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Reading Your Natural Gas Meter

Reading your own meter is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you are paying only for the natural gas you use. It is simple to do, and most companies will let you submit your meter reading over the phone or through the Internet.

Most natural gas companies attempt to obtain an actual meter reading every other month. From time to time, the natural gas company may not be able to get an actual reading from your meter. If your meter is inside your home (usually in the basement), behind a locked gate, or guarded by the family dog, you may see estimated readings on your natural gas bill. To get an estimated usage, the company uses a sophisticated formula that takes many factors, like the outside temperature, into account. For most customers, the difference between the estimated and actual usage is adjusted when the meter is read by the natural gas company the following month. However, for customers that have inaccessible meters, their bills may be estimated for several months in a row.

Taking your own meter reading is a simple way to ensure you are receiving an accurate bill each month. If you would prefer to have the natural gas company read your meter, you can call and make an appointment with the company. If your meter is inside or inaccessible, you may be required to be home to have the meter read. (Note: All gas company employees carry identification. Do not allow anyone to come into your home if they claim they are from the gas company, but cannot provide identification.) The diagram below shows how to read your own meter.

Small natural gas meter diagram (Click for larger view of diagram)

Other dials on the meter are for the natural gas company’s use when testing the meter for accuracy. The only dials you need to be concerned with when reading your meter are the large dials with numbers on them.

When you report your reading, the natural gas company’s system will check for unusually high or low usage, and if a problem has occurred, you will be transferred to a customer service representative for assistance.

Make sure you check your bill for your next meter reading date. This is the date you should take your reading and report it to the natural gas company. If you do not do it by the date printed on the bill, it may be too late to have your reading reflected on your next bill.