How to Read Your Smart Meter

Screenshot of How to Read Your Smart Electric Meter brochure

Reading your new smart electric meter is easy. Your smart electric meter automatically scrolls through several different displays. Each display remains on screen for three to five seconds.  

These displays will show your kilowatt-hour usage, date and time and other network and diagnostic information that is useful to SDG&E and does not relate to your bill or energy usage.

2018 Billing Cycle Schedule

Understanding the various Scrolling Display Codes

Print out our detailed How to Read your Meter fact sheet.

Most of the scrolling digital displays are identified by a number in the top left-hand corner, that represents what type of data is being shown.

Shown as “01” indicates the date

  • The date is shown as month then day then year.
  • For example, June 17, 2008 would display as 061708.

Shown as “02” indicates time of day

  • The time is shown in “military” or 24 hour time and includes seconds.
  • For example, if it’s 7:17 pm and 17 seconds, the display will be 191717.

Shown as “PG” is displayed

  • This indicates the meter's configuration program and version number.

Shown as "10" indicates 'kWh'

  • The display is now showing your current meter reading.

Other Display Numbers

  • There are also other displays that are contained in the display sequence such as a segment check display, and communication level on the radio network.

The smart meters are read through a wireless network and these displays provide valuable system information to SDG&E.

Sample Diagram of how kWh is Displayed on your Smart meter

Meter Data Display Example

A kilowatt-hour is a measure of energy equal to the use of one kilowatt for one hour.

For Example

When you use a one-kilowatt appliance for one hour, that's a kilowatt-hour, and would be added to your previous consumption read.

If you used the same one-kilowatt appliance for two hours the display above would become incremented by two.


001563 + 000002 = 1565

Determining Your Energy Usage for any Time Period

The new SDG&E smart meterUsing our previous example, the initial meter read is 001563.

To find out how much energy you use in a given time, subtract this first reading from a second reading taken at a later date or time.

For Example

If you go back to your meter later and it reads 001940, then you have used 377 kWh for the time period between your current read, and the previous meter read.


001940 - 001563 = 377 kWh