How to Read Your Meters

Your Smart Electric Meter

Reading your new smart electric meter is easy. The meter scrolls through several different displays that will show your kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage, date, time, and other system and diagnostic information.

Scrolling Displays

Smart meter fact sheet thumb nailDownload the detailed How to read your meter fact sheet. Look at the top left-hand corner. Most of the scrolling digital displays are identified by a number in this corner. This number represents what type of data is being shown:

  • ”01” = Date. Shown as month/date/year. For example, December 25, 2017 would display as 122517.

  • “02” = Time. Shown in military or 24-hour time and includes seconds, For example, if it’s 7:17 p.m. and 17 seconds, the display will be 191717.

  • “10” = Current meter read.

Reading Your Energy Usage

Using our example, the initial meter read is 001406. To find out how much energy you use in a given time, subtract this first reading from a second reading taken at a later date. For instance, if you go back to your meter later and it reads 001940, then you have used 534 kWh for that time period (001940 - 001406 = 534). 

Detail of kWh Display 

A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is 1,000 watts of electricity used for one hour. For example, when you use a one-kilowatt appliance for one hour, you've used one kWh and your meter read display will show an increase in consumption of one. If you used the same one-kilowatt appliance for two hours, the display would increment by two kWh. 

Save Energy and Save Money 

The energy use information collected by your smart meter will help you understand your energy habits and the best ways to save. In the future, you'll be able to view your usage information through the Internet. Knowing how much energy you're consuming on a daily basis can help you better manage your energy use and save money. 

To prepare, sign up for My Account and start managing your bill online. 

Your Gas Meter

Reading your gas meter is as easy as reading the dials on a clock.  

Download the detailed How to read your meter fact sheet

Gas meter dials

Your gas meter records and sends gas usage data through a smart “module” located behind the dials. The smart module moves the dials as gas is used.

  • You can read from left-to-right or right-to-left.
  • When the dial points between two numbers, write down the lower of the two numbers.
  • When a dial hand appears to be exactly on a number (see dial “D” in each example) look at the dial directly to the right. If the hand on the dial to the right has not passed “0”, write down the lower number. For example, since the hand on dial “C” has not passed “0”, dial “D” is “2”.

Notice that the hand on the first and third dials runs clockwise, while on the second and fourth dials the hand runs counterclockwise. For an accurate read, you must remember to read each dial based on the direction the hand moves on that dial.

gas meter face

Save energy and money

The energy use information collected by your gas and electric meters will help you understand your energy habits and the best ways to save. You can view your energy use through the Internet with My Account, our online account management service. To sign up, visit and have your SDG&E bill handy.