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How to Read Your Meter

Your gas meter is an instrument that records the amount of gas that enters your home. The meter measures the gas flowing through it and then records this flow of gas in the numbers on its dials or digital screen.

If you want to verify a meter reading, or if your gas bill seems higher than expected, there's an easy way to check how much energy you've used by reading your meter.

Here's the general rule for dial-type meters: When a pointer is between numbers, always read the smaller number. For example, the pointer on the left seems to have reached four. To be sure, check the dial to the right. If the pointer here is zero or beyond, then the pointer of the previous dial is indeed registering the number in question. In this case, four is the correct reading for the left dial and one is the right dial reading.

The only exception to the rule is when the pointer is between nine and zero. In that case, you read nine since the zero represents 10. If the pointer is between zero and one, though, as the pointer is starting in a new direction.

Helpful Meter Reading Tips

  • Notice that the pointer of each dial moves in the direction shown by the arrow on the dial.
  • A complete cycle of each dial causes the pointer of the next dial to the left to advance from one number to the next – it's similar to your car's odometer.
  • Many meters have extra dials, sometimes labeled "test dials." These dials are not used to record your meter reading. Read only the dials that register 1,000 or more cubic feet of gas.
  • Record the readings on the dials of your meter carefully in the same order that the dials appear on your meter.
  • If you have a remote meter index, reading your meter is simple, as the actual reading appears on the face of the index.
  • Remember, when the pointer is between two numbers, read the smaller number.