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Reading Your
Electric Meter

Your electric bill is calculated in kilowatt-hours or the number of kilowatts of power times hours of use in the monthly billing period. By reading your meter at the same time each day, you will get an exact total of the electricity you have used. By writing each daily total on your Energy Diary, you can chart increases and decreases in your energy use. By noting high consumption activity, such as laundering or cooking, you will know how you are spending your energy dollar.

Notice that some of the dial hands on the meter above turn clockwise and some, turn counter-clockwise. Look at the first dial, it's turning clockwise and the hand is between the seven and the eight. You want to record the number that the hand just passed - in this case, seven.

The second dial is turning counter-clockwise and is just past the three, so that's the next number you write down and so on.

Look at the dial to the right of the dial you're reading. If the hand on the right has moved past zero, write down the number the hand on the left is pointing to - using the same dials it would be the seven.

If the hand on the right is not past zero, then write down the next lowest number on the dial you're reading.

Now, if you read this meter at the same time tomorrow, subtract today's reading from tomorrow's reading to determine the number of kilowatt hours used in one day.

To calculate the cost of the energy use, multiply the number of kilowatt hours by the cost per kilowatt hour shown on your bill. For example, at the national average of 9 cents, you would multiply by $.09.

Remember, just reading your meter alone will not save you money, however, it will help you become more aware of your overall energy consumption.