If you’ve ever questioned the accuracy of your electric bill knowing how to read your meter could prove very useful. In the following article from Steve Gibbs who is a Victoria BC electrician and owns Onda Electric we explain the differences in each type of the four in use whether it’s digital, electronic, smart or traditional and how to make sense of the readings.
How to read a digital electric meter
With a digital electric meter you will find a set of numbers that you want to copy from left to right with the exception of those surrounded by a red box. If there is a second row of number follow the exact same procedure reading left to right. Those separate sets of numbers represent a day rate and a night rate on your hydro bill.
How to read an electronic electric meter
An electronic electric meter may require pressing a certain button to get your read out unless it has an automatic scroll button. As mentioned before copy the numbers from left to right except any red numbers or with a red background. If the meter has two sets of numbers note the numbers from left to right.
How to read a smart meter
Unlike the name implies a smart meter may be the most confusing to read. If it has a keypad press the number 9 and note the abbreviation IMP KWH and 8 numbers with KWH at the bottom of the screen, this is usually the night time reading. If you have both to see the daytime reading press and hold 6 until IMP RO2 shows a series of 8 numbers which you want to record from left to right. Some smart meters may have instructions on them otherwise follow the above process.
How to read a dial electric meter
Even more challenging to read it features dials that turn in the opposite direction of the one before it. With numbers from 0 to 9 ( ignore those in red ) write the numbers from left to right, if the arrow is between 2 numbers use the lower number. If the number is between 0 and 9 subtract one number from the previous dial. For instance if the arrow is between 0 and 9 and the previous number is 7, record 9 and 6 ignoring the last dial on the right.
How to estimate your next hydro bill
Gather up your previous hydro bill and the set of numbers you’ve written down, subtract these from the ones on your last months total to find your current usage in KWH. Take into account any fees and should you find any differences and you double checking your figures contact BC Hydro to report your findings. If you need an electrician in Victoria BC, contact Onda Electric.