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How To Read and Understand Your Electric Meter

Your power company bills you based on the amount of power you consume according to the reading they take from mechanical and digital power meters, which track the current flowing into your home. Here is everything you need to know to read your meter and understand how it works. 

The Amount of Energy You Use Is Recorded With Kilowatt-Hours

No matter the type of meter on your building, it will measure your energy consumption in kilowatt-hours. Watts are the measurement of your voltage and amperage, commonly used in energy consumption. However, watts only deal with the amount of energy potential. To measure usage, a measure of time is added. Therefore, you find the amount of energy you use is measured in watts and time. Specifically, your meter will record this in kilowatt-hours. A kilowatt is 1,000 watts. So basically, if you use a 100-watt lightbulb for 10 hours, you consume a kilowatt-hour of energy. 

How an Electric Meter Works

A traditional mechanical, electric meter is located at the part of your building where your power wires enter. It looks like a box with a glass cover that houses rotating metal dials that record the amount of power that enters your building. The dials turn whenever power is being consumed.

This is because there are two magnetic coils inside it, creating a magnetic field. One coil gets affected by the amperage, and one is impacted by the amount of voltage going through your wires. When they meet and generate that magnetic field, it turns an aluminum disk. The disk is connected to the dials you see, therefore displaying how many kilowatt-hours of energy you’ve consumed. 

How To Read Your Electric Meter

While you can’t use your electric meter to calculate how efficient your antenna is, you can use it to see how many kilowatts of energy you’ve used each month. To see how much power you use each month, read the amount of power you’ve used on the first and last days. Then, the difference in the numbers is the number of kilowatt-hours you’ve consumed that month. 

What To Know if You Have Digital Electric Meters

Another type of meter you may have is a digital one. These work in the same way with a disk that measures the amount of current flowing through your wires, although it shows the kilowatt-hour usage in digital numbers, making it easier for you to get readings. 

Whether your home or business is equipped with a digital or mechanical meter, you need to know some crucial things about how your electric usage is billed. This will help you learn more about this process, so you know how much energy you use. 

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