How to Read an Electric Meter in BC  

Electric meter in BC for apartment complex

Although it might seem like your electric meter can only be read by an electrician, you can actually read it easily as well. A couple of years ago, BC Hydro switched from dial displays to the new smart meters which makes it easier to actually read what’s on your digital meter. So, learning how to read an electric meter is actually much easier now. 

Below we detail how to read and interpret the main screens you’ll see your electric meter cycle through. 

Smart electric meter showing electrical consumption

How to Read an Electric Meter: Checking Your Electricity Consumption 

To effectively check on your electricity consumption watch for “O1” to appear in the top left of the screen. This means you’re on the right screen for viewing your electrical consumption. 

Smart meters cycle through 6 different screens; the electrical consumption screen will show your total since the meter was installed. This is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh).  

How do you interpret that though? 

This is a measure of how many kilowatts of energy you use over time. For example, a 100 watt light bulb uses 0.1 kilowatts each hour when it’s on. It would take 10 hours for the light to use 1 kWh of energy. 

Reading Your Electricity Generation 

If you’ve had geothermal, solar panels, wind turbines or any form of renewable electricity generation installed at your property, you can view how much electricity you’re generating. 

To do this, simply watch for the screen marked in the top left with “O2”. 

If you generate less than you need, you’ll automatically “buy” what you need from BC Hydro. If you generate more than you need, you’ll automatically have that amount credited to your bill. 

Why 888888 Appears on the LCD Screen of Your Smart Meter 

Don’t panic if you see 888888 on your screen and the numbers are flashing. It just means the meter is doing a display check. It’s making sure all digital parts of the display are still working as intended. 

The 3 Other Screens You Might See 

All other screens are significantly more helpful to electricians. They provide info on configuration, synchronization, and system registration status information. It’s unlikely these other screens would be of any use to you. 

Now you’re fully equipped to understand how to read your electric meter. Electricity generation for your home or commercial property are both great ways to save energy and money.   

We’re fully equipped to help with your renewable energy projects, for both residential and commercial jobs. Contact us to learn more!


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