Your meter records the number of units your business has used. By providing reads each month we are able to bill you for what you have actually used, rather than estimates. We want to do this so that you can budget for future bills and monitor your consumption.
Every month we will remind you that your meter read is due so that it can used for your bill. As a general rule, in order for us to use this reading for your bill, we would like you to submit your reads between the 24th and the last working day of the month. It really is that simple!1
Keeping an eye on your meter readings can help you monitor your usage. By regularly providing us with meter reads, you will always have an accurate bill which can help with your business cashflow. The easiest way to give us your meter reads is through your Customer Zone (try to do this by the last working day of each month). You can also send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your meter read or call our customer services team on 0161 946 4444.
Unsure how to read your meter?
We want reading your meter to be as easy as possible. If you are not sure how to read your meter or what information to provide, read on.
For each product that we supply, find your meter type below and follow the examples given to see how to read your own meter. Remember for all products, to include any zeros that appear before the digits.
Electricity meters come in various models, and we’ve got a guide on them all to help you provide us with your Business Electricity usage.
Digital – No button
This is the easiest meter to read, all you need to do is read the numbers on the display before the decimal point from left to right. Nice and simple.
For example, the meter read above is 122.
Digital – With button
Digital meters with buttons can vary. Again, once the meter read is displayed you’ll be reading it from left to right.
- Ampy: press the blue button to display the readings. These are the last 6 digits on the right!
The meter reading here is 302711.
- Elster: press the orange button on right hand side to cycle through the display and keep pressing the button until you’ve read all of the display.
The meter read above is 453988.
- Calmu (black meter): press the yellow button to cycle through the display, the left screen shows the reading information we need.
The reading is: 655432.
- PRI Sprint Meters: Press the turquoise blue button on right hand side to display read.
The reading is: 453988.
Handy hint: If your digital electric meter has two readings, these are read in the same way from left to right and ignoring any numbers after the decimal point or in red. We will need both to calculate your usage.
- Mechanical dials are read from left to right. The numbers underneath the dials represent their place value. So always start the read with the highest number underneath the dial and work all the way down to the lowest.
- Any dials in red should be ignored.
- Please be aware that some dials move in a clockwise direction and others anti-clockwise.
- If the pointer is between two figures, always read the lowest of the 2 numbers. For example, if the pointer is between 4 and 5, the number you read is 4 (because your usage hasn’t reached 5 yet!)
- When the pointer is directly on a number, for example 8, pay attention to the next dial to the right. If that dial on the right is between 9 and 0, you read 7 for the initial dial. If the dial on the right is between 0 and 1, you read 8 for the initial dial.
Let’s look at some examples:
- 5 Dial clock meters –
Meter read with last digit showing 1/10 – Ignore dial with 1/10 that is usually in red.
Digit showing 0.1 – Ignore dial with 0.1 that is usually in red.
Meter read is: 94694.
- 6 Dial clock meters –
These work in exactly the same way as the above, just with an extra place value. Start your reading from the highest number above the dial and work your way towards the lowest.
Meter read is: 113489.
Mechanical Cyclonical Dials
To read these meters you simply write down the figures that are displayed starting from left to right. The digits for your reading will be in the black boxes and separated by the decimal and red box.
Here’s a 5-dial example:
Meter read is: 7712.
And a 6-dial example:
Meter read is: 13426.
The way to read a gas meter is similar to electric. They are all easy and quick to read!
Digital gas meters are either imperial or metric.
- Imperial – An Imperial gas meters has four main numbers. To read it, you should start off by reading the first four digits from left to right and don’t include any numbers in red.
Meter read is: 7712.
- Metric – A metric gas meter has five numbers. To read it, you should take note of the first five numbers from left to right and don’t include anything after a space or decimal point.
Meter read is: 18024
Handy hint: If your digital gas meter has two readings, these are read in the same way from left to right and ignoring any numbers after the decimal point or in red. We will need both to calculate your usage.
Dial gas meters
When taking a dial gas meter reading, there are a few rules to remember to make it easier for you:
- Ignore any red dials, ones marked ‘100 per rev’ and large dials
- Start off by taking the reading from left to right
- In the case that the pointer is between two figures, remember to take the lower number. If it’s between 9 and 0, record 9. If the pointer is directly on a number, check the next dial to the right. If that dial reads 8 or 9, then lower the reading for the dial on its left by one.
Meter read is: 0140
Cyclonic gas meters
To read these meters you simply note down the figures that are displayed in the black box and don’t take the readings in the red box.
Meter read is: 231.
Your water meter is a little different to your electric and gas meters, the dial still records your current usage so taking your meter reading for water is important.
If your meter is an older style, you’ll have black digits on the left and red on the right. For your meter reading, you only need to take note of the black numbers. Start reading the numbers in black from left to right as they show the number of cubic metres used. (Whereas the numbers in red only show the litres used.)
Meter read is: 13.
Automated Meter Reading (AMR) meters have inbuilt technology to collect data from the meter and provide it directly to us so you don’t have to. But, you can use the data to monitor consumption and make savings.
Meter read is: 22.
We know your world doesn’t always revolve around the 9-5 and sometimes you don’t want to have to call us to make payments, set up a Direct Debit or submit a meter reading.
Our self-serve portal, Customer Zone enables you to simply and quickly do the things you need at a time that suits you.
We’ve created a helpful series of videos explaining exactly what you can do in Customer Zone and how to do it.
For more information, see our blog post ‘The Unicom guide to meter reads‘.
1 Once the meter read is submitted it enters our validation process to authenticate the read using internal and external data. Please note that we’ll only use valid reads on your next invoice. In the instance that your read is invalid, Unicom will contact you to capture a valid read.