Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association

Understand Your Meter

Meter Info | Meter Tampering | Causes of Bill Variations | How to Read Your Meter (PDF)

How to Read Your Meter

By reading your meter on a regular basis you can monitor the amount of electricity you are using and gauge your energy saving efforts. Our goal is to give you greater control over your home energy and to provide you with the tools and information you need to keep your electric bills down.

Electric meters measure use of electricity in units called kilowatt-hours or kWh. One kWh is 1,000 watts used for one hour. We have two types of electric meters in our system; the standard pointer register meters and digital meters.

Digital Meters
A digital kilowatt-hour meter measures the amount of electricity used and displays the usage on a liquid crystal display (LCD). It records usage in the same manner that a car’s odometer records mileage. You read the numbers from left to right. After you have read your meter, subtract the previous reading from the present reading. The difference between the two reflects the number of kWh of electricity you have used.

Standard Pointer Register Meters
The standard pointer register kilowatt-hour meter has several dials that look something like watch faces. This type of meter is more complicated to read than a digital display meter. The dial on the right records one kilowatt-hour at a time.

How to Read a Standard Pointer Register Meter (download PDF)
You may have to refer to the illustration several times before you become accustomed to the procedure. And note, the arrows in the diagram below indicate which direction the pointer is rotating.

To read this type of meter, read and record the dial positions from right to left beginning with dial “A” and ending with dial “E”. On each dial record the number the pointer has gone past. Pointers always move in a direction of increasing numbers, except from “9” to “0”. At this position the “0” is the tenth digit.

Dial “A” reads 9. The pointer on this dial has passed the number “9” as indicated by the direction the pointer rotates.

Dial “B” reads 4. In this instance the pointer is directing to the “5”, however it is difficult to determine whether it has gone past the “5”. Since the dial to the immediate right (Dial “A”) has not made its complete revolution, dial “B” is reading “4”.

Dial “C” reads 0. The pointer has made a complete revolution and is starting over past the “0”.

Dial “D” reads 5. The pointer in the dial to the immediate right (Dial “C”) has made its complete revolution.

Dial “E” reads 2. The pointer on this dial is past the “2”.

After all numbers have been recorded (from right to left) read as a regular number from left to right. The above reading is 25049. Once you have read your meter, subtract the previous reading from the present reading. The difference between the two reflects the number of kWh of electricity you have used.

Meter Information

Supply of Meters:
The measurement of electric service is by meters installed, owned, and maintained by the Cooperative. The Cooperative will select the type and make of metering equipment, and may, from time to time, change or alter the equipment.  FKEC installs meters that are read electronically.  Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology typically eliminates the need for FKEC personnel to enter a member’s property to read the meter each month

However, access to the meter may be required from time to time.  By requesting service from FKEC, you are granting 24 hour access to your meter for meter reading, maintenance, vegetation management and emergencies.  It is the member’s responsibility to see that no hazards or impediments exist to prevent FKEC field personnel from safely accessing the meter.  FKEC employees and contractors will, upon request, show credentials and state the reason for requiring access. 

Special Measurements:
For the purposes of measuring the demand, collecting interval data or for other measurement of all or part of a member’s load, the Cooperative may at its option and its own expense, place demand meters, load survey meters, or other instruments and equipment on the premises of any member.

Meter Accuracy and Testing

It is rare that a meter is found to run fast and record an increased usage. Like most other machines, meters tend to slow with age. The performance of an in-service watt-hour meter is acceptable when the meter does not creep, and when the average percentage registration is not more than 102% nor less than 98% at full and light load.  To maintain a high standard of accuracy the Cooperative, at its own expense, performs periodic tests and inspections of its meters in order to verify they are operating within these parameters.

If you feel your meter is not operating properly, you may contact FKEC to request a meter test.  If the meter is found to be operating within the acceptable parameters, a fee of $30.00 for a single-phase meter and $40.00 for all 3-phase meters may be assessed to cover the expense of the meter test.  If the meter is found to be operating outside the acceptable parameters, no fee will be assessed.  If the meter is found to be slow, no additional billing will be made.  If the meter is found to be fast, appropriate credit adjustments will be made to bills rendered six months prior to the meter test.

Meter Tampering (illegal diversion of power)

Only an authorized representative of the Cooperative may remove meters, meter seals, connections, or any property of the Cooperative on or about a member’s premises. Tampering with metering or electrical equipment is illegal, dangerous and costly to all FKEC members. 

Whenever evidence of tampering is found, the member will be subject to penalties as provided in the Florida Statutes, Section 812.14, and responsible for the estimated cost of energy consumed while the meter was not operating properly due to the installation of the diversion devices. This includes tampering with the meter or with any wiring, electric equipment, or instrumentation between the line side of the meter and the electrical distribution system, which would result in the diversion or non-registration of electric energy, and/or the installation of meter seals other than those installed by FKEC on member’s meter.

Such tampering may be deemed to be cause for disconnection of electric service and/or legal action and criminal prosecution as provided in Section 812.14, Florida Statutes. Whenever these conditions are found at a member’s premises, service personnel will correct the condition by installing a new seal and/or other associated equipment, as required, and the meter will be tested to assure that it is operating within the prescribed limits of accuracy. Additional fees will be incurred.

If you suspect someone is tampering with a FKEC meter or other electrical equipment, please contact our office at (305) 852-2431 or (800) 858-8845.  Reports will remain confidential. 

Comparing Electric Bills

There is no way to compare your utility bill with friends and neighbors because you do not use your electric energy the same way. No two families own all the same appliances, do the same washing and drying, have the same hot water usage, use the same lights, or have the same lifestyles.

If you notice changes in the amount of your electric bill, look at the usage. The dollar amount on the bill depends mostly on the amount of kilowatt hours that go through the meter.

Common Causes of Bill Variations

Conditions Beyond Your Control

  • Seasons of the year
  • Light variations
  • Weather extremes
  • Daylight saving time
  • Five-weekend months
  • Number of days in billing cycle

Changes in Normal Living Conditions

  • Size of family
  • Average age of family
  • Visiting relatives
  • New babies
  • Living habits change
  • Spring cleaning
  • Vacations
  • Holidays
  • Repairs or remodeling
  • Hired help

Appilances

  • New appliance added
  • Use of older appliances
  • Frost on refrigerator unit
  • Defective appliances
  • Shortage of refrigerant
  • Excessive use or leaks of hot water
  • Clogged air filters
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association