Why read your meter
Although your monthly SCE&G bill contains detailed information about your account and energy use, you may want to keep track of your usage on a daily basis. This will help you know when you are using the most energy, how you use energy and ways you can become more energy efficient.
Things to know about reading your meter
Electric and natural gas meters are read the same way. An electric meter measures kilowatt hours and a gas meter measures cubic feet. A kilowatt hour (or kWh) is equal to 1,000 watts of electric energy used in one hour. One 100-watt bulb burning for 10 hours equals one kWh.
A cubic foot of natural gas contains approximately 1,000 BTUs of heat, which is the equivalent of burning 1,000 kitchen matches.
How to read your meter
Your meter has four or five dials. Note that the numbers are clockwise on some dials and counterclockwise on others. Write down the smaller number if the pointer is between two numbers, except between nine and zero.
In this case, zero is considered 10, so nine would be the correct reading. If the pointer is on a number, look at the dial at the right. If that pointer has not passed zero, write down the smaller number. The reading on the dials is 5429.
You can find out how much energy has been used in a given amount of time, say a day or a month, by taking readings at the beginning and end of that time. Simply subtract the earlier reading from the more recent one. That will give you the number of kilowatt hours or cubic feet used.
Diagram of a typical meter. This meter reads 5429.
For your convenience, a chart to help you get started tracking your meter readings (PDF, 165KB) is available. For further assistance, call 1-800-251-7234.
Automated Meter Reading (AMR)
Automated meter reading (AMR) technology gives meter readers the capability to read every meter in an entire neighborhood simply by driving through the area.AMR uses a laptop computer in the service truck to receive data via secure radio frequencies. As the meter reader drives down a street, the computer signals a module on each meter to transmit the current reading. This data is stored and later used to calculate your bill.
The dials on the AMR meter are read like a clock– the numbers that appear will be your reading. SCE&G is currently using AMR to collect readings in much of our service territory.
The picture below shows a standard solid state electrical display which is on for seven seconds at a time.
The picture below shows the segment check on a standard solid state display which is on for one second at a time. The purpose of the segment check is to verify all segments in the display are functioning correctly.