Make Your Home Energy Efficient: A Guide to Understanding and Reading Your Electric Meter
Each month, electric companies, such as Eversource and National Grid, will use the electric meter on your home to evaluate how much energy you use and what your monthly expenses total out to be. As a homeowner, it is essential that you also know how to read these meters to understand how much electricity you are using. Knowing how to read your electric meter may help you identify any usage issues in your home and potentially save you money on monthly bills. In this blog, we will go over how to locate and read your electric meter and provide some tips on how to use these readings for future energy efficiency.
Importance of Knowing How to Read Your Electric Meter
Understanding how to read your electric meter is important for several reasons.
Allows Homeowners to Understand How Much Energy is Being Used & Paid For
First, it allows you to understand the amount of energy you are using and where these costs stem from. By being able to identify usage issues in your home, such as a short circuit or an appliance that isn’t running correctly, you can fix them before they get too expensive.
Easily Identify Discrepancies in Your Monthly Usage & Bills
Reading your electric meter also allows you to identify discrepancies between your monthly usage and bills easily. If you believe that the amount of energy being charged for is far higher than it should be, you can use the readings from your electric meter to confirm this suspicion.
Strategize Energy Efficiency Solutions
Finally, reading your electric meter may provide helpful insights into energy efficiency solutions for your home. Monitoring the readings can show you where certain areas of energy usage are highest and suggest ways that you can reduce them.
How to Locate Your Electric Meter
Before you can begin taking readings from your electric meter, you’ll first need to figure out where it is. Most homes will have the electric meter located somewhere outside of the house near the foundation. It should be in a grey or black metal box attached to the side of the house with either a single or double door. If you live in an apartment building, you can typically find the meter in a hallway near a maintenance or service closet.
How to Read Your Electric Meter
Open the Box Using a Screwdriver
Most electric meter boxes will require you to use a flat-head screwdriver to open the box. Once opened, you should see an analog or digital display of the current readings on your electricity meter. This is what you’ll need to take note of for future energy efficiency solutions.
Note Down the Reading and Date
Once you’ve opened the box, take note of the current reading on your meter (or record it with a photo). Make sure also to record the date that you are taking this reading. This will come in handy when comparing your usage from month to month or season to season.
Most meters will measure your energy usage in a combination of kilowatt hours and watt-hours. The average 4-person family home usually uses between 600 and 900 kWh each month. If your readings are higher than this, it may be a sign that something in your home uses more energy than necessary. Smaller homes, apartments, condos, etc. will tend to have much lower readings since they are smaller.
Close and Secure The Box
Once you’ve taken the necessary readings, make sure to always close and secure the box with a screwdriver. This will help keep your meter safe from damage or tampering.
How to Use Your Electric Meter Readings to Become More Energy Efficient and Save Money
Understand Your Billing Cycle
First, it is important to understand your billing cycle. This will help you identify trends in your energy usage throughout the year. For example, you may find that your energy usage is higher in the summer months than at any other time of year. This could be due to running fans and air conditioning units more frequently during this season.
Investigate Sources of High Energy Usage
If you notice a large spike in your electricity readings for one month, it can help to investigate the sources of this high usage. It may be due to a faulty or inefficient appliance, such as a refrigerator or dishwasher, that is using more energy than necessary. This could also be due to an older model of these appliances that are no longer as efficient as they should be.
Switch Lighting Fixtures to LED Bulbs
Another great way to reduce energy usage is to switch out your outdated lighting fixtures for LED bulbs. LED lights are much more efficient than traditional incandescent models and can help reduce electricity bills over time. Plus, they last longer and provide better illumination than their predecessors.
Seal Up Any Cracks or Openings Around Windows & Doors
Finally, sealing up any cracks or openings around windows and doors can help reduce your energy usage. This will keep warm air from escaping during the colder months and cool air from escaping during the hotter seasons. It’s also a great way to reduce drafts in your home for improved comfort levels.
Contact Absolute Energy Solutions to Identify Areas of Your Home to Improve & Upgrade for Home Efficiency
If you notice that your electric meter has been showing a higher usage than expected, it might be time to get an energy audit. By scheduling a no-cost assessment with Absolute Energy Solutions, you can quickly identify the biggest culprits in your home for high energy usage. With our air-sealing and insulation services, you can reduce energy loss and monthly utility expenses. To schedule your home assessment today and learn more about our services, call us at 888-577-0944 or visit our website!
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