Reading Your Meters
Reading your electric meter is a good way to know how much you're spending on electricity. Electricity is measured by kilowatt- hours. As sort of a quick reference, a 100 watt light bulb burning for 10 hours uses one kilowatt-hour. Electric meters keep track of how many kilowatt-hours you've used. There are two kinds of electric meters out there, digital and dial. Both are pretty easy to read and understand once you get the hang of it.
The City of Leesburg's Ordinance, Number 84-47, requires a utility customer to guarantee unrestricted, unobstructed access to meters and services. The ordinance also states that restricted or obstructed access shall be billable at $25.00 per call.
The Electronic Meter
Close up view of an electronic Utility Electric Meter.
Ready for this easy one? All you have to do is read the meter like a common clock. What could be easier? Every time the number increases, that's another kilowatt-hour used. Easy Right?
The Dial Meter
Close up view of an analog (dial) Utility Electric Meter.
This is the tough one. On a dial meter, there are five dials, numbered 0 through 9, with the 0 at the top. Look closely and you'll see that the numbers go around the face clockwise on some of the dials, but counterclockwise on every other dial.
The hands of the dials move in the same direction as the counting order of the numbers. To read the meter, just write down the number that each hand has just passed. Start with the dial on the far left, and proceed to the right.
Close up view of the 5 dials on an analog Utility Electric Meter.
The reading is 66,649.
If a hand is directly on a number, look at the dial to its immediate right. If that hand has passed zero, write down the number that the left hand is pointing to.
The reading here is 70.
If the hand on the right has not passed zero, write down the last number that the left hand has passed.
Here, the reading is 69.
Once you know how to read your meter, it's easy to figure out how much electricity you've used since your last electric bill. Simply look at last month's electric bill to find the reading recorded by one of the Meter Readers. Then, subtract last month's reading from the number you just took off your meter. What you end up with is the total number of kilowatt-hours you've used since your last reading.
Want to know how much energy your appliances use?