Read Your Meter

How to Read

Most large commercial and industrial accounts are now equipped with digital meters. Record the numbers as they appear on the digital screen. Follow these instructions to read large power meters that record kWh, kW, and kVa.

Step One:

  1. Wait for “Crazy 8’s” (i.e. “888888”). This indicates the beginning of the reading information cycle.
  2. kWh usage (current reading). Write down these numbers as they appear on the digital screen.
  3. kW demand. Write down these numbers as they appear on the digital screen.
  4. Cumulative kW demand (total since the meter was set).
  5. kVa (current reading).
  6. Cumulative kVa (total since the meter was set).
  7. Number of times the meter has been reset.

Step Two:

  1. Note whether or not the meter has a multiplier. The multiplier is indicated on the face of the meter and is generally preceded by the text “multiplier” or an “x.”
    1. If the meter does not have a multiplier, then the kWh and kW readings from Step One, #2 and #3 are the actual kWh and kW used for the billing period.
    2. If the meter has a multiplier, then proceed to Step Two, #2.
  2. Multiply the kWh usage (reading from Step One, #2) by the multiplier. This will indicate the total number of kWhs for the billing cycle. For example, a kWh reading from Step One, #2 was 2,000 and a multiplier of 40 is indicated on the meter, then the total kWhs used for the billing period was 80,000.
  3. Multiply the kW or demand (reading from Step One, #3) by the multiplier. This will indicate the total amount of kW used for the billing cycle. For example, a kW or demand reading from Step One, #3 was 5 and a multiplier of 40 is indicated on the meter, then the total kW or demand used for the billing period was 200 kW.

Sample Bill Calculation

The billing sample provided is for a customer billed per Rate 550. This sample calculation does not include any special credits or incentives. For additional rate information or specific questions regarding your bill, contact one of our Key Account Representatives at 423-952-5142 or email.

Rate 550
kWhs: 175,000
kW: 960
*Based on January 1, 2010, does not include TVA FCA.

kWH Usage: 175,000
15,000 * .009254 = $138.81
175,000 – 15000 = 160,000 * .05185 = $8,296.00

kW Demand: 960
First 50 kW at no charge
960-50 = 910
910 * $13.68 = $12,448.80

Customer Charge $87.96
kWh Charge $8,434.81
kw Charge $12,448.80
Sub-Total $20,971.57
tax (*1 1/2 %) $314.57
Total $21,286.14

Learn more about the fundamentals of electricity.

View Information About Basic Electricity