How to Read Your Meter

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Reading your electric meter is easy once you understand how it works.

Your electric meter is a precision instrument that measures the flow of electricity in units called kilowatt-hours (kWh). Electric meters are extremely accurate. Less than one-half of one percent of meters tested for accuracy fail to meet the acceptable error rate of plus or minus 2%.

Digital meters are read like the odometer of your car, from left to right. The correct reading for the meter in the above image is 43641.

Display Cycles

Your meter display screen changes continuously. You'll see these display cycles when reading your meter. The kWh screen shows your energy use. Look for the kWh at the right side of the screen.

  • Display Check: All elements light up, and it appears to show all 8s across the screen.
  • kWh: This screen shows your actual usage.
  • kW: This display shows your actual demand. Used for Jackson EMC's engineering purposes, demand is the maximum rate that your home uses power. Peak demand is determined by the highest 30-minute demand within a billing month.

Meter Testing

If you’re concerned your meter is not recording your electric use accurately, call your local Jackson EMC office. We'll test your meter for mechanical issues to determine if it needs to be replaced. If your meter is working properly, a $30 meter test fee will be assessed. No fees will be charged for malfunctioning devices.