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Meter Reading

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Meter ManThe City of Charlottesville uses an automatic meter reading system. A radio signal from the gas or water meter will be sent to transceiver equipment placed in a vehicle. Radio read systems are capable of reading 10 to 30 meters per second. We are able to read meters during bad weather conditions or when meters are inaccessible. Our radio read system enables the City to increase meter reading productivity, have flexibility to handle future utility growth and improve billing accuracy by eliminating estimated utility bills.


Residential gas meters have either dials or a digital readout. If you have the digital meter, all you need to do is read the numbers and add 2 zeroes, this is the cubic feet reading like you see on your bill. If you have a dial meter see the diagram below.

Meter display example

Notice that some dials move clockwise (like the second and fourth dials) and counterclockwise (like the first and third). Usually, the hand or pointer on the dial is between 2 numbers. Always read the lower of the 2 numbers. If the hand is right on a number, as with the dial on the far left here, you need to check to the right. The dial on the right is between the 9 and the 0. This means the dial on the left still reads 7 (the lower number). If the dial on the right was between the 0 and the 1, we would read the left dial as an 8. The correct meter reading for this example is 7942. We add 2 zeroes to this reading to make cubic feet as you see on your bill.


Residential water meters are easy to read. They are read like an odometer in a car. Numerical meter readout sample

In this example, the meter reading is recorded as 65137 for billing.


Gas leaks need to be reported immediately to our service department. If you smell gas or suspect you have a gas leak call (434) 970-3800. This number is our dispatcher and there is always someone there to take your call.

Send email to the City Utility Billing Office