SoCalGas - Understanding Your Gas Meter
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Understanding Your Gas Meter

The Gas Meter

How to read your meter

Please use the following steps to read your meter correctly:

  1. Read the dials left to right.
  2. If the hand is between two numbers, always select the lower number. When the hand is between "9" and "0," then "9" is considered the lower number.
  3. When the hand looks as though it is DIRECTLY on the number, look at the dial to the right. If the dial on the right has passed "0," use the number that the hand is on. If the dial on the right has not passed "0," use the number less than what the hand is on.

Use the meter reading below to understand how to read your meter.

Residential Gas Meter

Remember to record the lower number if the dial is between two numbers.
For this example, read from left to right.

  • The first dial is turning counter-clockwise. It points between the "0" and the "1."
    Read this dial as 0.
  • The second dial is between "1" and "2." It might even look as though it is on the "2," but you can see that the dial to the left. Read the lower number.
    Read this dial as 1.
  • The third dial is turning counter-clockwise and is just after the "5."
    Read this dial as 5.
  • The fourth dial is turning clockwise and is between the "1" and the "2."
    Read this dial as "1."

The correct reading for this meter is 0151.

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How to determine the date your meter will be read

The gas meter will be read on or around the date listed.

Securely confine your dog during meter reading visits.

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How to find your cycle number

To learn your cycle number (a number from 1 to 21), consult the sample gas bill below. The arrow shows where the cycle number is located on the bill. We use a 21 day read cycle and your meter is generally read on a monthly cycle.

A picture of a Gas Bill

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Providing accessibility to your gas meter

If your meter cannot be accessed due to vegetation, an unfriendly dog, or a locked gate, we must estimate your bill. If you choose to keep your gate locked, please contact us to make arrangements to have your meter accessed on the "scheduled read date." You'll find this date printed on your last bill.

We may also contact you because of a locked gate when we need to work on the meter or survey the underground piping. And in an emergency, we or the fire department may need to shut off your meter. So make sure the meter is easy to reach.

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Meter reading and meter accuracy

Why haven't I seen anyone come to read the meter?

Although you may not actually see the meter reader, we attempt to read each meter once a month. If we have difficulty accessing your meter -- an unfriendly dog in the yard or locked gate with no one home -- we will estimate that month's usage. We will print "Estimated Bill" on your bill. When we get an actual read of your meter, adjustments can be made.

Could there be something wrong with the meter?

During the past 50 years, gas meters have proven to be very reliable and accurate. If, however, one shows that you've used a much higher or lower than normal amount of gas, we automatically take steps to investigate the problem. If needed, we will test the meter and may possibly replace it and make any necessary adjustment to your bill.

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Updated 9/2011

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