All households urged to submit a meter reading on 30 September to avoid being overcharged for gas and electric

The price per unit of gas and electric is set to change on 1 October, so make sure you submit a meter reading on 30 September to make sure you don't pay more than you need to

Take meter reading today

Meter Reading Day is designed to encourage households to submit energy meter readings to their suppliers just before energy prices go up. This is to make sure that you are only charged the new higher rate for energy you use once the new prices are in effect, and not for any energy you used just before. 

Make sure you know how to read your energy meter, especially if you are worried about how much energy bills will cost (opens in new tab). Even though the energy price cap (opens in new tab) is effectively being replaced by the Energy Price Guarantee, which will see an energy bill freeze (opens in new tab) in place for two years from 1 October, gas and electric is still more expensive than it was at the end of 2021.  

Speaking of Meter Reading Day, Gareth Kloet (opens in new tab), energy spokesperson at GoCompare, said: “We would urge all bill payers to take both gas and electricity meter readings... and make sure you submit these to your supplier.”

When is Meter Reading Day?

The last Meter Reading Day was on 31 March 2022, the day before the energy price cap increased by 54%. But households are being encouraged to submit their meter readings on 30th September 2022 too. This is because prices are set to increase again on 1 October. 

Up until 30 September, the average annual energy bill, based on typical use is £1,971, with prices per unit of unit of energy capped at 7p per kilowatt hour (kWh) for gas, and 28p per kWh for electricity. 

But from 1 October, the average annual bill based on typical use will be £2,500, with unit prices of 10.3p per kWh for gas and 34p per kWh for electricity. This is about a 27% increase on the current rates. Although, don't forget the £400 energy rebate (opens in new tab) will start to be paid from October too. 

By submitting a meter reading on 30 September, you can make sure that you are not charged the more expensive rate for energy you used before it came into force. 

On the last Meter Reading Day at the end of March, the websites of many suppliers crashed due to being unable to cope with the volume of people trying to submit their meter readings. 

If you are unable to submit your meter reading on 30 September, submit it as close to that date as you can. 

Do I need to submit a meter reading?

If you are on your supplier's standard variable or default tariff, then it's a good idea to submit a meter reading, as the price you pay for your energy will be affected by the Energy Price Guarantee. If you are not sure what kind of tariff you are on, you should be able to find this information on your energy bill. If not, give your supplier a quick call and they will confirm what kind of tariff you are on. 

If you are on a fixed-rate tariff, you do not need to submit a meter reading, as the price you pay for your energy doesn't change each month.

Those with a smart meter (opens in new tab) won't need to submit a meter reading either. But for peace of mind, you may want to take a photo of your meter on your smartphone should you need to dispute your bill with your supplier.

Similarly, if you are on a prepayment meter, you won't need to submit a meter reading either. A prepayment energy meter trick (opens in new tab) that it might be worth considering is topping up your meter on 30 September at the cheaper rate. 

How do I submit a meter reading?

You can submit a meter reading to your supplier by post, phone or online via your supplier’s website or app. Some suppliers may also have an online chat or text service you can use. Submit your reading online or via your supplier’s app rather than phone if you can.

If you are unable to submit your meter reading, take a photo of your gas and electric meters and email them to yourself so you have a time stamp of when the pictures were taken. This will be really useful should you find you need to dispute your bill with your supplier. 

How to read your meter

This depends on the type of meter you have, and whether you pay single rate or two rates. Most people pay a single rate. Those with an Economy 7 meter will pay two rates - one for off-peak usage, another for peak usage. If you’re not sure how many rates you pay, you can check a recent energy bill to find out.

Reading an electricity meter

In general, if you have a single or two-rate meter, simply read the numbers from left to right, ignoring any numbers in red or after a decimal point.

For a dial meter, you record the figures shown on each dial from left to write. You can ignore any numbers in red. When the pointer is between two numbers, record the lower number. If it’s between the 9 and 0, record 9.

When the pointer is directly on a number, first check the next dial to the right. If the dial on the right reads 8 or 9, then lower the reading for the dial with the pointer directly on the number.

How to read a gas meter

Gas meters can be read in the same way as electricity meters. You might see that the gas meter measures in cubic metres (m3) or feet (ft) rather than kilowatt hours (kWh). Your supplier converts it into kWh on your bill.

How to read a smart meter

Smart meters normally send readings to your supplier automatically. But there is a chance your meter may not be set up to send a reading on Meter Reading Day. You might find it beneficial to make a note of the meter reading in case of a dispute.

When it comes to reading a smart meter, this also depends on the kind of smart meter you have.

You may have a smart meter with:

  • a keypad
  • a green button labelled A
  • A and B labelled buttons
  • or one with no buttons at all.

You can check your supplier’s website or visit our sister brand Look After My Bills for instructions on reading each type of smart meter. (opens in new tab)

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Sarah Handley

Sarah is Goodto.com's Money Editor. Sarah is an experienced journalist and editor with more than 10 years of experience in the Homes industry, working across brands such as Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living and Real Homes. After segueing into the world of personal finance, acting as launch editor of GoodtoKnow's sister brand TheMoneyEdit.com, Sarah became Editor in Future’s Wealth division with a focus on property-related finance and household bills, working across brands including GoodtoKnow and Ideal Home. She is passionate about helping people cut through confusing jargon to make the right financial decisions when getting on the property ladder and turning a house into a home.