Your electric meter measures your use of electricity in units called kilowatt-hours or kWh. One kWh is 1,000 watts used for one hour, which is the equivalent of ten 100-watt bulbs left on for one hour.
You can read your own meter to make periodic checks on how much electricity you've used. If you just want a quick read out from your meter, use the meter graphic below.
The meter has four or five dials with the numbers 0 to 9. The pointers rotate in different directions. Read the dials from the left, using the number the dial pointer just passed. When the pointer is between 0 and 9, the 0 stands for 10 and the reading would be 9. If the pointer is directly on a number, look to the dial to the right. If that pointer has not reached the 0, read the original dial at the lower number. If it has, read the original dial at the higher number.
The meter diagram reads 50497 for a 5 dial meter or 0497 for a 4 dial meter.
Subtract the reading taken on an earlier date — or the reading on your latest bill — from the current reading to get the number of kWh you've used since that earlier reading.