How to take a gas meter reading

A gas meter reading ensures that you are paying for what you use rather than an estimate.

Where is the box located?

If you share a building with other flats, your gas meter box may well be in your kitchen in a cupboard, or the hallway.

If you live in a house, then your box may be located outside your door.

When to read it?

Your gas company will message you when it’s time to submit a new reading (to check they are charging you the right amount).

When you move into a new house (renting or buying) ensure you call your gas or energy supplier and give them the meter reading so that you start paying for the quantity you use, rather than paying the previous occupiers too

The calculation is:

Gas units used  x  metric conversion factor  x  calorific value  x  volume correction divided by 3.6 = kWhs

How to read it?

It’s really simple and takes just a few minutes. Read the numbers show from left to right. If there are numbers in red, ignore them, and any numbers after those too.

Simply send the numbers to the gas company and the date (you can normally do this online in a matter of minutes).


There is a variation of meters, here’s how to read each one…

  1. Digital metric meter: there are eight numbers on a digital metric meter; the first five are needed for a meter reading e.g. 12345.6789 (just the first five, before the decimal point, will suffice)
  2. Digital imperial meter: there are four numbers in black boxes and two in red, the black numbers are your meter reading, ignore the numbers shown in red
  3. Dial meter: This meter has four or more dials (they look like mini clocks), each dial points to a number between 0 and 9. Your meter reading is the numbers from left to right. If the dial is pointing in between two numbers, use the lowest number. If the arrow is in between 0 and 9, use the number 9

For more information visit the Citizens Advice Bureau website