It's a good idea to know your gas and electricity meters readings. You can keep an eye on the energy you're using and make sure your bills are accurate. Our meter reading guide shows how to read different types of gas and electricity meters, and how to submit them to us. We've also included pictures of meters so you know what to look for.
Your meter may not quite look like what's in our meter reading guide. If you're not sure what to read, try comparing what's on your meter display to the reading shown on your last bill.
Once you’ve made a note of your readings, you can submit them by logging into your online account. If you don’t already have an online account, you can register for one first. If you need any advice about reading your meter, please get in touch and we'll be happy to help.
What if you didn't have to read your meter?
What if the meter could do the reading for you, and send it automatically to your energy supplier?
A smart meter makes that possible.
No more digging around for a torch to read your meter in the dark. No more squinting at the screen on the meter fixed to your wall. No more manual meter readings.
Your energy usage tracked and displayed, as it happens, in pounds and pence. Why not book your SSE smart meter installation today, at no extra cost?
Reading your electricity meter
A digital electricity meter shows your current meter reading on a digital display. Here's how to read it:
- Read your meter display from left to right.
- Ignore any numbers in red and anything that appears after a decimal point or space.
Economy 7/Domestic Economy meters
If you've got an Economy 7 or Domestic Economy meter, you'll have two rows of figures on your digital display:
‘Low’ is the reading for night or off-peak units.
‘Normal’ is the reading for day or peak-time units.
You read your meter the same as a standard digital electricity meter.
Some older electricity meters have dials instead of a row of numbers. They're simple to read, but it may help you to write down the numbers as you go.
How to read an electric dial meter
- Read the dials from left to right. Ignore the dial marked 1/10.
- If the pointer on a dial is between two numbers, write down the lower number. But if the pointer is between zero and nine, it will always be nine. This is the case for the first and fourth dial on the diagram shown.
- If the pointer is exactly on a number but the reading on the dial after it is nine, take one away from that number. On the diagram shown the pointer on the third dial is exactly on the seven. But the reading on the fourth dial is a nine. So the reading on the third dial becomes six.
In the example shown, this meter reading would be 94694.
Some electricity tariffs use meters that show two readings when you press a button on the meter. You may have a two-rate meter if you have Economy 7, Economy 10 or Evening and Weekend tariff.
Once you're at your meter display:
- Press the button on the front of your meter.
- Your meter will show each reading with a label next to it. This could be ‘R1’ and 'R2', ‘1’ and '2', ‘L’ and 'N' or even ‘low’ and 'normal'. Which is your day reading and which is your night, depends on how your meter is set up.
If you're not sure, check the previous readings on your most recent bill. This will show which reading belongs to which rate.
- You may have more than one electricity meter. If so, take your readings as explained above and make a note of the meter serial number on each meter. The meter serial number is usually found on the front of your meter. It may be on a sticker.
Reading your gas meter
Your gas meter will be imperial or metric. An imperial meter has four main numbers and a metric meter has five.
How to read your imperial meter
- Read the first four numbers from left to right.
- Include any zeros at the beginning, but don't include any numbers in red, or anything after a red number.
- If your meter has reached 9,999, it'll start recording from zero again.
How to read your metric meter
- Read the first five numbers from left to right.
- Include any zeros at the beginning, but don't include anything after a space or decimal point.
- Once your meter has reached 99,999, it'll start recording from zero again.
Dial gas meters
Some older gas meters have dials to read instead of a line of numbers.
How to read a gas dial meter
- Read all the dials from left to right, but ignore the large dial or any red dials. If the pointer is between two numbers, write down the lower number.
- If the pointer is between zero and nine, use nine. This is the case on the first and fourth dial on the diagram shown.
- If the pointer is exactly on a number, write it down and underline it. So on the diagram above, you'd write down and underline the number seven on the third dial.
- If any of the numbers you have written down are followed by a nine, take one away from the underlined number. As the third dial is followed by a nine on the fourth dial, you'd take one away from the seven on the third dial making it six.
In the example shown, this meter reading would be 9469.
Pay As You Go meters
If you have a Pay As You Go meter, your meter will have a button on the front. You can use it to see how much credit you've got left before you need to top up. You can also see how much electricity or gas you're using and how much you're paying for each unit.
What you need to know
No more manual meter readings
We rely on a mobile phone or wireless signal to get your smart meter readings. If these fail, you'll either need to take your own reading and send it to us, or your bills will be estimated.