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Gas & Electricity guide

How to read your gas and electricity meter

How to read your gas and electricity meter
Rob Flynn

Rob Flynn

Staff Writer

There are a number of different gas and electricity meters installed in homes and living spaces across the country. Here's how to take a meter reading from each one.

As a domestic energy customer in Ireland sometimes you’ll be required to take a meter reading to send to your new or existing supplier.

There are a few different types of meters that exist which means the way you take a reading may be slightly different depending on the one you have in your home.

However, customers will be glad to know that the meter reading process is straightforward. 

Below we identify each meter type and explain how to take an accurate reading.

1. How to read your electricity meter

There are four main types of electricity meter:

  • Standard meters
  • Electronic meters
  • Pay-As-You-Go meters
  • Smart meters

Standard Meter

This is the most common type of meter found in homes in Ireland and is also known as a ‘spinning disk’ meter as a disc can be seen slowly revolving as electricity is used. 

Your electricity consumption is displayed in kWhs.

There are two types of mechanical meter:

  • 24-hour revolving disc meter
  • NightSaver meter - these are also called day/night meters and have two rows of numbers to separately record the electricity you use during the day and the night. These rows may be labelled as Day and Night, or 1/I (for Night) and 2/II (for Day)

How to take a reading

  • Read the digits from left to right, including any zeros.
  • Do not include any numbers in red or in a red box on the right hand side. 
  • The process is the same if you have a NightSaver Meter, however you will have to record the day and night readings separately.

Standard meter

Electronic Meter

Some domestic customers may have an electronic or digital meter installed in their homes. This type of meter displays your energy usage via an electronic display.

There are two types of electronic meter:

  • 24-hour electronic meter
  • NightSaver electronic meter, which separately records the electricity you use during the day and the night

How to take a reading with a 24-hour electronic meter

  • Read the figures from left to right and include all the digits you see
  • An arrow symbol may appear but this is not a decimal point

24 hour electronic

How to take a reading with a NightSaver electronic meter

Each electronic NightSaver meter will have a display button which allows you to scroll through the information on screen. The most common meter has a blue button but this isn’t always the case.

  • Simply push the display button to scroll through the information on screen
  • 2 will appear to the left of the day deading
  • 1 will appear to the left of the night reading
  • 0 will appear to the left of the total 24-hour reading
  • Read the digits from left to right and include all numbers, excluding those which distinguish the type of reading as explained in the bullet points above

An arrow may appear in the display but this is not a decimal point.

NightSaver electronic meter

Pay-As-You-Go Meter (PAYG)

Customers with a PAYG or prepay electricity tariff will have a prepayment meter installed in their home or place of residence. Each meter has a digital display and a keypad.

How to take a reading 

  • Press the number 9 on your keypad and your reading will appear on screen
  • Readings should be taken from left to right and include all numbers

PAYG meter

Smart Meter

The rollout of smart meters began in Ireland in 2019 by ESB Networks and by 2024 every home in Ireland should have one. This new type of meter can communicate directly with your energy supplier and send them real-time data about your energy usage, eliminating the need for a manual meter reading.

Initially your meter will continue to be read manually by ESB Networks, but from 2021 readings will begin to be taken automatically. 

However, if you would like to take a manual reading of your smart meter here’s how you can do it.

How to take a reading

The main display screen of your smart meter will show your up-to-date meter reading in kWhs.

  • Read the numbers displayed on the screen from left to right that appear before “kWh”

smart meter

2. How to read your gas meter

There are four main types of gas meters:

  • Standard meters
  • Digital meters
  • Dial meters
  • Pay-As-You-Go meters

Standard meter

This is similar to the standard electricity ‘spinning disk’ meter and displays your gas consumption in m³.

How to take a reading

  • Take note of the five digits in black and white from left to right.
  • Ignore the numbers in red

standard gas meter

Digital meter

A digital meter differs from a standard meter in that your energy consumption is shown on an electronic display. With most digital meters you will need to press the red ‘A’ button to activate the meter’s display for a reading.

How to take a reading

  • Press the red ‘A’ button to activate the display.
  • Read the figures from left to right, including zeros, and ignore those after the comma.

digital gas

Dial (Clock) meter

A dial meter displays a series of dials or clock faces. Your meter reading should be taken from the series of four dials, usually on the bottom of the meter display. You can disregard the other separate dials.

How to take a reading

  • Read the four dials on the bottom of your display from left to right
  • On each dial note the figure each hand is pointing to
  • If a dial’s hand is halfway between two figures, use the lower figure
  • If a dial’s hand is between 9 and 0, always use 9

dial clock

Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) meter

A PAYG or prepay meter is used for customers who are on a PAYG tariff. The meters installed by Gas Networks Ireland look similar to digital meters and have an electronic display screen. However, prepayment gas meters have a slot for a gas card so customers can transfer over credit.

How to take a reading

  • Press the red button ‘A’ once to see the level of credit remaining
  • Press twice to see the money owed
  • Press three times to see meter reading
  • Read figures from left to right, omitting any numbers after the comma
  • If you have a prepayment meter and can’t access this information you can call Gas Networks Ireland who will provide you with one

Lost your meter key? No problem!

If you’ve misplaced or don’t yet have a meter key get in touch with us at bonkers.ie and we’ll send you one in the post free of charge.

You can request your free meter key by sending us an email or else by getting in touch with us on social media via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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