Gas Meters Explained

April 4th, 2017
Gas Meters Explained

Gas meters are specialised instruments to record fuel gas usage in residences, commercial places and industrial buildings. Provided by energy suppliers, these devices are used to measure the exact volume of gas consumed during a time period.

By showing accurate readings, these instruments state the exact volume of fuel supply availed in houses, business property and industries.

The gas meters are available in various types including standard, prepayment, digital and dial gas meter. All of these mention your hourly, daily, weekly and monthly usage of gas supply. By knowing the exact amount of gas used one can keep a tab on energy wastage and conservation. Once you are aware of the fuel usage, it can help in reducing fuel expenses to a bare minimum.

Various methods used by gas suppliers to read gas meters:                                        

Gas meters should be checked frequently by the consumer. It helps to have an estimate of monthly gas usage as normally, the fuel supplier sends a member of staff for gas meter reading on a six monthly basis. Another method would require the user to provide meter reading as part of online gas tariff. Few suppliers follow a system of sending an estimated bill based on the usage observed in previous months.

Which method is best suited for the customer?

A dedicated staff that records gas meter readings is a good option for energy businesses and the consumer. It avoids any chances of misreading the meters. An estimated bill based on previous usage is a bad idea as it may lead to over or under charging. Every customer should however be able to read gas meters in order to keep a check on their billing service.

How to read a gas meter?

Every gas meter displays a four or five digit number. Exact usage of gas should be recorded by subtracting the previous month’s reading with an up-to-date one. This gives total number of gas units used in a month. The units are measured in cubic feet or cubic meters. For example, gas usage in previous month equals 50 and this month its 150. Total usage for the current months would be 150 – 50 = 100 cubic units.

An imperial meter measures gas usage in cubic feet while a metric meter measures it in cubic meters. Let us see how we can calculate gas usage with the help of imperial meters.

Steps to convert cubic feet into kilowatts:

  • Record total gas usage by subtracting previous month’s reading from current reading.
  • Multiply the above figure by volume correction factor (1.02264)
  • Now, multiply the result with calorific value (40.0)
  • Divide the result obtained by kWh conversion factor (3.6)

This is how you get total kilowatts of gas used during this particular month. As gas suppliers charge on kWh, the conversion from cubic units to kWh is important. By knowing how much does your supplier charge for one kWh, you can get a rough idea about the gas bill? The actual amount of your bill may increase a little as all companies apply service and other taxes. However, you can efficiently plan your monthly household budget if you know how to calculate your gas bill.

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