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How to check your electricity meter

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The days of frequent house calls from employed meter readers seem to be on their way out, replaced by estimated readings. In today's web-based society, many utility companies offer an online self-report facility where you can type in your own meter reading. This 'How-To' explains how to read your own electricity meter.
What you'll need: 
Pen and pencil
Torch (recommended)
1: 
Locate your electricity meter. You may benefit from using a torch if it is housed in a dark location. There are two types of display: a series of dials or a row of numbers (cyclometer).
2: 
For the dialled meter, read from left to right, ignoring the two smallest dials (marked 1/10 and 1/100).
3: 
For the cyclometer, also read from left to right, ignoring the last number (usually clearly marked off from the rest of the display).
4: 
The cyclometer is easy to read. The final four or five digit number is the total electricity consumption figure in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
5: 
The dialled meter is a little more tricky. Look at the left hand dial and note down the number which the needle has last passed. For example, if the needle is between 4 and 5 you will write 4.
6: 
If the dial is directly on a number (say 5), you write down the previous number (i.e. 4) UNLESS the dial to the right is between 0 and 1,in which case you would write the actual number (5 in this case).
7: 
Now you can enter your reading onto the utility company's website or postcard as necessary.
Conclusion: 
Taking your own meter reading makes good sense as it enables you to be more aware of your own energy consumption and to avoid the issue of estimated bills which can leave you with big bills to pay - or surplus cash sitting in your energy provider's bank!

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