How to Read your Business Gas Meter

27th October 2021

Reading your business gas meter ensures your energy supplier is given accurate information, helping you to avoid estimated bills which are unpredictable, and can result in costly overheads due to over or underpaying.

Whether you’ve recently moved premises or wish to query your latest reading, find your meter type below to learn how to take your reading:

Find your gas meter location

It’s important to know where your gas meter is in order to submit readings for a more accurate bill, and because meters will need to be inspected once every two years to ensure accuracy and safety.

If your business occupies a shared building, talk to the site manager, owner of the building, or the support team managing the building to locate your meter. Alternatively, a gas-safe engineer will be able to carry out a trace test to help locate the gas meter.

Depending on your premises and the positioning of the gas supply, your meter could be fitted either internally or externally. Buildings with gas pipes that don’t enter the property, will find their meter outside, in which case your supplier will most likely provide a box or shelter for the meter.

SME gas meters vs larger business meters

The larger the business, and therefore the more gas required, the more likely it is that an industrial or commercial gas meter will be in place to cope with higher gas volumes.

A domestic sized gas meter is more commonly found in a small to medium business because they will only be measuring a small amount of gas.

Additionally, many businesses are now opting for a smart gas meter, which breaks down gas usage by timeframe and highlights where and when excess gas is used, which provides invaluable for reducing the cost of your utility bills.

Imperial and metric measurements

Despite the size of your gas meter, it will read your gas usage in either imperial or metric measurements.

Imperial gas meters will use cubic feet to measure the amount of gas consumed, while metric meters measure usage in cubic metres.

The main difference between the two is imperial meters will use four digits, and metric meters use five. No matter what type, you should ignore any numbers listed after the decimal point.

Working out our business gas usage

Your gas supplier can determine exactly how much gas has been used by assessing your meter figures, but you can also do this on behalf of your business. This can be a useful habit in becoming more aware of your expected energy payments.

Find your last gas bill and subtract the last reading from your current meter reading. This will reveal you many units (either imperial or metric) used.

Next, check your kilowatt-hours (kWh), which will be listed on your bill, and multiply that cost by how many units you’ve consumed.

Understanding Digital Metric gas meters

Digital Metric gas meters give you a digital readout in cubic metres (m3).

You will be able to see either the letter ‘M’ or ‘M3’ on the front of the meter. The five numbers to the left of the decimal point are the numbers to write down and give to your gas supplier to avoid estimated bills. It’s important to include any zeros at the beginning too.

If the reading isn’t appearing on the digital screen, press the circular button to show the reading. If the reading still doesn’t appear, the meter could have a fault. If you suspect the meter has a fault, contact your energy supplier.

Understanding Digital Imperial meters

These are generally meters you'll find installed in older properties. They measure gas in cubic feet, and you will usually see those words written on the front of the meter, although in some cases, it will simply say ‘Ft’ instead.

Reading these gas meters also means ignoring anything after the decimal point, but most digital imperial meters will have those digits in red.

Dial Meters

They work in the same way as other meter types, with clock-style dials numbered from zero to nine, with a pointer on each.

Going from left to right, write down which number the pointer indicates, or the lowest of two if the pointer is resting between two numbers (unless it’s pointing between zero and nine, in which case you should write it as a nine). Like digital imperial meters, ignore any red dials.

Electronic meters

Your five-digit electronic gas meter will have one set of numbers to read. The display has one set of numbers digitally displayed across the meter. Reading from left to right, write down the first five numbers, including any zeros and ignoring any numbers after the decimal point, or which may be shown in red.

For greater accuracy upgrade to a smart meter...

To avoid having to read your gas meter and submit readings manually, you should consider upgrading to a Smart meter system.

A gas or electricity Smart meter works by sending readings to the DCC (Data and Communications Company) which connects meter data to energy suppliers and network operators across a secure wireless network.

You’ll receive regular Smart meter readings, receive accurate bills based on your actual consumption, and no longer need to send manual meter readings.

If you’d like to find out more about how Smart meters could support your business, enquire about eligibility, or need a new or upgraded meter at your premises, the energy experts at GEAB are waiting to take your call today from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, on 0800 084 3477.