Reading your gas and electric meter might seem like a daunting prospect, but when you know what to look out for, it’s actually pretty straightforward. Don't worry, no-one knows exactly what to look for the first time. Here’s some simple tips on how to read your gas and electric meter.
There’s a few different types of meter, which are read slightly differently:
Digital gas meter
There are only 5 numbers you need to be concerned about which are the first, before the decimal point.
Imperial gas meter
This will have the last couple of numbers shown in small red boxes, ignore these red numbers and just write down the first 4 numbers.
These are a little easier as you often just have to write the number down the dial is pointing to or the closest one it's to. Always write down the lower number if it's between numbers.
There are lots of different types including single rate, two rate and dial meters. Again, there are only certain numbers you need be concerned about writing down.
Ignore any red numbers for the meters and write down the rest. For the two rate meter, make sure you write down the numbers in the order shown, so the first line before the second line. For the dial meter, there may be an extra dial which is smaller than the rest so you ignore this one and just write the numbers the other dials are pointing to.
What to look out for
Sometimes your meter may have stopped working, check it every month and if the dials aren't moving or the numbers aren't changing then you may need to get your landlord to have a look or get a professional round.
How often should I read my meter?
Often the gas/electricity company you are with will ask you to take a reading. Sometimes however they may send someone round just to double check as they know people can get their readings wrong and be under/overcharged. However, it is recommended that you read it every month to work out exactly how much you're using and how you might be able to cut down.
How much am I using?
You can easily install clever gadgets such as an electricity monitor which costs about £40-50 and enables you to easily understand how many watts you're using without having to work out what the numbers.
How can I save money?
Well firstly you need to keep an eye out on the company you are with and what tariff you're on. Often, people don't shop around and stick with the same company because they can't be bothered. Try and switch electrical appliances off and be smart about how you use things.
You might also want to keep an eye on how much heating you are using, and only turn the heating up when you really need to. Wear layers and cosy up with a hot water bottle before you think about turning the heating up really high.
Try and get used to reading your energy bills, checking your metre and making sure you are getting the best deal. This handy guide to how to understand your energy bills should help.