The Different Types of Meters and Why They Matter

As a homeowner, it’s important to understand the different types of meters and why they matter. Your water usage, electricity consumption, and even your gas mileage all come down to which type of meter you have installed in your home.

While some people may not think about their meters on a daily basis, understanding the basics can help save you money – or at least help you keep track of where your hard-earned cash is going each month.

Let’s take a look at the different types of meters and what they do.

Table of Contents

  1. Standard meter
  2. Dial meter
  3. Digital meters
  4. Prepayment meters

Different Types of Meters and Their Applications

Meters are devices that measure the quantity, amount, or degree of something. Different types of meters have different purposes and applications. Depending on what needs to be measured, there are various types of meters that can be used. 

Some common types of meters include:

  • Analog electricity meters: These are often used to measure things like voltage, current, and resistance.
  • Digital meters: These are better for measuring things like frequency, temperature, and speed.
  • Multimeters: These can measure both analog and digital signals and are often used in electrical testing.
  • Oscilloscopes: These are used to measure waveforms and are often used in audio and radio applications.

Smart Energy Meters

Smart meters feature advanced metering technology that can read, process, and return valuable data to the utility provider and the customer. It measures energy consumption in real-time.

The collection of data from multiple sources and many customers enables the running of complex, intelligent algorithms that take past usage into account to predict what the future will look like. This intelligence makes smart grids more efficient.

Smart electricity meters allow energy managers and property owners to not only monitor their energy consumption but also control it. This opens the door for cheaper, smaller, and more efficient methods of monitoring energy usage.

All of these meters have one thing in common: they help us to understand the world around us a little better.

By measuring wind speed, we can better predict the weather. By measuring the pressure of the atmosphere, we can better understand what is happening with the weather. And by measuring the flow rate of liquids or gases, we can better understand how they are moving and how they might interact with other substances.

Meters are an essential part of scientific research and discovery. They help us to understand the world around us and to make predictions about the future.

There are many other types of meters available, each with its specific purpose. Choosing the right meter for the job is important to get accurate measurements.

How to Read Different Types of Meters

Standard meter

This is one of the most common types of electric meters, which use mechanical displays to show your current usage. You’ll need to take a reading of five digits, all in black, from left to right. Ignore any red numbers.

Dial meter

These may look like regular old analog clock faces, but they’re actually a bit more complicated than that. Just remember that the numbers on adjacent dials rotate in different directions.

The numbers on the display are read left to right, ignoring the last red dial or any displays that don’t have any digits or a hand. If a needle is in between two numbers, write the previous figure.

Digital meters

Use the five numbers on the display and ignore the 0.1 at the end. Press any button to display the number.

Prepayment meters

There are three types of prepayment meters: standard, token, and digital.

To take meter readings, press the blue button on the display. This will change the readout from showing the credit remaining to the current amount of energy usage. From there on, it’s just like any other metering process.

Always check both dials on prepayment meters. The second display has a row of numbers that shows your Day Rate. If you want to view your Night Rate, press the red button.

Automated Meter Reading meters (AMRs)

Also called Advanced Meter Reading, AMR meters are capable of storing and tracking your energy usage over multiple periods.

AMRs are available in three types:

  • Advanced meter – comes with a remote reader.
  • Data logger – comes with remote reading equipment for large facilities.
  • Gas-embedded meter – comes with a remote reader.

While old AMRs require a portable data collection device that is within the vicinity of the meter, more advanced AMRs are able to send readings over mobile phone networks to automatically update the energy distributor. This consumption data is then used to create power bills for consumers and manage energy demand.

Smart meters (SMETS)

Similar to AMRs, Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications (SMETS) meters transmit data over a mobile comms network.

types of meters(Source)

Smart meters have many benefits for homes and small businesses.

  • Smart meters send readings to energy suppliers in real-time.
  • Power bills are accurate instead of estimated.
  • Smart meters allow consumers to monitor how much energy they consume.
  • Smart meters have the best data security.
  • Smart meters are free to install.

How to Select the Right Meter for Your Needs

When it comes to selecting a meter, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind to choose the best one for your needs.

First, consider the type of meter you need. There are two basic types of meters: analog and digital. Analog meters are the older, more traditional type of meter, while digital meters are the newer, more advanced type.

If you’re not sure which type of meter you need, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional. They can help you determine which type of meter is best for your needs.

Once you’ve decided on the type of meter you need, the next step is to choose the right model. There are a variety of different models of both analog and digital meters on the market, so it’s important to do your research and select the one that’s right for you.

Finally, make sure to select a meter that’s compatible with your building’s electrical system. If you’re not sure which electricity meters are compatible with your system, again, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional.

By following these simple tips, you can be sure to select the right meter for your needs.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Different Metering Technologies

When it comes to electricity, there are a variety of different metering technologies available – each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here, we take a look at some of the most common metering technologies and explore the pros and cons of each.

One of the most common metering technologies is the electromechanical meter. This type of meter uses a spinning disk or piston to measure the amount of electricity used. They are generally very accurate and have a long lifespan.

However, they can be expensive to maintain and replace and are not well suited for use in areas with extreme temperatures.

Another common type of meter is the solid state meter. These meters use semiconductor components to measure electricity usage. They are generally more accurate than electromechanical meters and can be used in a wider range of temperature conditions.

However, they are typically more expensive than electromechanical meters and may require more frequent calibration.

Digital meters are the most recent type of meter to hit the market. They use digital displays to show electricity usage and can be very accurate. They are also very easy to install and maintain.

However, digital meters can be expensive and may not be compatible with all types of electrical systems.

So, Which Type of Meter is Right for You?

It really depends on your needs and budget. If accuracy is your top priority, then a digital meter may be the best option. However, if you’re looking for a more economical option, then an electromechanical meter may be a better choice.


There are many different types of meters, each with its own purpose. While some people may not think about their meters on a daily basis, understanding the basics can help save you money – or at least help you keep track of where your hard-earned cash is going each month.

By taking the time to learn about the different types of meters and what they do, you can make sure that your home is running as efficiently as possible.

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