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Kilo-What?! How To Read Your Electric Meter

Are you frustrated with high electric bills? Perhaps you just want to be able to read your electric meter outside your home or place of business to help conserve energy in your home. Whether you are a homeowner or a business owner, there is nothing wrong with wanting to know what all those dials, numbers, and pointers on your electric meter mean.

Simplifying Your Electric Meter

First, it helps to understand exactly what it is that the electric meter does. As the name suggests, it measures the amount of electricity your home or place of business is utilizing. The question is, how does it do that? Well, it measures the electricity being used inside of the building in kilowatt hours (kWh) and then tells the power company how much you use every month. Now, you might be asking yourself – what is a kilowatt hour?

In order to better understand, use this example: If your home or place of business utilized 500 watts for one hour, this is a kilowatt hour used to determine how much your bill is going to run.

At the end of the month, all the kilowatt hours (kWh) used gets divided by the price per kilowatt hour and this is the total of your monthly electric bill. If your goal is to conserve energy and lower your monthly bills you will want to work on lowering the kWh number.

Reading The Actual Meter

The first rule of the thumb is to stand directly in front of your homes electric meter, at eye level. You need to be able to see the direction of each pointer clearly.

You will see five circular dials on your meter and each will have pointers, pointing to one of the ten numbers. The pointers work like hands on a clock. The pointers will move as you use electricity in your home. This is how you read how many kilowatt hours you are actually using within your home.

How To Read The Electric Meter Dials:

You will want to read the dials in order from, left to right. If any of the pointers appear to be in between two numbers, you should always use the smaller number in order to get an accurate reading.

Once you have your meter reading for the month you will want to subtract this month’s reading from your previous months reading. This will determine how much electricity you have used for the month. By understanding how to read the meter, you can even get a rough estimate of what your power bill is going to be before it even comes in the mail. For more information, talk to a professional like Art’s Electric.