Reading your own meters

Looking at a meter

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Essential Energy may not be able to access and read your meter. Where a reading is unable to be safely taken, your electricity use will be estimated based on your previous use and provided to your retailer. Once we are able to safely access all meters, your next meter read will be adjusted. You may wish to contact your retailer to arrange a self-read.

There are many different types of meters that can be used to record and display your usage. Each meter records and displays the information differently.

If you would like to access your meter to take your own meter reading, please be aware of the potential for hazards that can be associated with electricity meters and their locations.

Important safety advice

There are potential hazards associated with reading electricity meters, particularly if meters or meter boxes are damaged or have deteriorated. You should only read your meter if:

  • The weather is clear, with no rain or storms in the area
  • Your current electricity supply is not flickering
  • No one is experiencing shocks or tingles from touching taps, appliances, meter boxes or metal work
  • There are no signs of heat damage, blackening or burning odour from metering equipment
  • The meter box is not located on a transformer pole
  • There are no obvious signs of damage to the poles and wires supplying power to your premises
  • There are no signs of spiders, wasps, rodents or snakes.
If you have any concerns, please do not touch the meter box or meter, and contact Essential Energy on 132080.


These instructions can help you to compare your estimated readings or to check the actual readings on your invoice. If you wish to provide an updated read, please contact your retailer to arrange this.

How to read your meter

There are several different types of electricity meters. Please see a guide for each meter below.

Electricity clock dial meters

Electricity clock dial meters 

From directly in front of the meter, read each dial from left to right. Please note that the dials alternate in direction.

When a dial points between two numbers, you should write down the lower of the two. If it points between 0 and 1, write down 0, but if it points between 9 and 0, write down 9.

If the pointer is resting directly on a number, look at the dial to the right. If this number hasn't passed 0, then the original dial hasn't passed the number yet and you should note the lower number.

For example, in the picture above the reading is: 0-2-8-0-8

Electricity cyclonic dial meters

Electricity cyclonic dial meters 

The meter read can be read from left to right, including all leading zeros. If a dial appears to be between numbers, record the lower number - except when the dial sits between 9 and 0, note down 9.

If your meter has two readings marked with an L and H, please read both, left to right. If you have this meter type, submit both numbers.

For example, in the picture above the reading is 3-3-7-9-1

Electricity digital display meters

Electricity digital display meterElectricity digital display meterElectricity digital display meter 

Electricity digital display meters may have a single display or may scroll through a series of displays.

To read your meter, press the ‘display’ or ‘scroll’ button which will display the reading options. As the meter scrolls, note each of the readings. Your meter may also automatically cycle through the various meter readings. If so, it is not necessary to press any buttons to read this meter, simply wait and watch as the various meter readings appear. If a reading is missed simply wait and it will be displayed again.

Please see some examples of multiple reading registers below:

Multiple readings on a meter

Smart Meters

Smart meters are not normally manually read by Essential Energy. Please contact your retailer to discuss readings of these meter types.

Smart meter