How to Detect Inaccurate Utility Metering

Your electrical meter is responsible for telling your power company how much energy your home or business uses each day—the power company bills you based on your energy consumption. The only problem is that these meters don’t always work correctly, leading to unexpectedly high energy bills. Continue reading to learn how you can detect inaccuracies and the benefits of installing a power monitoring system.

Contact your power company

The easiest way to detect inaccuracies is to call your power supplier. After all, it’s also in their best interest that you’re being billed accurately. They’ll send out a technician to inspect your meter to see if it’s actually inaccurate and make any necessary adjustments.

Perform a self-test

You can perform a test on your own by turning off all of your appliances and then reading the meter. Take a note of the reading and then plug in an appliance that uses a lot of electricity. Read your appliance’s label to see what the wattage is. After waiting a while, go back and check your electric meter.

Subtract the first reading from the second and compare it to the wattage used by your plugged-in appliance. The difference between the two readings should be equal to the wattage consumed by your appliance, with a 5-percent variation possible.

Use a multimeter

A utility multimeter is a tool specifically designed to test the accuracy of your electrical meter. You can buy one of these devices for less than $15 online, and they’re simple to use and understand.

All you need to do is follow the manufacturer’s instructions for attaching the multimeter to your electrical meter and read the display. Make a note of the reading and wait for an hour. Go back and read the number on your meter and compare it to the multimeter’s results. If your meter is accurate, the numbers should be equal or at least within a 5-percent range of each other.

Call an independent tester

Call an independent electric company if you don’t trust your power company or don’t want to perform the test yourself. The electrician will come out and inspect your meter for you. Although this isn’t free, having an inspection will pay for itself due to energy savings.

Install a power monitoring system

If you always want to know how much power you’re consuming and which devices are using the most power, consider installing a power monitoring system. These give in-depth analysis for power consumption, helping you accurately predict your monthly energy bill. A power monitoring system can also alert you if an electrical device is using up more electricity than it should, which may indicate failure.

What can we do for you?

At Ham’s Electric, Inc., we’re your go-to team for all things related to power monitoring. We can perform a full analysis of your power system and install a high-quality power monitoring system, so you’ll always know how much power you’re using and save money each month. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.