How to read your electricity meter
The most common types of electricity meters are single-rate digital meters, variable-rate digital meters and dial meters.
Each electric meter works in a slightly different way - here's how to read your electricity meter at home.
Single-rate digital electricity meters
Electricity meters measure energy use in kilowatt hours (kWh). A single-rate meter has one set of numbers to refer to.
1. Write down all the numbers before the decimal point, from left to right.
2. Ignore any numbers after the decimal point (which may be shown in red).
Dial electricity meters
This type of meter shows a series of clock-style dials with numbers from zero to nine. Each dial turns in the opposite direction to the dial before it.
1. To take a reading, start with the left dial and write down the number indicated by the pointer on each dial, moving towards the right.
2. If the pointer is between two numbers, record the lower of the two. If the pointer is between nine and zero, record it as nine.
3. Ignore any red dials.
Variable-rate electricity meters
Economy 7 or White Meter meters have two displays (or the ability to switch between two different displays) with readings for daytime and night energy use. The display marked 'low' or 'night' shows how many units of off-peak electricity you've used. The display marked 'normal' or 'day' shows how many units of peak electricity you have used.
1. To take a reading, write down the numbers from both displays, ignoring any figures in red.
2. Economy 10 meters have an additional display to record the electricity you use during three different time periods instead of two - including daytime use.
Finding your electricity supply number
If you're switching electricity suppliers, your new company will supply electricity using your existing meter and cabling. If your exact meter can't be located during switching - if you live in a new-build property, for example - we'll ask you for your meter point administration number (MPAN), also known as your 'supply number' or 'S' number. This is an unique number that identifies the correct meter at your property.
You will find your MPAN on your electricity bill, not on the meter itself. Look for a large 'S' and a grid of numbers. The bottom row of numbers (13 digits) is all we need to ensure that your switch happens as smoothly as possible. If you can't find it, you should contact your current electricity supplier.
Cut your energy bills with Which? Switch
The average saving when switching gas and electricity is £217 - compare gas and electricity tariffs now to find the best deal for you.
This figure is based on the 53,459 households who switched suppliers using Which? Switch and The Big Switch between 1st September 2011 and 31st August 2012.