Meters and meter readings

From ‘how’ to take one, to ‘when’ and ‘why’.

How do I read my meter?

Firstly, you need to know which type of meter you have. Take a look below to find the one that’s yours...


If your meter looks like this, you need to:

  1. Write down the numbers from left to right, including any zeros.

  2. Ignore the number in red, plus any after a decimal point.



How to read an Economy 7 meter (or Economy 10)

  1. Write down both sets of numbers from left to right, including any zeros.

  2. Ignore the number in red, plus any after a decimal point.

It’s important to note down which reading is ‘day’ and which is ‘night’.

You’re seeing two readings because your plan charges you different rates for nighttime and daytime energy use. One reading shows the electricity you’ve used during the day (at ‘peak’ times), and one shows the electricity you’ve used overnight (at ‘off peak’ eg. cheaper times).

Your exact 7 or 10 hour ‘off-peak’ depends on your meter set-up

Most Economy 7 meters run between midnight and 7am. That’s when the meter switches back to ‘peak’. You can check your off-peak times by contacting us (or your electricity provider if you’re not with OVO). Oh, and if you’re not sure whether or not the meter clock changes from GMT to BST when the evenings get lighter, you can check that with us (or them) too.

It doesn’t matter when you read your meter (day or night), it’ll always give you accurate readings.

How do I read my digital meter? 

These are really easy to read:

  1. Just write down all the numbers you see.

  2. And ignore the decimal points – we won't need them.   

How do I read my dial meter?  

Dial meters are slightly trickier. To read yours, you should:

  1. Write down the reading for the highest-numbered dial first (in this example the dial is 10,000 and the reading is ‘5’)

  2. Then write down the readings you see from left to right, including any zeros (ignore any red dials).

So this one reads:

10,000 - 5

1,000 - 6

100 - 2

10 - 0

1 - 6

Remember to:

  1. Write down the number that the pointer's just passed (even if the pointer is nearest to the next number). If the pointer sits between 5 and 6, you should write down 5 – even if it's closer to 6.

  2. If the pointer on one dial is sat over the 5, but the pointer on the nextdoor dial (to the right) is between 9 and 0, you should write 4 for that left hand dial.

Once you've recorded them, you can submit your meter readings in My OVO.

If you get stuck, just call us on 0800 5999 440 – and remember, having a recent photo of your meter is really handy, just in case we ask you to send one in so we can check it for you.

Related FAQs

Meter Reading Problems

How to solve problems with your meter readings, from incorrect meter readings to reading disputes.

Statement history

Find out how to get a copy of your statement – and how to ‘go paperless’.

Direct Debit reviews explained

Everything you need to know about Direct Debit reviews.

Do I need to give meter readings?

You sure do! Giving us regular monthly meter readings will make your bills as accurate as possible.

What if I miss a meter reading?

In those instances, we’ll base that month’s bill on estimated readings. It’s totally fine to do this occasionally, but if we keep using estimated meter readings – and you use more than we ‘estimate’ – you’ll end up owing us money.

Don’t worry if you don’t send us your meter reading in time for your next statement, as you can still submit it to us and we’ll add it to the bill after next.

What happens if I get into energy debt?

It makes switching suppliers more difficult – and means your account won’t be in credit, so you won’t be eligible for the 3% OVO Interest Reward.

Why are opening meter readings so important?

They let us open your account with all the right details, so you pay the right amount from day one. We also send them to your old supplier, so your final bill with them is spot on too.

When should I give opening meter readings?

Between five days before and five days after your supply start date – but don’t worry, we’ll send a letter or email reminder. If you don’t give your opening meter readings when we ask for them, we’ll use estimated ones. With estimated readings you’ll either pay too much, or (even worse) you’ll pay too little – which means you’ll end up owing us money.

It’s easy to give opening meter readings.

It takes literally seconds in My OVO or you can call us.

How often will you take meter readings?

If you have a smart meter that we installed, we won’t ‘take’ meter readings as such, your smart meter will send them to us automatically. Whereas if you’ve got a traditional meter (or a smart meter that another supplier installed), it’s your responsibility to send us monthly meter readings. Here’s a bit more about it all...

If you have a smart meter

Smart meters allow us to take meter readings remotely; either once a month, once a day, or every half hour – it’s up to you how often. You get to make this choice on the day your smart meter is installed, when we’ll ask you about your ‘data preferences’. If you’ve just moved home or recently switched to us, and already have a smart meter, we’ll contact you to check your ‘data preferences’ once we start supplying your home.

For the most up-to-date bills and statements, we’d recommend half-hourly readings.

If you don’t have a smart meter

If you haven’t given a meter reading for 6 months, we’ll ask a meter reader from Morrisons Data Services to visit and take your meter reading. If you’re not at home when they visit, or they can’t access the meter for some reason, they’ll pop a card through your door to let you know when they’ll pop by next. The card will have instructions on how to submit the meter reading yourself, which means the reader won’t need to visit again.

If you’re on the Priority Services Register (PSR)

If you’ve told us you need extra help (for example, if you’re a pensioner or disabled) – and you’re on our PSR list – one of our engineers will pop round at least twice a year to read your meter. You can find out more about the free PSR service, here.

Do I have to let a meter reader into my house?

If they’re simply coming to read the meter, then no – you don’t have to let them in – but it’s in your best interests to do so. They’ll be able to spot errors with your meter – which means you won’t end up with inaccurate bills – and pay too much or too little.

If, on the other hand, we believe your meter is faulty, or has been tampered with, we’re legally entitled to enter your home. If this happens, we’ll contact you beforehand to let you know we’re coming.

Just to make sure you’re extra safe, we always recommend asking to see the ID of any person who wants to enter your home. And, if for any reason, you’re unsure whether they’re legitimate, you can call us to check.

O​VO​ Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879

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Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3-5% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.


1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount.  All rates correct as of 20/3/2018, but may go up or down.

2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas).  All rates correct as of 22/11/2017, but may go up or down.

3Pay Monthly Savings claims: Saving based on the estimated annual cost of Simpler tariff for a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying monthly in advance by direct debit, including online discount. Comparisons made against the average of the Big 6 standard variable tariffs with equivalent features. All rates correct as of 20/3/2018.“The Big 6” are British Gas, Scottish Power, SSE, Npower, E.ON and EDF.

4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location. 

We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.

33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.

OVO Interest Rewards: Interest Rewards are paid on credit balances of customers paying by monthly Direct Debit. It is calculated at 3% in your first year, 4% in your second year and 5% in your third year (and every year thereafter) if you pay by Direct Debit. Interest Rewards are paid monthly based on the number of days you’re in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. Full terms apply:

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uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year 2017: OVO energy was voted and awarded  'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.

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