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Reading Your Texas Electric Meter

You have probably noticed an electrical measuring unit at the side of your house with many dials and numbers on it. This is your electric meter that measures the amount of electricity your home is using. While most homeowners disregard it, it's actually beneficial for you, the consumer, to understand how a meter works to manage your electrical usage properly. You can save money on your next electricity bill once you've learned how to read your electric meter.

VIDEO: How to Read Your Texas Electricity Meter



Digital meters and dial meters are the two types of electric meters found at homes. The meters read your electricity in kilowatt-hours (kWh). This is the amount of electricity providers charge you for your bill for each billing period.

To read dial meters:

  1. Make sure you can clearly see each dial and the numbers of each dial before recording them.
  2. When reading your meter, read all the dials starting from left to right.
  3. If the dial is between two numbers, record the number the dial has just passed, which is the lower number.
  4. If the pointer is between 9 and 0, always read the 9.
  5. Sometimes a meter will appear to be exactly on a number, if so, read that number only if the dial to its right has passed zero.
  6. Write down and record your meter readings.

NOTE: The 1st, 3rd and 5th pointers move like the dials on a clock (clockwise), the 2nd and 4th move the opposite direction (counter-clockwise). Another way to read your meter is to write down which number the dial just passed on each pointer.

To read digital meters:

  1. Check your meter for any obvious damage or malfunctions. If any are present, contact your local Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP): Centerpoint, Oncor, AEP North, AEP Central, and TNMP.
  2. Make sure you have a good view and can read the numbers clearly.
  3. Simply read and record the numbers as you see them, as if you were looking at your car's speedometer.

The TDSP does not set the meter back to zero after they have read your electricity meter. The dials on your meter continue to turn until your next scheduled meter reading. So to calculate your own energy usage, you'd have to take two readings: one at the beginning of the month and another at the end of the month. By subtracting the new dial readings from prior dial readings, you'll be able to tell how much you're consuming.

By being able to read your own electric meter, you can keep track of how much energy your household uses in a given period of time. With this information you can keep track of your energy saving efforts and save money on your next electricity bill.

So, in the picture (not video) above, what would your reading be?

If you wrote down "44942" - you would be correct.


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