How to Read a Gas Meter

Our meter readers are the most accurate readers in town.

We take meter reading seriously.

Although our meter readers read nearly two million meters every month, we are still able to maintain an accuracy rate of 99.99 percent.  This is conducted through a combination of electronic collection and visual inspection of meter reads. The accuracy of our meter reads would not be possible without the cooperation of our customers, who allow them safe access to gas equipment.

Many of our customers keep a close watch on their monthly gas usage, for various reasons. To make it easier to understand how the Southwest Gas meter reading team does their job, the information listed below shows you how we read your gas meter.

Your gas meter is read from a row of four to six dials, such as those shown below. (Meters also have two other dials used for testing). Each dial rotates in the opposite direction from the dial next to it.
How to read a meter:
  • Read each dial in the direction shown by the arrows.
  • If the dial hand is between the numbers, use the lower one (if between 9 and 0, read 9).
  • If the dial hand is exactly on a number, look at the dial to the immediate right. If its dial hand is not past zero, record the lower number for the dial in question.
  • While the number of dials on your meter may vary, the procedure for reading them is the same.

Tips to Ensure Correct Meter Readings

Although every attempt is made to obtain correct meter reads, sometimes incorrect reads do occur. You can help ensure correct meter readings by:
  • Being sure the meter dials can be seen through shrubs. Always keep the gas meter visible, and allow for emergency access.
  • Seeing that your animals are kept indoors - or on a leash - when the meter is due to be read.
  • Making arrangements so the meter reader has safe access to your meter.

1) Reading Your Natural Gas Meter

2-4-7 meter reading image
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 "2" and "3."
Read this dial as 2.
The third dial is turning counter-clockwise and is just after the "4."
Read this dial as 4.
The fourth dial is turning clockwise and is between the "0" and the "1."
Read this dial as "1."
The correct reading for this meter is 0241

2) Natural Gas Meter Widget

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  • There are two ways to use this interactive widget to help you learn how to read your natural gas meter.
  • Option 1: Enter a number under the dial to see how it changes the dial hand.
  • Option 2: Click on the dial image and hit return or enter on your keyboard to see how the dials rotate. To stop the dials, hit enter again.