Every house has an electrical meter. The meter keeps track of the electricity used. By reading the meter regularly and keeping records, you can get a good idea of when and where you are using the most electricity. For instance, when the air conditioner is on, you will use a lot more electricity than when it isn’t. Leaving a color television on for a long time will make a big difference too. The electric company reads this meter to determine your electric bill.
You will notice that some of the dials on the meter read counterclockwise. To read the meter, start from the left. The dial hand is usually between two numbers,. Write down the smaller number. Continue reading each dial the same way. Remember the numbers on the second and fourth dials run counterclockwise. The final number completes your reading and tells you how many kilowatt-hours you have used. A kilowatt-hour (abbreviated kwh) is one kilowatt of electricity (one thousand watts) being used for one hour.
If you read the meter the next day and subtract the first day’s reading, you will know the total number of kilowatt-hours used during that day.
The hands on the dial faces turn the same direction as the gears under the dials. So every other dial is numbered backwards or counterclockwise.
Each dial hand is usually between two numbers. To read the meter just read the lowest of the two numbers on all dials.
A 100-watt light bulb will take 10 hours to burn 1000 watts (one kilowatt). A thousand-watt toaster burns one kilowatt (1 kw) in one hour.