# How to read the gas meter?

We have a gas meter similar to the one pictured below. I've not seen one of these before and can't find anything on reading them. The reason I'm asking is because it must not be as simple as just subtracting today's value from yesterday's.. Today's value is less than yesterday, by almost 100.

• Are you saying the digit portion has gone down? Or just the dial portion? What were the digits then and now? Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 0:05
• The digits have gone down. I didn't write down the dials as ours are really tiny compared to the digits so I wasn't sure what they were or if they were important. The original was 4914, the new is 4817.
– TFK
Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 0:16

Yes, it should be that simple. My first guess would be that you have a typo or a misreading, and that yesterday it showed 4814.

If true, from the meter shown that would be a change of around 300 cubic feet, or about 3 therms. You can check your gas bill to see how many therms per month you are averaging. During my peak heating days, I can use that much, so it's not unreasonable.

For the meter to record 10000 cubic feet change in a day (or to run backward) is unreasonable. If you can confirm such a change is really indicated on the dial, you should contact the utility.

The dials for the one shown will indicate usage less than 100 cubic feet. If you're just recording long-term usage, you can ignore them. Under light usage, you might need them to see a daily difference.

• Oof. That looks reasonable. I could have sworn I read 4914 originally and I've just been blindsided with the thought that maybe there was a 'special technique' to read it. Possibly backwards even. I'll keep watching the meter and check it soon to see how it acts, but that's probably it. Gosh.
– TFK
Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 1:35

The two dials will rotate in different rotations. You can figure the direction by seeing which way to turn to get bigger. You read the smaller number the pointer just came from. Same on both...if it is between 8 and 9...use the 8. Then keep track and I am sure you will be on the right path. ANYTHING otherwise, call the utility and ask for your rebate check. Ha ha. The digital numbers are for accuracy and should add to the ending of your first two digits. Find the meter manufacturer and search online. Find your service provider...you MUST be able to double-check your billing. They should tell you how.

So ignoring the first two digits (339999) today and tomorrow (352222) would make you think you used less gas...if you only looked at the last four digits. Read the dials to see where you are!