Electricity and gas meters

Gas meters

Metric or digital gas meters

Metric or digital gas meters record the amount of gas used in cubic metres (m3).

  • Read the numbers from left to right.
  • Only read the black and white numbers. Ignore any red numbers, as these are used for testing purposes.

Imperial or clock face gas meters

Imperial or clock face meters record the amount of gas used in cubic feet (ft3).

  • Read the first four dials from left to right.
  • Each dial revolves in a different direction from the one next to it, eg anti-clockwise, then clockwise.
  • Note the number the pointer has just passed, eg if it is between 7 and 8, write down 7.

The example below shows a reading of 1394 ft3.

Four clock face dials on a gas meter  The first dial has 1 million written above it, a right facing arrow below it. The face has its number range 0 to 10 running anti-clockwise is showing a pie slice segment between 0 and 2.   The second dial has 100 Thousand written above it and a left facing arrow below it. The face has its number range 0 to 10 running clockwise shows a pie slice segment between 0 and 4. The third dial has 10 Thousand written above it and a right facing arrow below it. The face has its number range 0 to 10 running anti-clockwise shows a pie slice segment between 0 and 9. The fourth dial has 1 Thousand written above it and a left facing arrow below it. The face has its number range 0 to 10 running clockwise shows a pie slice segment between 0 and 5. At the bottom of the meter face is written Cubic Feet

Using meter readings to calculate use and costs

To calculate how much gas has been used over a period of time, subtract a previous meter reading, eg from the last bill, from the current meter reading.

Gas meters record the volume of gas used in your home. To report your energy use on your bill, this volumetric figure needs to be converted to megajoules (MJ).

If you want to calculate your gas use, you need to convert the cubic meters (digital meters) or cubic feet (clock face meters) of gas recorded by your meter to MJ. To do this, you will need the pressure factor (sometimes called correction or conversion factor) and heating values from a recent bill. If no bills are available, a typical pressure value for South Australia is 1.0139 and a typical heating value is 38.61 MJ/m3 for digital meters, or 1.09 MJ/ft3 for dial or clock face meters.

  • [difference between readings] x [pressure factor] x [heating value] = MJ of gas used.

Example: convert cubic metres to MJ (metric or digital gas meters):

  • Previous meter reading = 0786 m3
  • Current meter reading = 0800 m3
  • Difference between readings = 0800 – 0786 = 14 m3
  • Convert to MJ used by multiplying the difference by the pressure factor and heating value
    14 m3 x 1.0139 x 38.61 MJ/m3 = 548.05 MJ used.

Example: convert cubic feet to MJ (imperial, clock face or dial meters):

  • Previous meter reading = 1074 ft3
  • Current meter reading = 1394 ft3
  • Difference between readings = 1394 – 1074 = 320 ft3
  • Convert to MJ used by multiplying the difference by the pressure factor and heating value
    320 ft3 x 1.0139 x 1.09 MJ/ft3 = 353.65 MJ used.

Calculating costs

Multiplying the amount of gas used in your home by the tariff on your bill, will give you an indication of your energy costs.

  • [difference between readings] x [tariff on your bill ] = kWh of electricity used

You can also calculate your appliance running costs for specific appliances in your home or do a home energy audit to find out where energy is being used in your home.

Providing access to meters

Energy retailers must do their best to read meters as frequently as is required to prepare bills, but at least once every 12 months. You are required to provide clear and safe access to meters to allow them to be read.

Your retailer is allowed to estimate your energy consumption to prepare your bills, which they may do if they can’t access your meter. Estimated bills may lead to high bills if your usage is over-estimated, or large catch-up bills if your usage has been under-estimated – see billing errors for more information.

If you fail to allow access to the electricity and/or gas meter for three consecutive scheduled meter readings, you risk having your energy service disconnected.

If accessing the meter at your home is difficult, eg it is inside your home or behind a locked gate, contact your retailer to negotiate a mutually convenient time for a meter reading.

See Customer rights and responsibilities for more information.

Incorrect meter readings

Incorrect meter readings are a rare occurrence but can mean you receive a very high or abnormally low bill. See Billing errors for information.

Faulty meters

Meters are rarely found to be faulty; in the majority of cases, a high bill will accurately reflect your household’s energy use.

If you think your meter is faulty, you can ask your retailer to check it. If the meter is checked and found to be operating correctly, you will be billed an inspection charge.

If the meter is found to be faulty, your account will be adjusted accordingly and you should not be billed an inspection charge. If the retailer tries to charge you for inspecting a faulty meter, contact them to resolve the issue. If the retailer will not remove the charge, contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman SA.


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Page last updated 4 April 2017

Provided by:
Department of the Premier and Cabinet
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/energy-and-environment/meters-and-bills/gas-meters
Last Updated:
04/04/17
Printed on:
15/12/17
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016