How To Read Residential Electric and Natural Gas Meters

Your electric or gas energy use can be monitored by you too. You can read your own meters and compare the energy use to the number of heating and cooling degree days to do so.
Heating and cooling degree day, the effect of weather on your energy needs is represented as each degree Fahrenheit below 65ᵒF is one heating degree day, and each degree Fahrenheit above 65ᵒF is one cooling degree day. Your heating and cooling use is dependent on the number of heating and cooling degree days.
Properly calculated monthly utility bills based on actual readings usually contain all the information you need. However, if you have doubt about issue in them, you can always contact your local utility companies for more information.

Electric Meters

Electric power is measured by the unit watt. One thousand watts make one kilowatt. Consuming one thousand watts of power in an hour means consumption of one kilowatt-hour (kWh) power. Your electric utility bills are described in kWh.
The standard electric power meter basically runs in clock method. The electricity that is moving through it causes the movements of the gears inside the meter. The number of revolutions is recorded by the dials and shown as the reading. While reading the meter, you should note the numbers on the dial from right to left. Keep in mind that, if the dial to the right has passed zero, you should consider the next higher number. Else, you should use the lower number. When the hand of a dial falls between two numbers, the lower number should be taken.

Natural Gas Meters

Common measuring unit of natural gas is cubic foot and the units used in your bill are generally thousands of cubic feet (MCF) or hundreds of cubic feet (CCF). Your bill may also be calculated in therm, which is almost same as CCF or 100 cubic feet. The meter to calculate the amount of electricity or gas used is installed between the incoming electric power or gas lines and the point of distribution at the house.
The revolution of the gas meter depends on the force of moving gas in the pipe. Each complete revolution by the dial with lower value means the proceeding of the pointer on the next higher value dial by one digit.
Remember to take the reading of gas meter from left to right (opposite to electric meter). In both types of meters, the hands of adjacent dials turn in opposite directions.

Digital Meters

Presently, most of the electric and gas meters use digital displays instead of dials. The readings for each month is used to calculate your utility bill.

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