How to Read Your Meter

Reading Your AMR Meter™ Device


Electric meters record the total amount of electricity consumed, just as a car's odometer records mileage. Meters are highly accurate instruments. In fact, our accuracy record is measured and found to be correct more than 99 percent of the time. You can also check the accuracy of the meter by learning to read your own meters. Meter readings can be obtained by reading the meter itself. Here's how:

How to Read SmartMeter™ Electric Meters

Determine which meter type you have, and follow the instructions below the corresponding picture to read your meter. See video of a SmartMeter™ electric meter

Landis + Gyr

This SmartMeter™ electric meter by Landis + Gyr uses a digital readout alternating between three different displays:

  • The initial screen will display "888888…" indicating that the unit is functioning properly.
  • The next screen shows the total kWh of energy consumption. This 5-digit number is cumulative and may include leading zeros.
  • The final screen shows the current electric usage at the premise.

NOTE: The ID number to the left of the alternating display is not meaningful.


This SmartMeter™ electric meter by GE uses a digital readout with one standard display:

  • The 5-digit display showing the total kWh of energy consumption is located on the top line and is always on. This number is cumulative.  NOTE: A segment check may display momentarily, but will change back to the standard display.
  • Below the kWh display, the 3-digit voltage level and 3-digit current electric usage displayswill alternate (i.e., "240 Volts" is shown for a few seconds and then toggles to ".345 kW" for a few seconds)


Regular meter readings are important, because they keep your electricity usage—and CBEC account up-to-date! If you would like to avoid estimated bills, just jot your meter readings down on the appropriate blanks on the return portion of your electric payment stub. If you get busy, and forget to write it down, just give us a telephone call to report your reading. Your meter location could be almost anywhere inside or outside of your home. (However, current code laws state your electric meter must be accessible at all times to CBEC personnel.) If your meter is difficult to locate, following along from where the utility line enters the building may help you find it.

Some Notes About Meters

We illustrate an electric meter with five dials. If your electric meter has only four dials, just record four numbers. On your return portion of your payment bill stub, you will see where to put your meter reading numbers.  Meters that record kilowatt-hours (kWh) measure the amount of electricity you use. An electric meter is tested to ensure meter accuracy. It is highly unlikely that your meter will ever "speed up". Meters slow down and stop recording.  It is standard procedure to test samples of electric meters before they are installed, then test other samples after they have been taken out of service. We use an independent testing lab, and adhere to strict RUS standards for accuracy.

Image: Reading your meter, example 1

Image: How to read your meter, example 2