All homes and businesses in the UK should have an electricity and gas (where applicable) meter.
The reason you have these meters is so that your energy supplier can see how much energy your home or business has used in a given period and charge you the correct amount.
This also gives us, as consumers, confidence that our bills are accurate. If you submit regular meter readings to your energy supplier, or have a smart meter which does this automatically, your bills will not be estimated but reflect only the energy you have used.
If you think your gas or electric meter might be faulty, you should contact your energy supplier. You can also contact Citizen’s Advice if you need support.
How to find your gas and electricity meters
Hopefully, you already know where your electric and gas meters are, but many people (especially those moving into a new home) have trouble locating them.
In the most cases, your gas meter will be in the kitchen, in a hallway or storage cupboard or outside in a meter box. Check the exterior walls around your property if it’s not inside.
If you live in a flat or apartment, it’s possible your meter won’t be inside your property. Sometimes the meters for the block are in one room, usually on the ground floor. If you have trouble locating the room, or your individual property’s meter, contact your landlord or the building manager for clarification.
If you have checked and can’t find your meters, try asking your neighbours as your meter is likely located in the same place in your property.
Much the same applies for your business premises. Many people, particularly those moving into a new premises, can have problems finding their energy meter or understanding how to set up a new supplier.
If you’re having trouble locating your energy meter at your business, or would like help to install a new meter, Love Energy Savings are able to support you.
How to read your electricity meter
There are four kinds of electricity meter:
You will know you have a digital meter because your meter will show a series of numbers on a mechanical display. To note your meter reading, read the numbers from left to right, ignoring any in red or after a decimal point or a space.
Electronic meters are similar to digital meters, the display is usually like a calculator. Sometimes they have a button on the side you press to display your reading. You read the numbers left to right, including zeroes but ignoring any red numbers.
If you have a smart meter, readings will be automatically sent to your electricity supplier, so you don’t need to do anything.
A dial meter looks complicated, but it is easy to read. It is best to write the numbers down. You will see a series of dials, each marked 0-9.
You read the numbers each pointer is marking on each dial from left to right. If the pointer is between two numbers, you noted the lowest number, except if the pointer is between 0 and 9 in which case note 9.
If the pointer is exactly on a number, write it down and underline it. If any of the numbers that you have underlined are followed by a 9, you deduct 1 from the underlined number.
How to read your gas meter
There are three types of gas meter:
Your gas meter will be imperial or metric. An imperial meter has four main numbers and a metric meter has five.
A gas dial meter is perhaps the most difficult to read, but it is straight forward when you understand how.
You will see a series of dials, each marked 0-9. You read the numbers each pointer is indicating on each dial from left to right.
If the pointer is between two numbers, you note the lowest number, except if the pointer is between 0 and 9 in which case note 9. Ignore any red dials, dials marked '100 per rev' and the largest dial, usually in the centre.
Similar to electricity, if you have a smart meter for gas, readings will be automatically sent to your gas supplier, so you don’t need to do anything.
You will know you have a digital meter because your meter will show a series of numbers on a digital display. If you have a digital meter, you read the numbers from left to right, ignoring any digits in red, any printed zeroes or any digits after a decimal point or a space.
Understanding your meter number
You also need to know where your meter is if you need to find out what your meter number is, which is usually an 11-digit code. It will start with two letters, which indicate the manufacturer, and two numbers, which indicate the year it was calibrated.
MPAN and MPRN numbers
Your MPAN or Meter Point Administration Number, is your unique number which your electricity company uses to determine what your electricity rates will be. It is 14 digits. Your MPRN or Meter Point Reference Number is the same, but for your gas supply and is 6-10 digits.
These numbers appear on your energy bills, Love Energy have further information available if you would like to understand what your MRAN and MPAN numbers mean for your energy prices and how to locate them.
Are your meter readings giving you bills that are through the roof?
If your meter readings are leading to expensive energy bills, it may be time to compare gas and electricity suppliers.
To find out how much you could save with Love Energy Savings, simple complete our quick home energy comparison engine.