How to Check Your Utility Meter

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A utility meter keeps track of your home's monthly power usage. Once a month, your utility provider sends someone out to check your meter. This information is recorded and used to bill you for energy usage. Monitoring your personal electricity usage can be an effective aid in reducing consumption and, therefore, the associated cost. It also enables you to verify your power company's reading of your monthly energy usage.

  • Locate your meter. If you live in a house, you will generally find the utility meter on the side where the power lines connect your house to the energy grid. If you live in an apartment complex or townhouse, there should be a central location where there are many meters placed next to each other.

  • Verify that you are looking at the correct utility meter. If you live in a house, there should only be one. If you live in a duplex, townhouse or apartment complex there will be multiple meters in the same location. Your power bill should have an assigned utility meter number on it. Use this number to find your meter. The number on your utility meter should be located below the dial.

  • Record the power usage numbers indicated on your utility meter at the end of two consecutive months. Subtract the first month's numbers from the second month's numbers to identify the total amount of kilowatt hours you used during the second month. The number recorded by the power company should match or be very close to this number. If it is not, your power company may be recording the wrong utility meter or you may be checking the wrong meter.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are unable to determine which power meter is yours, you can check it by watching the dial. Notice the speed it is turning at and then either turn on or turn off as much as you can inside your home. The utility meter should now be turning either much slower or much faster than it was before.
  • If you live in a townhouse or apartment complex, meter readers have a higher chance of mistaking another utility meter for your own. This is why it is important to verify your usage against the power bill.

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