Reading Your Business’s Natural Gas Meter
Natural gas energy is measured in British thermal units (Btu). One Btu is equivalent to the heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. A cubic foot of natural gas holds about 1,032 Btu of energy. The unit you see on your utility bill holds even more energy: therms – a unit of heating equal to 100,000 Btu.
The majority of natural gas meters on the JEA system have a multi-dial display reading window that shows 4 or 5 small dials with arrows and numbers. These meters are a little more challenging to read. Each dial is numbered 0-9 (0 at the top), has a pointer hand and has a directional arrow above it. The pointer hand in each dial moves from the smaller number to the larger one.
To read the meter:
- Stand directly in front of the meter. Standing at an angle could distort the reading.
- Read the meter dials from left to right, in sequence and based on the directional arrow above each.
- If the pointer hand is between numbers, use the smaller of the two numbers
- If the pointer hand is positioned exactly on a number, look at the dial immediately to the right to see if the dial has passed 0.
- If no, then use the smaller number on the dial you’re reading.
- If yes, then use the number the hand is pointing to on the dial you’re reading.
Meters are typically read around the same time each month, with the date read reflected on your most current bill statement. Usage is determined by subtracting the previous month’s meter read from the current month’s meter read. Billing cycles can range anywhere from 28-32 days depending on holidays and weekends and are indicated on your monthly bill.