Please note, OUC is upgrading our entire service area to digital electric and water meters [shown at right]. Over the next several years, OUC will replace the old analog devices in each household based on our regular meter-reading schedule. By the end of 2013, the switch to all digital electric meters will be complete. The water meter conversion is expected to be complete over the next two years. For more information, please visit the digital meter page.
How To Read An Electric Meter
To monitor your electric usage, you should know how to read your meter accurately. Taking periodic readings will help you control your usage, let you see when your personal "peak" usage may be, and what appliances may use more or less electricity than you think.
Once you locate your electric meter (typically on the side of your house or apartment), you will probably notice that some hands turn right and some turn left, as in the example below:
The meter above would give a fairly easy reading in kilowatt hours (KWH). When determining what each digit reads, simply write down the smaller of the two numbers each hand falls between. For example, the hand on the first dial falls between 7 and 8. So you would write down 7 for the first dial. Using this system, the meter reading above would be:
In some cases, the hands may be too close to one number to tell whether the hand actually falls slightly above or slightly below the number. For example, take a look at the pair of dials below. It may not be immediately obvious whether the dial on the left should be read as a 6 or a 7.
Just look at the dial to the right of the dial in question. If the dial on the right has passed 0, then the dial on the left should be read as the higher number. In this case, the dial on the right has passed 0, so the left dial should be read as a 7.
Likewise, if the dial on the right has not yet reached 0, then the left dial should be read as the lower number. So in the example below, the two dials would read 6 and 9.
Now that you have the basics down, try a harder example. If you're not sure how to read one of the dials, just use the guidelines above:
So what do you think? If you read the meter above correctly, you came up with:
You can now use these numbers to calculate your utilities costs. Let's say that the two full meter readings above were your home's readings on the first day of last month (the first example of 73,256 KWH) and the first day of this month (the second example of 73,988 KWH). You home's usage in KWH for the past month is this month's reading minus last month's. Multiply this by your electric rate to find your approximate electric costs for the month.
Now that you know how to accurately read your electric meter, try keeping track of how your monthly use fluctuates and changes. Read the meter once a week (or at least once a month) at the same time each day. Keep track of the KWH use and compare it to your previous consumption history to determine how it fluctuates depending upon what you do. Find more information on approximately how much energy (in cents) appliances around your house use. If you have questions about reading your meter, call OUC Customer Service at 407-423-9018 (Orlando and Orange County) or 407-957-7373 (St. Cloud).
How to Read Your OUC Electric Meter
Notice that some hands turn right and some turn left.
If a hand is directly on a number, you may be uncertain whether to write down that number or the next lower number. Here’s what to do:
Look at the next dial to the right. If the hand on the right has passed 0, write down the number to which the hand on the left is pointing. In this case, it is a 7.
If the hand on the right has not passed 0, write down the next lower number. In this case, it is a 6.
Monitor Your Usage And Save
By learning to read your OUC meters, you can take control of how much energy and water your household uses each month. Simply by taking periodic readings, you can see when your personal “peak” usage may be and what appliances or applications may use more electricity or water than you think.
Reading Your Meters
Depending on where you live, you may have a different style of meter. Units with digital displays make taking a reading simple — just copy the number as it reads on the meter. If your meter has dials, see inside for instructions on how to take an accurate reading.
Keep a Daily Scorecard
Read your meters at the same time each day, preferably once a week. Keep track of the KWH or gallons used and compare it your previous readings to determine how it fluctuates depending on how your household uses water or appliances.
To Calculate Your Electric and Water Costs
To determine your electric or water costs over a day, week or month, take two readings over a period of time and use the formulas below. To find your current OUC water and electric rates, visit OUC's rates page.
Please note that your rates will differ depending on how much energy or water you used (also known as “tiered rates”), who your utility provider is for each service, and where in Central Florida you live.
For more information, please refer to the "How to Read Your Meter" brochure.
If you have any questions about reading your meter, visit OUC's meter page, fill out the form on the Customer Support Page or call OUC Customer Service at 407-423-9018 (Orlando and Orange County) or 407-957-7373 (St. Cloud).