Help with understanding gas/hot water meter reading

1 Reply 5018 Views

Hi there

I'm seeking help on behalf of my parents. They live in an apartment and have had estimated reads for months, if not years.

Their most recent gas bill is very high, coming in at ~$350 for the Jun-Aug quarter. Other than hot water, I don't believe there's anything else they use gas for.


I have been able to get a meter reading from under their bathroom sink, but I'm not sure what I'm looking at.
Is the below measuring water in decalitres? or is it measuring gas in m3?

Also, how would it be read... 460 decalitres? or 46,078 m3?


















The difference in Start Read and End Read on their bill yields a figure in 'units' (what unit though? I'm guessing decalitres) of 1,100 – which is then multiplied by 10. The conversion factor of 0.87 yields usage for the quarter of almost 10,000 MJ, which the bill says is average for a house of 4-5 people. Clearly something is wrong.


I'm not looking to submit meter reads just yet – I want to understand how to interpret the meter they have.


Thank you

AGL Moderator
1 Reply 5003 Views

Hi @GKemp,


Welcome to Neighbourhood!

Hot water meters have different unit measure depending on what state and what type of meter it is. I would need to look into the account for you to give you an answer. I'll send you a private message to grab those details from you. 




1 Reply 4998 Views

Hi Olgi

Thanks for writing back, but I'd really like help provided to me to be public.

I see a lot of people with similar queries to mine... struggling to understand meters and readings and charges.

The household in question is in NSW. I presume from the photo you can see what type of meter it is.

Would you please be able to answer the questions from my initial post?

Many thanks for your support and prompt reply.

AGL Moderator
1 Reply 4988 Views

Hi @GKemp, I'll help interpret the meter for you.

Meters like this are read left to right with all leading zeros, so the reading would be 0460.7805. This may just get recorded as 0460 on the bill which we can't really look at publicly to protect your parent's privacy.

From there  you can get the difference between the end read and start read, and convert it into MJs through multiplying by both the conversion factors that are on the bill, this should match the usage in MJs that we display on the bill read.

Keep in mind that the household comparison is an estimate based on census data and may not be completely accurate. Also if there are multiple estimated bills, then an actual reading may also result in additional usage being added to the bill, to catch up on usage not charged for through the estimated periods.

I hope this helps, and again we'd be happy to look with you if you're authorised to act on your parent's account, but we need to do that privately, of course.


1 Reply 4981 Views

Hi Mark

Thanks for getting back to me.

I'm still a little confused however...


Firstly, on another thread, an AGL representative said it was the first four digits PLUS first 2 red digits – see here:

So I'm confused as to why there are two bits of conflicting official advice? 


Secondly, what UNIT does the hot water gas meter (the one in my photo) measure in?

if we go with 0460.7805, as in your reply, then 0460.7805 what? m3? decalitres?


The difference in start and end reads of this meter, even when multiplied by 10 and the conversion factor, is not even close to what's on the bill (notwithstanding that it's an estimate) – which makes me believe that my parents' gas meter is measuring in a totally different unit to what's on the bill.


Again, I'd like to keep this public as I know of so many people with similar queries.

AGL Moderator
0 Replies 4975 Views

In all honesty, how many numbers get read depends on the specific type of meter it is, and trying to take your own read through the AGL app will help tell you how many numbers that is, but it will the same as how many get read onto the bill.

Gas meters measure in m3 but the measurement unit should be somewhere on the meter itself to confirm that.

The usage in MJ requires you to convert the difference through the heating value as well as the pressure factor. If one of those values is 10, then that's fine, but usually they are less neat than that. They are displayed on your bill as part of the breakdown of the read.

As long as we're just talking general information, i'm more than happy to keep this public for anyone who wants to contribute. That's the whole idea!