A utility meter can have so many numbers that you get confused when you take a look at it. The next option would be to call someone that knows how to read a utility meter to help. Although this can work, you’re likely to encounter situations wherein you can’t find help and that would be bad.

Reading a utility meter bill is not rocket science. There are a few things you need to know that would help you execute this task perfectly. And that is what we will strongly discuss in this article.  However, before we get into that conversation, let’s identify a utility meter.

What is a Utility Meter?

According to Wikipedia, a utility meter is any of the following metering devices used on utility mains which include electricity, water, gas, heater, etc. A good utility meter will give you information regarding the healthiness and effectiveness of a product.

Today, there are a lot of smart utility meters that help you automate some processes. With these meters, you don’t need to keep a strong track on your expenses all the time.

Functions of a Utility Meter?

Utility meters function in diverse ways. However, they basically have central functions that occur between all of them.

According to PSC, utility meters measure the amount of electricity or gas that you use, the utility installs a meter between the incoming electric power or gas lines and the point of distribution at your house. The meter monitors your daily power or gas usage, and the utility will send out a meter reader to record your usage.

Types of Utility Meters

There are two types of utility meters which include

  • The Standard Electric Meter
  • The Gas Meter

The standard electric meter is a clock-like device that records the amount of electricity you use. When your home draws electricity from the power lines, a set of small gears inside the meter move. The number of revolutions gets recorded by the dials that you see when you look at your meter. The speed of the revolutions is determined by the amount of power that is consumed. 

On the other hand, a gas meter works by measuring the force of the moving gas in the pipeline. The dials turn faster as the flow of gas increases.

Further Reading: How To Buy Solar Energy in Nigeria | Specifications & Prices

How to Read a Utility Meter

When you want to read a utility meter, you have to first discover whether it is a digital meter or an analog one. The type of meter will determine the process involved in reading the meter.

How to Read an Analog Electric Meter

If you want to read an electric meter, there are four major steps you should follow.

Step 1

Understand the parts of your analog meter (also known as a dial meter) and how it works. Your meter usually has about four tosix dials that advance as a central disk turns. The disk is controlled by the electricity passing through the meter, giving a readout of how much electricity you are using.

This readout is given in kilowatt hours. One kilowatt hour is equal to the amount of energy it would take to power a 100-watt lightbulb for 10 hours. Most times, there’s a variety of words and numbers printed on the face of your electric meter. While these are not important in determining your electric usage, they do give you information about the mechanical details of your meter.

Step 2

Read the dials on your meter. Read them as though you were consulting an academic material. Begin on the left, writing the numbers down as you go. After you mark a number for each dial across, you have the electric meter reading.

Do not let the direction of the numbers on each dial confuse you. Some of the dials will be numbered clockwise and other dials may be numbered counterclockwise.

Look exactly where the arrow is pointing. If the arrow is positioned between 2 numbers, the reading is the smaller number. However, if the arrow is pointing directly on a number, verify what the number should be by referencing the dial to the right of it. If the arrow on that dial is past zero, the reading on the dial to the left is the number the arrow is pointing to. If the arrow on the right hand dial is not to or past the zero yet, the reading on the dial to the left is the previous number.

Step 3

Find out how your electric company read the last dial. Some companies round up to the next highest number while other companies record the number that the arrow is closest to. If you want to calculate your kilowatt hours on your own and you need calculation close to what the electric company does, it is beneficial to know how the company reads this last number.

Step 4

Calculate the kilowatt hours you have used. Most electric companies don’t reset the meter to zero after every reading. Hence, in order to calculate the number of kilowatt hours you have used, you need to keep track of consecutive readings. Subtract the current reading from the last reading you were billed for to get the most recent kilowatt hours used.

How To Read a Digital Electric Meter

To read a digital electric meter, you need to follow the right steps to ensure you get everything spot on. There are about three steps in this place for people who want to read this meter. They include:

Step 1

Understand the different parts of your meter. A digital electric meter records the amount of electricity your household is using electronically. Thus, a digital electric meter is much simpler to read than a traditional meter because it has fewer readings to decipher.

Unlike traditional analog electric meters, many digital meters transmit your meter reading wirelessly to the electric company via radio frequencies. This means that you will not have a meter reader come to your house to read your meter. If you prefer to keep your traditional meter, it may be possible in some municipalities to avoid having a new “smart” meter installed.

Step 2

Your meter should have a digital readout that gives you one long series of numbers. The exact configuration on this readout will vary depending on the manufacturer and the readout could include .

Do not let the direction of the numbers on each dial confuse you. Some dials will be numbered clockwise and they may number counterclockwise other dials.

Step 3

Calculate the kilowatt-hours you have used. Most electric companies don’t reset the meter to zero after every reading. Hence, in order to calculate the number of kilowatt-hours you have used, you need to keep track of consecutive readings. Subtract the current reading from the last reading you were billed for to get the most recent kilowatt-hours used.

Conclusion

Knowing how to read an electric meter bill is a handy skill as it helps you keep track of your electrical voltage capacity, which will help you budget properly when you need to renew it. Although many people use digital meters today, there’s still no harm in learning how to read an analog meter well.

Steady power supply remains an enormous problem in Nigeria and some parts of Africa. While generators have been the most dependable option for residents of these power-affected countries, others have sought ways that reduce pollution and enhance environmental health.

Solar Energy has become a fast-rising alternative to generators for many individuals. They offer a lot of advantages and have reduced running costs in comparison with their alternatives. If you don’t how to buy solar energy in Nigeria or you’re seeking for the best place to make a purchase, then you’re about to get the best deal you’ve ever seen from a solar energy company in Nigeria and Africa.

However, before we delve into the core aspect of this conversation, let’s talk a little about solar energy, it’s perks and what it offers better.

What is Solar Energy?

According to Wikipedia, Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, molten salt power plants and artificial photosynthesis.

It is a basic source of renewable energy, and its technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on how they capture and distribute solar energy or convert it into solar power. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic systems, concentrated solar power, and solar water heating to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light-dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

A lot of organizations have voiced their contribution towards the importance of solar energy and how it can help build a greener environment. Companies like Green Village Electricity Group have started making huge contributions towards this goal by promoting the use of solar energy in Nigeria and across Africa.

How Does Solar Energy Work?

Solar energy can be used for many purposes as electricity is only one among so many other reasons. When you consider the vast possibilities that this resource can give, then you will pay more attention to how you can convert this resource to aid you with your daily living.

According to Infinite Energy, solar power works by converting light from the sun into electricity. This electricity can then be used in your home or exported to the grid when it’s not needed. This is done by installing solar panels on your roof which generate DC (Direct Current) electricity. This is then fed into a solar inverter which converts the DC electricity from your solar panels into AC (Alternating Current) electricity.

When you use solar power, you don’t need to keep an eye on the machine. It goes off and comes on at times that the solar energy feels it possess the capacity to sustain the electricity in the environment. With a good inverter, you can get to know the amount of energy you consume and this information will help your regulation.

Further Reading: All You Need to Know About Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems

How To Buy Solar Energy in Nigeria | Specifications & Prices

If you want to buy solar energy in Nigeria, taking the right steps will ensure you make a great choice. If you fail to follow these instructions I will outline below, you may end up dissatisfied with any choice you make. The process of buying solar energy in Nigeria comprises:

1. Determine How Much Solar Power You Need

You can determine your solar power by calculating the voltage power of every appliance in your home. An addition of all the numbers with some recess will give you the value of how much power you need. Generally, you cannot do this without knowledge of electrical systems, so you would need to consult specialists in that area.

2. Outline Your Budget

Immediately you’ve determined how much power you need, then you can set out a budget that will cater for your power needs. Most times, you might not afford to procure enough solar power, however, you can always follow the next step to take care of that problem.

3. Head over to Solar Packages on GVE Group Webpage

Once you run your numbers and you feel you can’t hit your target, you don’t need to give up. You only need to see the Solar Packages on GVE Group Webpage.

These packages offer you so much that you can find something that will cater for all your needs without burning a hole in your pocket.

4. Get a Quote

Immediately you visit the page and find the offer that suits you, you simply need to get a quote. By getting a quote, you get an opportunity to access personalized offers that will interest you. Furthermore, you can get access to the support team.

5. Make Your Purchase

It would all be an exercise in futility if you don’t make a purchase. Hence, you need to ensure you make that transfer or input that credit card. You need to see this as an investment into a solution for your power problems.

Conclusion

Constant electricity remains a problem in many African countries. However, GVE Group is changing the narrative by offering super and affordable solar panels, which are a great alternative to normal electricity. With these panels, you’re not dependent on any regulatory agency for power as you take complete control.

Electrification is popular in cities and modernized areas. Many localities lack electricity and even if they do, they aren’t sustainable. A lot of political leaders underestimate the importance of rural electrification, especially in Nigeria and other countries of Africa, and this neglect has cost these countries stunted growth.

According to All Africa, rural development through rural electrification can contribute to achieving most MDGs in Zambia. Similarly, making Zambia a middle-income country by 2030 isn’t easy. It needs identification of sectors that have greater multiplier effects; and allocating scarce resources to such sectors for a better tomorrow.

When countries like Zambia have identified the importance of this process, then it is a very important process. So, this article will strongly comment on rural electrification, it’s processes, and most importantly, the importance of rural electrification in Nigeria.

What is Rural Electrification?

Rural electrification simply means drawing electrical power to very local and remote areas. The neglect involved in this process has caused many communities their drive to be innovative and contribute actively to the overall progress of a nation.

The Electrification typically starts up in cities and towns and gradually inclines towards rural areas, however, this process often runs into obstacles in developing nations like Nigeria. Expanding the national grid is expensive and countries consistently lack the capital to grow their current infrastructure.

Furthermore, amortizing capital costs to plummet the unit cost of each hook-up is harder to do in lightly populated areas (yielding higher per capita share of the expense). If countries like Nigeria can overcome these obstacles and reach nationwide electrification, rural communities will reap considerable amounts of economic and social development.

How Does Rural Electrification Work?

Rural electrification doesn’t work in a pattern dissimilar from city electrification. However, because of the low population density, other options such as solar energy come in very handy instead of connecting so many grid lines.

With great solar powered connections, rural communities bear less costs on electricity bills, and don’t need constant help in maintaining their electricity lines. And this is very possible when they know how to buy solar energy in Nigeria or any other African nation suffering this same problem.

Many countries have faced the challenges of poor rural electrification problems and a good number of them have overcome, and are on track to overcome it. An example from Wikipedia would be:

Gram Oorja

Like many other microgrid companies, Gram Oorja has set out to provide electricity to the millions who lack access to power in rural India. Gram Oorja created a model based upon “corporate-social partnership” and gains funding from corporate charity funds.

Their first project was in Darewadi, a rural village with 39 households. Gram Oorja raised funding from Bosch Solar Energy and received consultation and guidance from the Shakti Foundation. They installed a solar power plant capable of producing 9.4 kilowatts of power with a backup biogas unit to produce energy when sunlight is not available. Local ownership of the project is one of the key tenets of Gram Oorja’s business model, so they encouraged participation in the set up and management of the mini-grid. A village trust collects bills every month and deposits the revenue into a corpus fund.

This hybrid model proved to be successful and has been implemented in over 10 villages. Gram Oorja currently has an installed capacity of 45.7 kW and serves 230 households. They have also partnered with Bank of America to continue to implement these projects across India.

The Importance of Rural Electrification in Nigeria

No country has experienced strong levels of development without giving huge importance to rural electrification. In a country like Nigeria still battling electricity problems, identifying and highlighting the importance of this system will cause the nation to start making important moves towards progress.

When considering the importance of rural electrification, let’s identify them in terms of:

Education

Education is the primary ingredient that boosts the mental and behavioral intelligence of a child. With access to quality electricity, children can easily study without fear of power failure, and using bright lights that help them preserve their vision unlike candles.

A lot of countries that have adopted rural electrification commented that the process has helped students study better and perform at the same level during their tests and examinations. Teachers have also benefited greatly as they can create more notes and teach for longer hours.

Increased Productivity

With efficient rural electrification, businesses can run for longer hours with reduced overhead costs. This way, they can employ more people which will in turn reduce employment rate and improve the national economy.

Additionally, farmers can leverage modern technological patterns of agriculture that are centered on electrical machines.

Job Creation

Efficient rural electrification will lead to a progressive community. With constant electricity, more factories will increase their manpower as they will seek to continually remain productive. With more people working, economic growth enters the fast track.

Healthcare Improvements

Most healthcare equipment is electrically powered. And most times, patients need equipment like the air conditioning to work optimally when they’re in a recovery stage. Sterilizers and refrigerators will work optimally and this will help the overall improvement of the health industry.

Conclusion

When you know the importance of rural electrification in Nigeria, you will seek to ensure your committee benefits greatly from a process that will improve their lives.

Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects Limited is the foremost and most innovative renewable energy solutions provider in West Africa, registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (RC1071222).

Our clients trust us as the most reliable renewable energy company delivering world-class service with a touch of unique local contexts because of the value we bring to the table.

Send us a message now to get a custom solar quote tailored to fit your needs.