Gas Meter and Readings: What you need to know

Gas Meter

What’s in this guide?


If you have moved into your first home or just became financially independent, you may be asked by your energy company to send a meter reading.

This guide will tell you everything that you need to know about gas meters, including what they are, what a gas meter reading is and the different types available.

Let’s dive in!

What is a gas meter?

A gas meter refers to the machine that tracks your gas as you use it, similar to electricity meters which do the same thing.

This allows your energy supplier to see what they should bill you, which is why they ask for meter readings.

The more meter readings they have, the more accurate your billing will be.

Some customers may be charged less than they should be, but that can lead to things such as backbilling which is when an energy company costs you for all the energy you didn’t pay for, which could end up in the thousands.

This is why it should always be avoided, even if you think you’re getting a great deal.

What is a gas meter reading?

So now that you know what a meter is, what exactly is a meter reading?

All meters show you a number that tells you how many units of gas you have used.

Then, you can figure out the gas that you have used by taking away your previous meter reading from your current one.

Your energy company will then change the units of gas you’ve used typically into a unit called kWh.

They will then show you this on your bill.

A kWh is a unit of energy, that you might see associated with your appliances; for instance, 1000w is 1kWh.

Types of the gas meter

There are different types of the gas meter that measures the gas that you have used in different measurements.

Take a look at the different kinds of meters below for more.

Digital Meter which is Metric

Digital metric meters measure the gas that you use in meters which are cubic.

To read it, do the following:

  1. Write down the numbers that are often before the point which is decimal, starting with the side which is on the left going towards the right.
  2. After the point which is decimal, ignore those numbers.

Digital Meter which is Imperial

Digital imperial meters measure the gas that you have used in feet which are in cubic.

  1. Write down the digits starting from the left to the right.
  2. Do not write down any digits that might be red.

Meter which is a Dial

A dial meter looks more like a clock, with several dials with the numbers from zero to nine.

  1. Begin with the side which is on the left and note the digit that is highlighted by the point, moving right. In the case that the tip is in the middle of two numbers, write down the lesser.
  2. If the indicator is in the middle of 9 and 0, write it down as nine.
  3. Ignore red dials.

Compare with your readings

Now that you have recorded your meter readings, what do you do with them next?

First of all, you should compare it against your last bill and see if you have been overpaying or underpaying for your energy.

In the case that you have been overpaying, you can contact your energy supplier, and they should refund you immediately.

In the instance that you have been underpaying, you should ask your supplier to increase your direct debit until you have paid it off or pay it all in one go if it’s a small amount.

This is how you can avoid backbilling, which could lead to you getting an unexpected bill for potentially hundreds or in some cases thousands of pounds.

Calculating gas use

  • In the case that your measurement is in cubic feet, you should then multiply it by 2.83.
  • Then you can multiply it by 1.02264.
  • Then, multiply it by the ‘calorific value’
  • You should then divide it by 3.6
  • Then you can multiply the kWh figure, you should do this using your pence per kWh rate

Contact your supplier

Usually, your supplier will either have a dedicated number for you to ring or an online portal.

You can usually find this number on your bill.

Once you have submitted your meter reading, your supplier will either issue you a fresh bill, or they will ask you if you want one.


Did you know that you could be saving £200 a year on your energy bills?

Take a look at the EnergySeek guides to find out more about your energy, or see reviews of the top 7 energy switching sites to compare gas & electricity.