previous occupier. If they used less electricity than you, you may be faced with a big shortfall when the adjustment bill arrives.
You will receive a meter reading card through the post inviting you to submit your electricity readings. A technician’s visit may also be scheduled. If you cannot be home when they call, you can always place your completed card in your window or on your front door.
The annual meter reading date depends on the distribution system operator (DSO) affiliated with your area. Most companies will allow you to submit readings by post, by telephone or via their website:
Once you have submitted your readings, your DSO will inform your electricity supplier, who will issue an adjustment bill. You will receive a settlement bill based on the difference between the current reading and last year’s reading and the instalment amounts paid over the last 12 months. If you have not paid enough in instalments, you will have to make up the shortfall. If you have paid too much, the surplus will be credited to your next bill.
One to two weeks before your new contract begins, your DSO will ask you to take a meter reading. This reading will enable your previous supplier to calculate your closing bill and your new supplier to calculate your monthly instalment bill.
Did you know? For perfect control of your energy consumption, you can read your electricity meter every three months and send the readings to your DSO. This “self-reading” enables you to adjust your instalment bills and limit the risk of big shortfalls.
The first thing is to check that the last four digits on your electricity meter match the number on your meter reading card (1).
A standard electricity meter has a single display. Write the figures before the decimal point (in this example: 62224) on your meter reading card. This procedure also applies to night-only meters.
A day/night meter has two displays. Write down the figures before the decimal point on the day meter, symbolised by a little sun (in this example: 16404); then write down the figures before the decimal point on the night meter, symbolised by a little moon (in this example: 54415).
Different from other meters, the electronic meter (or budget meter) requires you to press a button (the colours depends on the installation) several times to find the information you want. In general, the figure  appears for the “day” reading, and the figure  for the “night” reading.