How to Read Your Electric Meter | Electricity Company in Texas

At NEC Co-op Energy, we believe in the power of educating our members. When you are better informed, you can make smarter choices about your energy usage. Also, having a deeper understanding of your energy consumption will enable you to lower your utility bills. Learning how to read your electric meter is the first step.

Your electric meter measures your energy consumption in kWh or kilowatt-hours. Every utility company assigns a specific identification number to an electric meter. In Texas, this is referred to as the Electric Service Identifier ID or ESI ID.

The utility company installs, maintains, and operates your electric meter, and they are the ones responsible for reading it every month. However, just because they are responsible for reading it doesn’t mean that you cannot personally track your energy usage in between bills. Knowing how to read your electric meter will enable you to have a good insight into your overall energy use.

Today, we’ll focus on the dial electric meter.

How to Read Your Electric Meter | Electricity Company in Texas

The image above shows a standard electric meter. You could have 4 to 6 dials, depending on your location. These dials measure the kilowatt-hours by the thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones. Our example above shows a 5-dial meter. Read Dials 1, 3, and 5 clockwise, and read Dials 2 and 4 counter-clockwise.

  • Face the meter.
  • Read the dials from the left to the right.
  • The pointer on dial 1 points to 1. The reading is 1.
  • The pointer on dial 2 has passed 8. Read it counterclockwise; the reading is 8.
  • The pointer on dial 3 points to 6. The reading is 6.
  • The pointer on dial 4 has passed 1, but not 0. The reading is 1.
  • The pointer on dial 5 points to 4. The reading is 4.

The overall reading is 18,614 kWh.

Understanding your home’s energy usage

What does a reading of 18,614 mean to you? This reading is a measure of how much electricity has passed through a meter since it was reset or installed. To evaluate your energy usage, have your prior reading handy. You can refer to your most recent energy bill or use the reading that you have taken note of personally. Let us assume that the reading on your last bill was 18,300 kWh.

18,614 kWh – 18,300 kWh = 314 kWh usage so far in this billing cycle.

If you want to read your electric meter on your next billing cycle, simply subtract 18,300 from your new reading. This will enable you to get an updated estimate of your energy consumption.

Use this handy guide on how to read your electric meter to track your energy usage. We also encourage you to take a photo of your meter with every reading you make. This will be helpful when you want to point out some discrepancies on your future bill.