Services - Metering

The following diagram describes how to read a typical residential meter. EED uses three types of meters for 200 Amp. services or below: a four dial constant 10 meter, a four dial constant 1 meter, and a 5 dial constant 1 meter. The diagram depicts a constant 10 meter. Subtract the last reading from the present reading, then multiply your answer by 10. A four dial constant 1 meter is read the same way, except you use the far right dial to determine the third digit differently. If the far right dial is between 0 and 5, call the third digit the lower number; if between 5 and 0, call dial 3 the higher number. Five dial meters are like this except the first dial is turning clockwise (this will throw you off if you're not careful). When you subtract the last reading from the present reading on any constant 1 meter, the difference is your exact usage for the period.

How to read your meter:

  • Read from LEFT to RIGHT.
  • Note that adjacent dials are turning in opposite directions.
  • Dials are not always perfectly synchronized; to determine the reading of a dial, you must verify by looking at the dial to the right of the dial you are reading. If that dial is past 0, call it the higher number; if it is not past 0, call it the lower number.


Note: If you misread the far right dial on a meter by one digit, the difference on the bill is sixty cents. If the far left dial is misread, the difference is six hundred dollars!

EED is now placing new electronic "radio read" meters in the field. These meters have an electronic read-out that you can easily read to see how much energy you use. They also contain a radio transmitter that broadcasts the reading to our meter reader's handheld device. Your meter can be read from several hundred yards away, saving the meter reader's time and making us more efficient.

Another site that explains about reading a meter and other valuable tips is at energy right's Read Your Meter, sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

How do I...

I want to...