How to Read Your Electrical Meter

Your electrical/hydro meter is located on the side of your home. Big, roundish box.  This tells you and your utility how much electricity in kilowatts your home is using. If you live in an apartment, then your electricity is worked into your rent or there will be a separate meter for your unit.


The electrical meter is owned by your utility company. As a homeowner you do not own the meter. You own the meter-base, the metal box that connects to the electrical meter and all the pipes and wires. Don’t you feel lucky- your very own meter base!

Most electrical meters are now smart meters. They digitally record your usage, the main number in kilowatt hours (kWh), over a set period of time. For example, at the beginning of the month the meter sends the number to a main computer/system. This number is used to calculate the difference from the beginning of the previous month (set period is 30 days). The difference is your usage for that month in kilowatt hours.


Dr. Watt Fun Fact: If you go read the number on your meter, that number means your home has been using that many kilowatt hours since the meter was installed!

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