At Home with Lisa: How to read an electric meter

It’s how Avista knows how much energy I use every month, and I’ve never really looked at it until recently.

My electric meter is on the side of my house. It’s a smart meter, so I don’t have to try to read the dials—it just has digital numbers that display the kilowatt hours used. I looked at it recently and compared it to my last bill to learn how much energy I’m using this month.

I usually do this by logging in to my Avista account online, but if you don’t have an online account, it’s easy to figure out how much you are using by looking at your meter. Just grab your last bill and look at the back.

The bill has the previous month’s usage and the current month’s usage listed. It’s been almost a month since my last bill, so I looked at my meter and subtracted the current month listed on the bill.

It’s summer, so I’m not using as much as I do during the colder months, but I find it useful to know how much I am using, especially during this very hot summer when we are using a lot of fans and air conditioners.

Lisa, an Avista customer, bought her 1910 house because she loved the old-world character, some of which doesn’t make her house very energy efficient. Lisa is sharing her experience on taking some simple do-it-yourself improvements to inspire others to do the same. You’ll find her stories right here every Tuesday morning.

If you still have a meter with the dials on, Avista has put together this handy guide so you can learn to read yours.

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  1. At Home with Lisa