How to Read a Utility Meter
The field office of Customer Service Operations is responsible for the
monthly reading of electric, gas and water meters. Maintaining the
readability and accessibility to these meters and the design of new routes
and schedules to effectively read and inspect the meters is also Customer
Service's responsibility. Customer Service Field Representatives turn on and
off all utility services as well as perform inspections of meters and
services due to unusual utility usage. The investigation, assessment and
collection of fines for illegal diversion of City utilities comes under the
jurisdiction of Customer Service.
The City of Mesa uses dial and digital meters to measure power usage.
Each of the five dials on the meter represent one digit. If the
pointer is between two numbers, record the lowest number. If the
pointer is directly on a number, record the next lowest number unless the
pointer on the dial to its right has passed zero.
In this example the reading would be 46462.
The digital meter displays numbers in four or five windows. If you
have this meter, you simply record the numbers.
The dials on a natural gas meter are like watch faces lined in a row (every
other dial moves counterclockwise.) Notice that when the pointer is
between two numbers, you should record the lower of the two numbers.
When the pointer seems to be directly on a number, look at the dial to
the right, if the pointer on the right side dial has passed "0", then write
down the number the pointer seems to be on; if the pointer on the right side
dial has not passed "0", then write down the previous lower number on the
dial you are recording.
Take the number the first pointer has just passed - 0
Take the number the second pointer has just passed - 5
Take the number the third pointer has just passed - 6
Take the number the fourth pointer has just passed - 3
Add two zeros - 056300 - This is the meter reading (in cubic feet of
Using a screwdriver or stick, slide the meter box lid off. Lift the meter
face cover. You will see a glass dial similar to an odometer of a car
(an example is below). The sweep hand measures each gallon of water up
to 10 gallons and is used mainly for testing. The first number on the
right of the dial is a "lazy zero". It represents the 'ones' place.
There is no need for it to move because the sweep hand does its work.
The movable dials to the left read in 10s, 100s, 1,000s of gallons, and so