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The importance of your gas meter reading

Over two million Australians use natural gas, alongside electricity, in their homes for heating and cooking. But most of us don’t know how to read our meter! Understanding your gas meter can help you track your usage, become more energy efficient and make sure you are paying the right amount on your bill.

Read on to find out more.

  • What are the different types of gas meters?
  • How to read your gas meter
  • Switch to the best gas plan

What are the different types of gas meters in Australia?

A gas meter, similarly to an electricity meter, records your natural gas consumption for your home or small business. 

In Australia, we have two types of gas meters – imperial and metric. The one you need for your home will depend on your gas pressure and the type of regulator. The differences are explained below.

Imperial gas meter

This type of meter measures your energy usage in cubic feet using cyclonic analogue dials on the display. Imperial meters are an older technology and are being phased out of use.

Metric gas meter

This type of meter measures your energy usage in cubic metres using a digital numeric display. This newer technology is installed in all new homes in Australia.

How to read your gas meter

Your power supplier will send a meter reader to your home to take a gas meter reading at the end of each billing period, so it’s not uncommon for some people to never learn to read their own meter. But it’s a good idea to compare your usage to the one on your bill so you know that your reading is accurate and you’re not being overcharged.

Locate your gas meter

The first step is to locate your meter. If you live in a standalone house, it will usually be on a rear exterior wall or front porch, near your electricity meter. In older homes, it might be in the garage or inside in the laundry, hallway or under the kitchen sink. In apartments and townhouses, look in the basement, carpark or under your kitchen sink.

Once you have located your gas meter, you need to confirm the meter number matches your bill. It should be located on the face plate of your meter, in an easily readable location, either on the top or bottom. In New South Wales, your gas meter number will start with two letters followed by six numbers. In Victoria, there will be four numbers followed by two letters.

You then need to identify if the meter is imperial or metric. How to take a gas meter reading from each type of meter is explained below.

Reading imperial gas meters

Unfortunately, these types of meters are pretty tricky to read! You will see a series of clock faces on the display and you need to read each one to compile your reading. Write down the number that the pointer is at on each dial from left to right. If it is between two numbers, record the lower number.

Some older meters have two extra dials on the top or bottom. These are for testing purposes only, so don’t include them in your reading.

Your imperial gas meter records usage in cubic feet, so you will need to convert it into cubic metres. One cubic metre is equal to 35.3 cubic feet. 

Reading metric gas meters

A metric gas meter has a display of eight numbers. Record the numbers from left to right, disregarding the ones in red which are for testing purposes.

Once you have your reading, you will need to move the decimal place over two spaces to give you a result in cubic metres. For example, if your reading is 12.345, this is equal to 1,234.5 cubic metres.

Gas smart meter readings, or digital meter readings, are the easiest gas meter reading to interpret – simply read the display from left to right to get your result.

Can I send usage through a gas smart meter reading?

For most homes, your energy distributor sends a meter reader to your property to manually record your usage and report it to your retailer to calculate your bill. This normally happens every three months.

Currently, gas smart meter readings are only available through specialised companies that can upgrade your gas connection. This is worthwhile for heavy gas users. 

Gas smart meter readings can send your usage online to your retailer as well as to an app to allow you to easily track your gas consumption. Although uncommon for gas, electricity smart meters are the new norm, with analogue electricity meters being phased out.

If you are interested in upgrading your meter, or have questions about your meter reading, you can contact your gas distributor using the links below.

State Region Distributor
Victoria Various Australian Gas Networks

Multinet Gas

AusNet Services

New South Wales Tamworth Central Ranges System
Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast, Wollongong and parts of country NSW Jemena Gas Networks (NSW)
Wagga Wagga Wagga Wagga Gas Distribution Network
South Australia All of SA Australian Gas Networks
ACT All of ACT Evoenergy
Tasmania All of TAS Tas Gas Networks

Now that you can read your meter, you can track how much gas you use and make sure your gas bill is accurate. If your energy distributor could not access your meter for the scheduled read, you may have been issued an estimated bill. If this has happened, you can take your own reading and submit it to your retailer to avoid paying more than you need to.

Switch to the best gas plan

As well as paying for the right amount of gas, finding an energy plan with the best rates can save you a lot of money. It’s likely you use electricity as well as gas, so finding a bundle can be a great way to save money.

Some of our favourite plans are below, but the cheapest plan for you will be the one that best matches your unique energy needs. Talk to one of our experts to compare gas and electricity to connect to the perfect plan.

These monthly costs are based on ‘medium’ usage of around 50,000MJ per year (varies between retailers), so remember that your actual cost will vary depending on your unique energy needs.

Cost per month
Provider Plan Gas only Electricity and gas bundle
EnergyAustralia Flexi Plan $138^ $204^
Tango Gas Select / Tango Blue $101^ $223^
ActewAGL Cool Credit Plan  $179^^ $366^^
Origin Energy Flexi Rate ePlus $106^ $212^
AGL Energy Value Saver $117^ $221^

Prices correct in September 2022.
*Based on the providers’ estimated ‘medium’ household gas usage

^Rates for customers in Melbourne postcode 3000

^^Rates for customers in Canberra postcode 2600

Next steps

Take control of your gas plan today! If you are moving home or looking for a cheaper plan in your current house or small business, the team at Move-In connect can compare energy plans to save you money!

Call us today on 1300 786 045 or enter your details online.