Reading your electricity meter
Performing a very personal service for you is your electric meter, which is the property of your Electricity Supplier.
The UNIT of Electricity
You use electricity by the Kilowatt hour [kWh] more commonly known as the UNIT. One UNIT is equivalent to 1,000 watts [kW] switched on for one hour. The wattage of an electrical appliance is its "loading" and is found marked on the small metal nameplate of the appliance.
The UNIT of electricity is a definite quantity, it does not vary and it cannot be diluted or adulterated.
See how long these common domestic appliances can be used at a cost of one UNIT of electricity.
|Article||Wattage||Hours or minutes of use to consumer 1 UNIT|
|Blanket (Single)||70||14 hours|
|Food Processor||60||16 1/2 hours|
|Heater (one bar)||1000||1 hour|
|Iron (Thermostat control)||1200||1 1/2 hours|
|Range Hob (large)||2000||30 minutes|
|Range Hob (small)||1200||50 minutes|
|Refigerator (Thermostat control)||200||5 hours|
|Television Set||150||6 1/2 hours|
Your Electricity Meter
As themeter records watts and hours it has a technical name of "watt-hour meter" and tus indicates UNITS of electricity.
Electricity meters are precision instruments, the great accuracy of which is controlled by meter test departments.
There are several types of meter dials - some older types of electricity meters have indicating dials (see figure 2 and 3) while others use a cyclometer register as illustrated in Fig 1 opposite. Some of the latest meters have liquid crystal displays similar to the familiar calculator. Occassionally meters have two separate displays for special tariff options.
Reading your Electricity Meter
Your meter is quiet easy to read and you can keep a record of daily or weekly consumption of electricty. Ignore small dials marked 1/10 and 1/100. Read the other dials from left to right. The dial hand should always be read as indicating the figure it has last passed and not the one to which it may be nearest. When the hand is between two figures write down the lowest figure. When the hand is between 0 and 9 writed down 9. When the hand is on a figure, say 7, you write down 6 not 7, unless the hand on the nearest dial on the right is between figure 0 and figure 1. Go through the same process with the other dials, writing down the figures in the order left to right.
In Fig 2 the reading of the meter is 9,469 UNITS, Subtract your previous reading from the present reading at the difference will be the number of UNITS used in the time between those readings.
|Date||Meter Reading||Units Used||Date||Meter Reading||Units Used|
Why your account varies
- Increases and decreases in your electricity account are very seldom caused by inaccurate or faulty meters. Some of the common causes of variations in your bill from one time to another relate to:
- Greater or lesser number of days in the meter reading period
- Changes in the weather affecting the extent of use of heating and cooling appliances
- Increase or decrease in number of people in household
- Purchase and use of new appliances
- Lifestyle and habit changes - longer or shorter showers or change to cold water washing powders - or arrival of a new baby in the home.
Electricity meters are normally extremely reliable and very accurate (typically within 1/2% accuracy). Contact us for more information about costs and procedures for having your meter checked if you honestly believe it is not working correctly.
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