To correctly calculate your bill, you must accurately identify the amount of gas consumed.
Reading a gas meter is vital for your business and the energy providers to ensure you’re maximizing your business gas rates. In addition, knowing how much gas your company uses, you can save money by finding cheaper energy deals or cutting unnecessary energy costs.
This is because UK gas meters make people’s lives easier by recording and showing the gas level at any time. However, reading it cannot be very clear, especially if you haven’t read one before.
Reading your gas meter is not as simple as reading your electricity meter; unlike the former, the latter is read visually, generally with no numbers displayed. This can sometimes lead to confusion when you are trying to read your business gas consumption.
So, how do you read a gas meter? It might seem like an easy question, but unless you’re a gas engineer, it probably takes you longer to think about the answer than it does to understand how to read one.
There are two ways to read it: manually and automatically. Dial meters are generally easier to read and tend to give more accurate readings, but digital meters are very reliable.
Dial meters are the most common type of gas meter.
They have no electronic display and are fitted with a register that ticks over as you use more gas.
You can reset the register by turning a small handle on the side.
When resetting it, ensure it’s in line with all other registers in your area.
Before starting your next bill period, you should also ensure that all dials are reading zero.
They usually have two rings around them: one for kilowatts (kW) and one for kilowatt hours (kWh). To know how much gas you have used, turn both rings until they match each other and then read off where they meet on the dial face (there will be numbers on this face).
They have an arrow that points to a number on the face of the meter. This number represents your accumulated usage for the current billing period (usually one month).
This accumulated usage is called “run” in this section because it means how much gas you consumed since last month’s bill was issued and thus can be used to estimate future bills.
You can read the dial on your meter by noting how many times it has turned around since you last read it. This method is based on a 360-day year, which means that if you have a 30-day month, you will need to add one day to your reading to get an accurate reading.
On the other hand, if you have a 31-day month, you do not need to add or subtract anything from your reading.
The digital meter is the most accurate and convenient way to read your gas consumption.
They have an LCD screen with numbers displayed. They’re usually smaller than analogue meters as well.
A digital gas meter comprises two parts:
The first part is the display, which shows your current usage in kilowatt hours (kWh) and the total amount consumed in dollars. The second part is the sensor, which measures the gas flow through it.
You can read it by pressing the button on the side of it. The screen will then show you how much gas you have used so far today/this week/this month and how many units of gas this represents.
You can also see how long before it is due for a reading.
You can install this type in both new and existing properties. For example, if you’ve had a new gas appliance fitted (such as an electric cooker), your supplier will install it for free.
However, your bill should include the cost of converting from an old-style analogue meter.
If you’re still using an old one, you can contact your supplier to find out how much it would cost to upgrade. In most cases, they’ll pay for half the upgrade cost.
Imperial or metric?
The UK has used the metric system for many years, but many people still prefer to use imperial measurements. To find out how much gas you consume, you must know what measure is used on your meter.
Most UK businesses have imperial meters, which measure volume in cubic feet. But if you’re supplying gas to a large commercial or industrial property, there’s a chance it has a metric option.
If you have an imperial gas one, there will be two numbers on its dial – one large and one small (usually in red). The smaller number represents thousands, while the more significant number represents hundreds.
Meters can either rotate clockwise or anti-clockwise (this will indicate the direction on the front). It would be best if you turned them so that both hands point upwards when stopped at zero (for example, at the start of your billing period).
If you’re using imperial units, it’s essential to know that one cubic foot equals 7.5 litres, and 1-kilowatt hour equals 3.6 kWh.
Metric meters count units of energy instead of volume. You can find their residential properties with gas-fired boilers or heaters, but you can also find them in smaller commercial premises. These use kilowatt hours (kWh) as their unit of measurement.
There are several reasons why you should read your gas meter; it doesn’t just save you money but also helps with utility provider feedback and ensures the safety of your business.
Reading it is pretty easy. All you need to do is display the reading on your invoice, record it in your register and pay for the amount of gas you used at your next delivery.
When you do, you must be sure of the numbers, including your usage, reading, and unit.
To get it right, you need to note down as many details as possible about your gas consumption to understand what is causing an increase in your bill or a decrease in supply.
Completing accurate records will save cash and reduce the likelihood of accidental overpayment.