# How to Read KWH Electric Meters

By G.K. Bayne Updated September 26, 2017

Electric meters are used to record the amount of electrical energy used in any given time period. Typically, a power utility will record this usage once a month. The previous month's reading is used as a base or the amount to subtract from the current reading. You can generally find the last reading on your current monthly bill, recorded in KWH (kilowatt hour). Kilo means 1000, watt is the product of volts times amperage, and hour is one hour of time. Taking all of this into account, 1 KWH is equal to using 1000 watts of electrical power in one hour. An example of this would be having 10 light bulbs of 100 watts each turned on for one hour. Newer digital display KWH meters flash the usage on an LCD display at the current rate of usage. Mechanical numerical displays are easy to read, too, as the numbers are predominant on the meter. The older dial faces can still be a bit confusing to read, but with a little work, you can figure out the amount of power used.