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meters How to read your
electric meter.
Would you like to know how to read your electric meter? It can help you keep track of your electricity usage and it's easy! Electric meters record the amount of electricity in kilowatt hours (kWh) being used in homes or businesses.

Each month the number on the meter is recorded by an IPL meter reader and compared to the previous month's reading. The difference between the two numbers tells IPL how much electricity has been used since the last reading, and how much to bill the customer.

Example:

Last month's reading was: 66,306
This month's reading is: 66,649
The amount of electricity used is: 343 kilowatt hours

There are digital meters and dial meters. Digital meters are usually used on commercial buildings, and dial meters are usually used on residential buildings. Reading a digital meter is really easy, just read the numbers shown on the meter.

Reading a dial meter is similar to reading several clocks.
  • Standing in front of the meter, record the number for each dial from left to right.
  • The dials do not all turn in the same direction.
  • When a hand is between two numbers record the lower number.
  • If you can't tell if the hand is directly on the number, you can check by looking at the next dial to the right. If that dial has not yet passed zero, record the lower number for the dial in question, on the left.

This meter reading is 66649

When Is Your Meter Read?

IPL makes every effort to read meters on a regular monthly schedule, made up of twenty cycles. All the locations in cycle one are read on a certain day. Next, all the locations in cycle two are read, and so on through the month.

IPL meter readers walk from house to house on their routes, reading both water and electric meters at each location. Gas meters are not read by IPL.

IPL meter readers are out in all sorts of weather, and they each walk several miles every day, reading meters. Occasionally, severe weather or an inaccessible meter keeps them from reading meters on schedule.

When a meter cannot be read as scheduled, IPL will use an "Estimated Read". Estimated reads are generated by a computer program which calculates the customer's average monthly electricity usage for the previous 12 months. IPL will reconcile the next on-site read to the previous month's estimated read.

Access To The Meter

In order to read the meter, we have to be able to get to the meter. There are a few things that keep meter readers from doing their job.

  • Decks and other structures built off of a house should not obstruct a reader's access to the meter. For safety reasons, meter readers will not crawl under decks or into small enclosed spaces to read meters.
  • Dogs
  • Locked fence gates

Homeowners should make every effort to allow meter readers safe access to meters. Call IPL's meter reading department at (816) 325-7540 if you have a question or concern about access to your meter.

Utility Theft

The theft of utility services is a serious crime, and one that costs all utility customers money. The City of Independence has an aggressive program to stop the theft of electric and/or water service.

Tampering with electric service is very dangerous! Fires and explosions can occur, and people can be seriously injured or killed by coming in contact with exposed wiring.

If you suspect that someone is stealing electricity call IPL at (816) 325-7550 and report it!

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