How do I read my meter and submit a reading? — Bulb Community

How do I read my meter and submit a reading?

edited November 2017 in Help & Support
Both gas and electricity meters differ slightly as there are various types.

Submitting a Reading:

To give us a reading either go to MyBulb or email help@bulb.co.uk.


How do I know which meter is which?

The easiest way to tell your gas and electricity meters apart from each other is to look for "kWh" on the front of the box. This will only show on the electricity meter. This stands for kilowatt hours. On the gas meter it will measure your usage in different units, so it will say either m3 or ft3.

If you aren't sure which are your meters and which are your neighbours', get in touch. We'll look up the serial numbers written on the front of your meters.


Smart Meters:

At the moment, suppliers can't read other suppliers. smart meters remotely. This is being worked on by the regulators, but we can't say for sure when we'll be able to remotely read other suppliers' smart meters.

We understand that reading smart meters isn't as simple as it should be so we've got some instructions below that should help you out. We only require non-decimal digits for all the readings. You'll always be looking for a number followed by "KWH" for your electricity reading and a number followed by "M3" for your gas reading.

If your smart meter has:

a keypad:

Press 9 on the keypad until you see 'IMP KWH' and a reading with 'kWh' on the side, this is your electricity reading. For gas, you will see 'VOLUME' and a reading with 'm3' on the side, this is your gas reading.

For economy 7 meters, press 6 on the keypad until you see 'IMP R01' followed by 8 digits - this is typically your night/off peak/low reading. Press 6 until you see 'IMP R02' followed by 8 digits - this is typically your day/peak/normal reading. For both readings we only need the non-decimal numbers. Some meters only display day readings during the day, and night readings during the night period.

a green button 'A':

This is the electricity meter, press the green button until you see 'TOTAL ACT IMPORT' until a reading appears, this is your electricity reading.

red and black buttons:

Press the red button until you see 'CREDIT ON' followed by 'METER INDEX' and then readings. For the electricity it will show 'kWH' and for gas it will show 'm3'.

no buttons:

The screen will cycle through readings, you will need to take the reading that starts with R1, this is your electricity reading.

If you are ever unsure of how to read your meter, give us a ring on 0300 30 30 635 or email a picture of your meter to help@bulb.co.uk and we'll be able to help.


Reading Gas Meters:

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Meter reading is 00254. Write down the 5 numbers shown from left to right. Ignore the number(s) after the decimal point which may be shown in red.

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Meter reading is 2988. Write down the 4 numbers shown from left to right. Ignore the number(s) shown in red.

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Meter reading is 6456. Read the four dials from left to right along the bottom row only. When the pointer is between two numbers, write down the lower number. So if the pointer is between 9 and 0 write down 9.



Reading Electricity Meters:

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Meter reading is 07220. Write down the 5 numbers shown from left to right. Ignore the last number(s) which may be shown in red.

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Meter reading is 56315, 27457. For both top and bottom rows, write down the numbers shown left to right. Ignore the last number(s) which may be shown in red.

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Some two rate meters only have one digital display and they either flash up the different rate readings in a cycle or you need to press the button to make the display cycle through the readings for each rate.

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Meter reading is 76416. Read the first 5 dials from left to right, ignoring the dial marked 1/10. If the arrow is between two numbers, write down the smaller number. This includes is the dial is nearly at the next number,

If there are more spaces in the MyBulb form than you have dials, just leave any preceding boxes as zero. For example, if you have 4 dials, but are asked for 6 numbers then put in two zeros and then your reading.


How often will a meter reader come?

Everyone will be visited by a meter reader at least once a year for a reading and safety check. The company we use is called Morrison Data Services.





Comments

  • Do you send round meter readers ? what company would they be from and what identifying documents would they have to prove they are official meter readers ? how often would they come ?
  • edited January 2017
    Edit: We now use Morrison Data Services, not G4S.

    ________________

    Yep, we send round meter readers. Everyone will be visited by a meter reader at least once a year for a reading and safety check. The company we use is called G4S, they're the only company who can do what we need across the whole country.

    The readers will have identification and will be in a G4S uniform. I'll make sure that we get a picture of their ID so that members can check it on the website if they'd like.

    Great questions.
  • edited September 2017
    Shame. I didn't know you used G4S. I love your ethos, but in my books this company is about as far away from ethical as they come.
  • Hi @iyas

    You should take a read of this post. We agree with you that the work that parts of G4S do are against our values. This post goes into a lot of detail on why we chose to work with them and how this will change in the near future. Here's the key bit from it:
    amit said:

    This week G4S Group announced that it would be selling off Utility Services, so that it can concentrate on its core businesses of security and cash transportation. This underlines how separate the metering business was to the rest of the organisation, and is something that we welcome. This sale is set to happen over the next year (here's the announcement )

  • Thanks Will. It seemed really incongruous for a company with your ethical creds to be doing business with a company tangled up in Human Rights abuses, so I'm pleased that this will be coming to an end. Thank you for your reply.
  • No worries, you're welcome. Just shout if you have any other questions :)
  • Hi, couple of points:

    1. I have a smart meter, can you take readings from that or do I need to manually submit a reading every month.
    2. Can you put some instructions or links (if there are many types) for reading the smart meter, with mine at least it's not obvious how, I've found out now but may be useful for other folks.
  • Hi @shez82

    Good questions
    1) We cannot take readings from smart meters remotely yet. The nationwide smart meter rollout was done with very little cohesion between suppliers, so one suppliers meters can't necessarily be read by others. A source of immense frustration. Luckily things are going to be changing in the industry soon(ish) so that there is a standard between all suppliers. We're also working on being able to remotely read some smart meters, so we might be able to read yours remotely at some point too.

    2) Good idea. I'll see if we can find some resources on how to read various smart meters manually. And if we can't find any we'll make some. I'll add it to my to do list now.
  • for Ovo meters it's press 9 on the meter. The ridiculously awful little display thingie doesn't seem to show the actual reading.

    Then fill it in on here. Then get a smacked wrist and be told to go back and do it properly because the umpteen leading zeros have to be put in by hand :(

  • Thanks @corvus

    Good point about the leading zeros. We should think about redesigning that page if it's not as helpful as it should be,
  • It's not a big deal, I'd recommend sitting in the sun instead.

    That said, gas was easy, write number in field, So it's not obvious why electricity needs tellytubby style individual digit entry boxes at all, with or without leading zeros.

  • Well it's the little things that make the difference, so lets look at getting that changed. Because, why wouldn't we?
  • edited May 2016
    Thanks for sharing great knowledge. I also wants to share those steps with you:-

    To read dial gas meter we have to follow below mentioned steps:-
    -You have to read the dials from left to right.
    -Do not read any large or red dials.
    -If the pointer is between two numbers, write down the lower number.
    -If the number is between 9 and 0, use 9.
    -If the pointer is exactly on a number, write it down and underline it.
    -If any of the underlined numbers you have written down are followed by a 9, you’ll need to take one away from the number you’ve underlined.

    To read dial electricity meter, below mentioned steps is to be followed:-
    -You have to read the dials from left to right.
    -If the pointer is between two numbers, write down the lower number.
    -If the pointer is between 0 and 9, use 9
    -If the pointer is exactly on a number, write it down and underline it
    -If any of the underlined numbers you have written down are followed by a 9, you will need to take one away from the number you’ve underlined.
  • will said:

    Well it's the little things that make the difference, so lets look at getting that changed. Because, why wouldn't we?

    :)

    fwiw I've just filled in my second meter reading. Not only are the pointless leading zeros still there, on both electricity and gas pages, but also I'm now being told that I've done it all wrong






    apparently because the decimal point is in the wrong place, but that's under your control not mine.





  • @corvus, getting things like this changed takes a wee while. Our road map right now is heavily focused on making our referral programme as good as possible, so we haven't had a chance to slot it in. It's still a great idea and we will do it. It just takes a little while is all.

    That message comes up if your reading is quite a bit different to what the energy industry tells us they're expecting. It doesn't mean you've done anything wrong at all, it just needs a quick double check.

    Cheers,

    Will
  • We just moved into a new house with smart meters that were put in by Eon and don't give a clue on how to read them - they are 'Liberty' Secure meters. I googled this and found a really helpful video of a chap showing how to take a reading by pressing the little '9' button -
  • Thanks @katetiler great find,

    And, fun fact, I know him! I've met Flaxvert and Miniflax a bunch of times. I'll have to let him know that he's getting more famous.
  • iyas said:

    Thanks Will. It seemed really incongruous for a company with your ethical creds to be doing business with a company tangled up in Human Rights abuses, so I'm pleased that this will be coming to an end. Thank you for your reply.

    Hi @iyas, a quick update on this; the sale of G4S's Utility Services completed on the 28th Dec, so we are now using Morrison Data Services for our meter job needs.

    All the best,
    Will
  • maxmax
    edited January 2017
    Hey guys,

    I have two electricity meters like you mention in this post - but I'm unclear which one to submit on My Bulb? Should I submit both or one (if so which one)?

    Cheers,

    Max
  • Hi @max

    We understand that first meter reads can be a bit tricky! If you (or any other members) are unsure how to read their meter just take a couple of photos of the meters and email them over to help@bulb.co.uk and we can advise on how to take a read.

    Thanks!
    James

  • OK thanks James - will do. I know how to read it but just don't know how to submit both of them - but will email.
  • Max,

    Roger that. We are just getting this sorted out and will email you today.

    Thanks
    James
  • It would be helpful if you could really spell it out on this page whether the first reading from a two rate meter is the day reading and the second for the night. I'm assuming that is the case but it wasn't clear and I've had to look a bit to try to find that out without success. Just needs spelling out for idiots like me!
  • Hey @switchtorenewables, the frustrating answer is "it depends", as every meter is different. Usually the first is rate1/day/normal. So go for that. If it's wrong, the energy industry will flag it to us and we'll look at it and correct it. If you'd like more information about your meter then just give us a buzz on 0300 30 30 635 or email in a picture of your meter.
  • With my economy 7 meter i figured the currently displayed rate would be the active one, however it was day and displayed rate 2 lower than rate one and we have no storage heaters so you'd think the day rate would be higher.
    First utility website has a page about doing a timed slave check dieting daytime hours to see which rate changes which is a good idea!
  • Only joined Bulb today. So glad to hear you no longer use G4s. Worked as a meter reader with Scottish Power for 14 yrs before being taken over by G4s. Awful company with shabby practices.
  • Followed your advice about how to read my smart meter to obtain electric and gas reading but it did not work however I did obtain some information but fear it is not what I need.
  • Hi @keithcyrilgoodall, could you please send some photos of your meter in to help@bulb.co.uk? I will then be able to advise further and arrange a replacement if necessary.

    Thanks
    James
  • I have just switched to Bulb and am submitting my meter readings.

    How do I submit a reading for a second Electricity meter?

    I live on a farm and we have two electricity meters.

    Many thanks.
  • Hi @phil2967. We are working on getting second electricity meters functionality added to MyBulb, but for the moment, if you could please email in the second reading to help@bulb.co.uk or give us a call on 0300 30 30 365, we can get that entered for you. =)
  • There's a card inside my gas meter box saying the bonding may not be safe and to call someone (first time I've looked in here in my property since moving in). How do I get this checked and should I be worried? I have no idea how long it's been in there!
  • With regard to the meter checks arranged by Bulb, I read above that G4S sold its utility services to Morrison Data Services and is now Bulb's new meter reading company. I hope it was an arms length sale with complete change of ownership and practices. Setting up the same business in an apparently different company to dissipate public's dissatisfaction has been known to have happened in the past :open_mouth:
    Just out of interest, I found this via Google : https://www.meteroperators.org.uk/members/39-g4s-utility-and-outsourcing-services-uk-ltd (see the 'formerly G4S'?)
    Will Bulb be publishing MorrisonD's uniform (if it isn't just a yellow fluorescent jacket on top of civvies!) and prospective identification documents?
  • @leniwhite I've emailed you about this, because it sounds like we'll need an engineer to come out and take a look.

    @stephen9620- great point. We'll look into sending out information on Morrison's uniform and ID documentation alongside confirmation of any meter jobs we book.
  • Hi, im new to Bulb and on Varifair for gas and electricity being charged £72.4 monthly which i think is on the high side as i am a low consumer. Does this mean i have to submit my metre reading monthly? Also, can i request for a Smart metre? Thanks.
  • Hi @kenneth9472 Once we have a few months consumption, we can review your payments and adjust if it looks a bit high. We ask for readings monthly just so we can keep your account as up to date as possible, but we don't absolutely need them.

    We aren't yet installing smart meters, but I have added your name to the trial list to be one of our first to receive one!

    Thanks
    Sam
  • can i request a meter reading to be taken
  • @gav thanks for getting in touch with us. We'd gladly help you out with the meter reading. Would you be able to send us an email to help@bulb.co.uk with the details of your account and we'll re-arrange a meter reader to go out.
  • I am having problem reading my meter. Has ared light is flashing and no figger are showing so i am unable to give my previous supplier readings .please advice
  • @Sachmo877, a red flashing light is normal.

    Does your meter have a button and match one of the descriptions in the first post on this thread?

    You likely just have to press a button to read the meter.
  • Hi @Sachmo877 - @mowcius is right, sometimes it's as simple as pressing the right button. Our guide to reading meters of various kinds is here: http://support.bulb.co.uk/customer/portal/articles/2805466-how-do-i-read-my-meter-

    If you still can't get anything to work, please send us an email to help@bulb.co.uk or give us a call on 0300 30 30 635 from Monday to Friday (9:00 am to 6:00 pm) as your meter might well be faulty and we'll need to replace it (free of charge!)

    Hope that helps,
    Sam
  • I am trying to give my first meter readings (electricity and gas). I have two electric meters, one for off peak and one for normal. There seems to be no facility for giving you both of those readings (gas is no problem) . I will ring on Monday to discuss.
  • edited January 2018
    Hi,
    Trying to submit my first electricity and gas reading and wanted to clarify a couple of things.

    Electricity
    The form on the page is demanding a decimal point for my electricity reading (5 figures and single decimal point) - My electricity meter doesn't have a decimal point (only 5 figures), I'm sure you would just want me to put zero in there in this situation - But I thought it best to ask before I go ahead.

    Gas
    Your form is asking me to enter all numbers on gas my meter, do you want everything, including the numbers in the red section (after the comma) that you don't normally put in?

    Thanks
    Paul
  • Five figures is fine, including any leading zeros - ignore the decimal point.
  • I'm trying to enter my first reading before switching to bulb. Gas is no problem, but I can't input electric reading. I have the 6 digit (with decimal point) from my BG smart meter, but the Bulb page has 2 sets of 6 numbers to enter, and won't let me enter just one line. Do I enter it twice, or am I missing something? I'm also a bit concerned about how I enter subsequent electric readings as I understant that my B smart meter won't work with Bulb, so am unsure how I will be able to submit monthly readings.
  • Hi @Copson Your meter is one of those British Gas "Free Weekend" meters that actually has two readings.

    You will find that your meter has two readings if you press the green A button on the meter. The second reading the meter will never move and you will only be charged 1 rate for your electricity.
  • Cheers Rob.
  • I am still confused about my reading. somehow the wrong reading is being recorded.
  • I need someone to read my meter asI cant quite understand what to do.I feel stupid. I sent off some readings but dont think they are right.
    too many numbers!
  • The online dashboard is really helpful and easy to use. However, it is almost impossible to calculate the monetary cost of fuel used for folks like me who are not great at math. Can you add an app to the dashboard that breaks down between daily standing charges and actual energy use. Then another widget that will calculate the cost of actual energy used. If needs be, the unit rate could be entered manually if needs be, so long as the calculation is done by the widget. The other thing is, (I may be wrong) it seems that one is not able to look at a whole year's usage. For conserving energy this is important - tells us far more than just looking at the monthly statements. I really don;'t think these updates woudl be very costly or hard to implement. How about it Bulb?
  • One other small point. When viewing the list of prior readings, it would be much much easier is the GAS readings were in as separate column than the ELECTRIC reading figures. This would make it far easier for dyslexic strugglers like myself to analyse our data, comparing estimate to actual readings. Thank you. Other than this point and the points above, a very good service! John
  • I don’t find this at all helpful
  • @oneoff26, perhaps mention what you don't think is very good or what you think they could improve upon?

    Bulb seem keen to listen to their community but it's still early days so there will still be things which are not as good as they could be.
  • JohnnyR said:

    Can you add an app to the dashboard that breaks down between daily standing charges and actual energy use. Then another widget that will calculate the cost of actual energy used...

    The other thing is, (I may be wrong) it seems that one is not able to look at a whole year's usage. For conserving energy this is important - tells us far more than just looking at the monthly statements.

    These are great ideas @JohnnyR. I've added the calculator widget idea to our open tech roadmap - https://trello.com/b/xjpjIt0e/bulbs-open-roadmap. This is where we keep track of great suggestions from our members. Head on over and vote on the ideas you think we should prioritise!

    Our design team are always interested in hearing ways we can improve the online account. I've suggested to the team that they take a look at how information is displayed in the usage part of the dashboard. We'd love to improve it to make it even more useful for our members. Thanks so much for your feedback.
  • @Brontecat18 Amalik786 - If you send us a photo of your meter (hello@bulb.co.uk), we can look into it for you. Meters can be very confusing so we're always happy to help out!

    @oneoff26 - we can arrange for a meter reader to come and read the meter at home if you're still confused. Send us an email to help@bulb.co.uk with the details of your account and we'll arrange.
  • With the readings you have asked for day and night how do I know the difference?
  • I didn't submit a meter reading for a month or two. Now the estimated meter readings from Bulb are much higher than my actual usage was, and it won't let me enter the actual figure because that's lower than what Bulb have estimated.

    What happens in this case? Do you adjust the meter reading and take it off the next bill?
  • edited February 2018
    If it won't let you submit the reading at all (and isn't just advising you that it seems low) then I'd contact Bulb to get them to input the reading manually for you.

    I was under the impression it would accept low readings, just warn you that it seemed low.
  • I'm trying to update my electricity meter and it's asking me to add another number but it only has 5 numbers, I don't know what to do..
  • Hey @Cynthiambata80 if you have any doubts about how to submit the reading, I would suggest sending a picture of your meter showing the reading to help@bulb.co.uk
  • Electricity reading is correct for 14 The Falls Ambleside house has not been used and only heating left on.
    Dr John Green
  • I am unable to get any info from my gas meter as the place where the numbers were is completely blank. when SSE fitted my smart meters they must have put a cover over it with writing on it saying "Property of Meter Fit". Because of this I am unable to submit a reading to you. Anything I can do?
  • @Lionel_Oddell1937

    Have you tried to press any buttons on the meter at all? The smart meter's need a little bit of interaction!

    The "property" label is nothing to worry about, no supplier owns your meter. Your supplier just rents the meter on your behalf and this makes up the standing charge in your bill.
  • I’ve pressed the black button and the numbers I just gave you appeared
  • Hello, anyone there ?
  • Rob at Bulb are you there ?
  • @CharlieMoss12z Sorry that no-one could get back to you over the readings, looks like those readings that you entered look correct!
  • @CharlieMoss12z, just for clarification, this is a community forum rather than real-time chat which is why it took a few days for someone to get back to you.

    For real-time chat with the Bulb team (within business hours), you want to be at the bottom right of the help pages: https://help.bulb.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/115001240291-How-can-I-get-in-touch-with-Bulb-

  • Hi

    I am trying to make a meter reading on my British Gas smart meter. Your site requires me to fill in 2 numbers for electricity however I only have 1 number on the display?

    Thanks
  • Hi @DaveG_1978 It looks like you have previously been on a free weekend tariff with British Gas. This means that your meter has two sets of readings one for the normal consumption and another for the weekend consumption. Can you please see if you can get another reading for the second register? Here is a useful guide that may point you in the right direction https://www.britishgas.co.uk/help-and-support/meters/monthly-or-quarterly/faq/how-to-take-a-reading-on-a-smart-meter
    If this doesn't help then you can give us a ring on 0300 0303 0635 and we can talk you through it :)
  • trying top send electric readings NO BOX TO ENTER READINGS
  • Hi @maggie66 it looks like in your case we haven't been able to get your electricity switched over, as your old supplier 'objected' to the switch (told us we couldn't do it). If you get in touch with them they should be able to tell you why they objected (they can't tell us since it might be payment related-data protection and all that).
  • Hi, I have a high and low electricity reading to provide but the input box to enter them doesn't allow space or comma characters, only decimal point. Please advise, thanks.
  • @cob Could you email us your meter readings and we can correct this and add them for you?
  • you estimated my 19th May electricity reading at 32477 but when I tried to enter my true reading for 19th June of 32493 you are showing the May reading as 32790.Could you please advise? The estimated reading could have been high as we were away 10 days in May suejjagger@hotmail.co.uk
  • Hi @maxwell you should still be able to add that reading, even if a little warning message comes up. Otherwise I can add that 32493 reading for you (though it looks like we have a different one for you on the 18th?). By the way, there's no need to post your email address, we can find out who you are from your username :)
  • I've been with BULB 1.5 years no sign of any meter reader at all. ever.
  • I didn't often see a meter reader with my previous two suppliers (two of the big six), they seemed content with me sending them regular meter readings.
  • Just submitted my first readings, hopefully I have the electric ones the right way round assumed R1 is day and R2 is night might be worth adding this to site when submitting as I cannot be the only one with this type of meter
  • @MartinJotoole we don't arrange these readers to come round but they do normally show up once every 1-2 years. Generally, though, our members sending us readings is the best way, the big six use unarranged meter readers with the same frequency, @alanr

    @K3ato R1 and R2 are typically day and night respectively if for some reason this isn't the case with your meter we'll be able to tell when these readings are sent to your previous supplier. If they are the wrong way round we'll get them corrected.
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