An electric meter will typically have four or five dials on it. The four-dial meter is the most common. The reading for each dial is the last number passed by the pointer. In other words, when the pointer is positioned between two numbers, record the lower of the two numbers. For example, if the pointer is between five and six (regardless of which way the pointer turns), the reading is five. The dials are read and recorded from left to right. The consumption during any interval can be calculated by taking the difference between the previous reading and the current reading of the dials. If the previous reading was 5,236 kWh, the usage would be 610 kWh.
Previous Reading: 5,236 kWh
Current Reading: 5,846 kWh
Usage during the period: 610 kWh
Note: On a four-dial meter, looking from left to right, the numbers on the first and third dial are in a counter–clockwise arrangement. The pointer on the first and the third dial also moves in a counter-clockwise motion. The numbers on the second and fourth dial are arranged in a clockwise arrangement on the dial. The pointer on the second and fourth dial also moves in a clockwise fashion.
The five-dial meter works in the same way. On a five-dial meter, looking from left to right, the first, third and the fifth dial’s numbers are in a clockwise arrangement on the dial. The pointer for the first, third and fifth dial also move clockwise. The second and fourth dials are arranged and move counter-clockwise.