These dials from left to right, measure kilowatt-hours (kWh) by the thousands, hundreds, tens and ones. A kilowatt-hour is the electricity needed to burn ten 100-watt light bulbs for one hour. Some meters have four dials, some have five dials and some may even have six dials on the face of a meter. Each dial has 10 numbers and a pointer. Every other dial is numbered counterclockwise. The hands follow the direction of the numbers and advance only when you are using electricity.

FIGURE 1. The pointers on the first, third and fifth dial move in the same direction as a hand of a clock. The second and fourth pointers move in the opposite direction.

When reading your electric meter, keep these hints in mind:

What is the reading of the example electric meter shown below?

FIGURE 2. Read the dials from left to right.

The answer is 83895.

How to read the amount of electricity used in one week:

FIGURE 3. The reading on week-one is 2-6-3-5.

FIGURE 4. A week later at about the same time the reading is 2-8-3-9.

If you subtract the earlier reading from the new reading:

 2839 New Reading
-2635 Earlier Reading
204 kWh used

The answer is 204 kilowatt hours used.

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