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Blog May 20, 2019

How to Read An Electric Meter


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Have you ever looked at those curious spinning dials on that round glass box attached to your house and wondered how to read your electric meter? Payless Power, your retail provider of cheap electricity in Houston, can explain how to make some sense of those dials and help you understand how to calculate your household’s monthly electricity usage. Knowing how to read your electric meter will enable you to compare your figures with what the electric company is charging you. It is also useful to monitor and record the amount of electricity you use each month to compare the changes from month to month, season to season, or from the current year to the previous years.

The typical electric meter you are probably familiar with is a round glass and metal box that is usually attached to the outside of your house. The meter is enclosed in clear glass and has four or five dials inside it. Each dial is numbered 0–9 and they record the amount of kilowatts of power being used. To read the deals each month you will need to record the numbers you see starting from the right and going toward the left. If you notice that the pointer on the dial is between two numbers such as 3 and 4, you should record the lower number. While looking at the five dials, you should also notice that the dials don’t all spin in the same direction! The first, third and fifth dials spin clockwise and the second and fourth spin counterclockwise, so be sure you are recording the correct numbers to have an accurate reading!

This basic example should help clarify how to calculate your household’s monthly electricity usage:

You have recorded the numbers on the five dials and it reads 05000. Last month your reading was 04000. Now you need to subtract last month’s reading from the current month’s reading: 05000 – 04000 = 1000 kilowatt-hours used.

Learning how to read your electric meter and keeping track of your household’s monthly electricity usage is not as difficult as you might have feared! Payless Power, your retail provider of cheap electricity in Houston, wants to help you conserve energy and keep your utility bill low. To start saving money on your energy bill and to learn about the advantages of using Payless Power, contact us today at 866-936-9353 or visit us at

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