How does meter reading work?

Once a month, an Alliant Energy meter reader will come to your home and record the reading on your electric and/or gas meter. You will be billed for the amount of energy you have used since the previous meter reading.

The normal meter reading period is 25-35 days. This schedule may change due to weather conditions, resource restrictions and holidays.

If your meter reader is unable to enter your property due to any safety hazards, your meter will not be read and your usage will be estimated according to the previous year's usage during the same month. Any difference from your actual usage will be adjusted on the following month's bill.

You might notice an Alliant Energy meter reader using binoculars along his or her route. This allows us to read more meters each day and helps us avoid estimating readings in areas where the meter is inaccessible.

Keeping your meter accessible

If your meter reader is unable to enter your property due to any safety hazards, your meter will not be read and your usage will be estimated. Here are some simple tips:

  • Restrain your pets. We will skip your meter if any animal on your premises is not restrained. Even the friendliest pooch can become an aggressive guard dog when a stranger comes around.
  • During the winter, clear snow and ice carefully from your energy meters – especially your natural gas meter. Use a broom to keep gas service equipment clear during the winter. Clogged gas appliance vents can cause deadly carbon monoxide accumulation inside the home.
  • Keep the area around your meters clear of weeds, flowers, bushes and debris.
  • If your meter is located inside your home or inside a locked fence, please make arrangements with our Customer Support Center to provide access to our meter reader.

How do I read my electric or gas meter?

It's easy to track how much electricity or natural gas your home or business is using by learning to read your energy meters.

Electric and natural gas meters have either four or five dials on the face. Some dials move from 0-9 in a clockwise direction, while others move counter-clockwise.

Your meter reading will have four or five digits – one number for each dial on the meter. When the pointer on a dial is between two numbers, read the smaller number, as in the example below:

Meter reading chart

When you have the meter reading, you can determine your approximate usage by subtracting the number from the last month's reading listed on your previous bill.

Submit a meter reading

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