Ever read an energy meter? Okay, so it’s probably not on your bucket list of things to do before you die and it’s not exactly something you high five your mates about. Reading a meter may be dull but it’s important.

Let’s take a minute or two to explain when to submit a meter reading, how to read the different types of meters and why it pays to do it when you need to. First up, why?

When do you need to provide meter readings?

Let’s start from the beginning. When you switch to a new supplier, you need to take an ‘open reading’ 5 days either side of your ‘switch’ date. Make sure you do it within this 10-day period otherwise your supplier will estimate a reading that could result in you paying for more energy than you’ve used.

Once you submit your open reading, your old supplier will stop billing you on this reading and your new supplier will start billing you from that reading.

Now you’re up and running you need to submit ‘in-life’ readings once every month as the account ticks along. A good tip is to put a monthly reminder and notification on your phone, laptop or tablet’s calendar to nudge you to submit your readings.

When you close your account or change supplier, you’ve 5 days either side of your account close date to provide readings. Your current supplier stops billing you on that reading and will use this to produce your final bill.

How do you submit meter readings?

Luckily, only one housemate needs to submit a reading. What’s more, Split The Bills customers have got it easy. As a new renter, you simply take a clear, close-up photo of each meter (one for Gas, one for Electric) and upload it to us so we can do the reading for you.

You can upload photos or type in readings on the Support Centre of our website.

We’ll send you regular reminders by email and SMS to give us your meter readings and it’s best practice to submit them on the day we ask you to.

It’s unlikely, but if you can’t access your energy meter for some reason, just let us know. Your landlord or letting agent should take regular readings, so you could always get the reading off them and pass these onto us.

How to read different types of meters

Firstly, you’ll need to figure out which of your meters is for Gas and which is for Electric.

Your Electric meter will have “kWh” on there, like so.

Your Gas meter will have either “m³” or “ft³” on it, like so.

Single Rate Meters

Most UK homes have this type of meter for their Gas and Electric, which has a mechanical or digital display of numbers. To read one, write down the numbers from left to right and ignore the red numbers.

Dual Rate / Economy 7 Meter

These Electric meters have two different readings, one for daytime usage, one for night time usage. You need to submit both readings. To view each read, the meter will either have two displays showing the day and night readings or one display and a button that lets you toggle between day and night rate readings.

Dial Meter

These old-style meters have six dials that look like little clocks. They look more complex than analogue and digital meters but all you have to do to read them is think of them as clock faces. Simply write down the figures on the first five clocks that the needle is pointing to. They’re like the hour hand of a clock, so if the hand is between two figures, write down the lower one.

Smart Electric Meters

Smart Meters automatically ping meter readings to your supplier, providing your supplier has the functionality to read smart meters – as not all energy providers can right now. 

If you’ve got a smart Electric meter and you need to take a manual reading, here’s how to find your latest reading:

  1. Press 9 on the keypad.
  2. You’ll see the letters “IMP KWH” appear on the screen.
  3. On the bottom right of the screen you’ll see numbers and kWh.
  4. Take the first 7 digits – this is your reading.

Smart Gas Meters

If your Gas is supplied through a smart meter, do the following to get your latest reading:

  1. Press 9 on the keypad.
  2. VOLUME will show on the screen.
  3. You’ll find 6 digits and  “m³” at the bottom right of the screen.
  4. Take the first 5 digits as your reading.

Need to submit some meter readings now?

You can take a clear photo of your meter(s) and upload them to us or input the readings manually, both using the form below.

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