Rare view of Metaline Falls, on the Pend Oreille River., Photographed by Peter Clarke
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How to Read Your Electric Meter

City Light uses two kinds of electric meters: Mechanical and Digital. Below are some tips on how to read them.

Mechanical Meters:

The dials on a mechanical meter are like watch faces in a row (every other dial moves counterclockwise).

Notice that when the pointer is between two numbers, record the lower of the two numbers.

Example 1:

Meter diagram
When the pointer seems to be directly on a number (dial B seems to point to "6" in example 1 and example 2), look at the dial to the right (dial C). If that pointer has not yet passed "0", (dial C in example 1), record the lower number, or "5" on dial B.

But if the pointer on the dial to the right has passed "0" (dial C in example 2), record the number the pointer is on, or "6" on dial B.


Example 2:

Meter diagram

Digital Meters

Most digital meters display the kilowatt-hours consumed, followed by a "segment check," which is a series of "8"'s that show that the display is working correctly. If a part of a segment is missing, the read could be reported incorrectly.

In the display below, the kWh consumption is 2439.

Your Electric Meter

For Digital Net Meters

(customers with solar or wind installations)

The display segments move back and forth, depending on whether grid power is being used or fed back. There is typically an arrow showing the direction of energy flow, with the words "delivered" or "received" displayed.

Click here for a printable version of this information in Adobe Acrobat format.

For more information, please call the Contact Center at 206.684.3000.
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    700 5th Avenue
    Suite 3200
    P.O. Box 34023
    Seattle, WA 98124-4023


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