How do I read my meter?

Meters are used to measure your energy usage and can come in many different forms. We understand that it can be difficult trying to make sense of how to read a meter, depending on which one you own. In this article we are going to go through each meter and explain how you read them, both for gas and electricity. If you have a dual fuel plan, you will most likely have a smart meter.

Electricity meters

  • Check for any exposed, burnt or damaged parts before touching the meter.
  • If there is any sign of hazard, do not touch the meter and contact your provider immediately.
  • All electricity meters will have a unique meter number and an NMI (National Meter Identifier)

Clock face electricity meter:

A clock face meter will have multiple small clocks faces on it. Note down the numbers from each clock to get a reading, from left to right. If the needle is in-between two numbers, note the lower one.

Electronic electricity meter:

This is as simple as touching the button, and waiting 5-10 seconds for it to display your reading. Note this down, and that is your reading done!

Smart meters:

These meters are becoming more and more popular as you do not have to take a manual reading from them. Instead, it automatically sends a digital reading on a regular basis (sometimes as quick as every thirty minutes) to your supplier. You can view your daily usage on the screen, and also log in to see how much you have used so far, to estimate your bill.

Gas meters:

  • All gas meters will have a meter number.
  • Your meter number will be dependent on what state you live in, in Australia.
  • Gas meters will either be in metric or imperial units.

Metric gas meters:

Read the black and white digits from left to right, and ignore the ones in red. That will give you your reading.  These are simple to understand. Please note that if you notice any damage to your gas meter, contact your provider immediately.

Imperial gas meters:

These are slightly trickier to understand, as the measure is done in cubic feet. Similar to a clock face meter for electricity, read the clocks from left to right and jot the numbers down. If the needle is in-between two, take the lower number on your recording. The clock face that displays ½ and 2 should not be used in the meter reading.

In summary, reading your gas and electricity meters should not be too difficult as long as you follow the above instructions. The best type of meter to get, if you find taking manual readings difficult, would be a smart meter. This is because it will automatically send a reading to your provider without you having to record it. The benefit of a smart meter is that is more accurate than a manual reading, as a lot of the time this is based on estimated usage, not real-time usage.


Author: Claire Stapley
Claire Stapley is's Energy Editor, based in Melbourne Australia. Claire is a founding member of News and Energy Team.