How to read your business electricity meter

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Electricity Meter types

Standard MeterThe next business gas and electricity mystery are different energy meters. Different businesses have different meters. The simple rule is- if you have a Standard Meter then you are charged just one price for electricity usage (regardless of when you use electricity).
Economy 7 MeterMany businesses have Economy 7 meters. All you need to know is that Economy 7 meters get you better deals. The reason is, you pay much less for using electricity at night than during the day. Economy 7 meters tell energy companies when you use energy.  For example, with Economy 7 meter you may pay 14 pence during the day and 12 pence during the night. If you are running a bar, you would very much benefit from Economy 7 meters.
Smart MeterSmart meters are the new rage. They give you lots of energy consumption data, down to individual electric machinery that you may be using. Smart meters, just like Economy 7 meters will help you save on energy because you can get lower prices for using electricity at night and over the weekend rather than during the day.
Half Hourly Bigger businesses will have half hourly meters. These meters record large energy consumption. If you have a half-hourly meter, that means every time you switch the energy company will want to know exactly how much energy you had used. Half-hourly meters can also differentiate between day and night rate to enable greater savings.

Standing charges and Unit Rates

Unit RatesUnit rates is how much you pay for the usage of electricity. Energy companies charge businesses based on price per Kilowatt Hour. In simple terms, you pay for what you eat. The only bit to remember here is KwH or Kilowatt Hours. Most small businesses use 10-50,000 kWh per year.


Energy prices are in pence. This is really annoying, because your bill is in Pounds (and often lots of Pounds) but your price is in pence.

For example, the current best (January 2020) price that EnergyBillKill can get from suppliers is around 13.15 pence per kWh (for standard meters, we will discuss different meter types below).

So what does 13.15 pence per kWh mean? All it means that every time your businesses is 1 Kilowatt Hour of energy your business will pay 13.15 pence.

Standing ChargesStanding charges is what you pay for the daily rental of your gas and electricity meters. Regardless of the meter type, the energy company charges you daily for the meter even if your lights are off and the cooking hob is not cooking.


So even if your business uses ZERO energy but you have an electricity and/or gas meter, you are looking at a bill of at least GBP 73-146 per year PLUS VAT and Climate Charge.

Typical standing charges range from 20 – 40p per day. Ideally yours is closer to 20 – 30p.

We would be suspicious if your standing charge was much higher than 40p per day. That most likely means that something funny is going on!

How to read your electricity meter

Dial (Clock) Meter

Standard (24 Hour)

Economy 7 Meter

  1. Read the digits from left to right.
  2. If the dial is between two numbers, round down to the lowest number. If the dial is between 9 and 0, round down to 9.
  3. Ignore any dials in red.

E.g. The reading for this meter is 17887

  1. Read the numbers from left to right, including any zeros.
  2. Ignore any numbers after the decimal point or in red.

E.g. The reading for this meter is 02827

  1. For each row, read the numbers from left to right, including any zeros.
  2. Ignore any numbers after the decimal point or in red.

E.g. The day reading for this meter is 17366, and the night reading is 06682

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