How to read your natural gas meter

Whether you have a home or a business, we read your natural gas meter and bill you monthly. 

We use two types of meters:

  • imperial – measures your natural gas use in hundreds of cubic feet
  • metric – measures your natural gas use in single cubic metres

We also use two styles of meter registers: 

  • digital index
  • clock style 

Reading your meter

Some of you like to submit your own meter reading to us, rather than have a FortisBC representative come on your property. Sometimes we may not be able to read a meter due to weather conditions, such as a huge snowfall. If you learn to read your own meter, you can submit your reading, which we can then use to calculate an estimate of the natural gas you’ve used. 

How to read a digital index register

Reading a digital index register is as easy as reading your car's odometer. We use digital index registers for both imperial (measuring hundreds of cubic feet) and metric (measuring single cubic metres) meters. Each digital meter is clearly marked to show imperial or metric measurement.

To find out the volume of gas you've used since your last bill statement, just subtract your last reading from your current reading, like this:

Current 

An illustrated digital display showing the numbers 00388 (18-150.3) 

Last

An illustrated digital display showing the numbers 00150 (18-150.3)

In the example above, your volume used over the period equals 238 cubic metres.

How to read a clock-style register

Clock-style meters generally measure gas in hundreds of cubic feet. Reading a clock-style register is not hard once you get the hang of it. If you have a clock-style meter, read the dials from 0 to 9, either clockwise or counter-clockwise as indicated on the dial.

  • If the dial hand is between the numbers, use the lower one (if between 9 and 0, read 9).
  • If the dial hand is exactly on a number, look at the dial to the immediate right. If its dial hand is not past 0, record the lower number for the dial in question.

A series of four gas meter clocks. Each clock has a single clock hand and numbers around the face starting at 0 and progressing to 9. The first and third clocks move counter-clockwise, while the second and fourth move clockwise. The first one has a clock hand pointing to the 4. The second has the hand pointing in between the 9 and 0. The third has a hand pointing close to the 2 and the fourth one has a hand pointing in between the 9 and 0

To find out the volume of gas you've used since your last statement, just subtract your last reading from your current reading, like this:

Volume of gas used
Present reading 15,800
Less your previous reading
(you'll find this on your statement)
-7,400
Gas used (cubic feet) 8,400

How to calculate your gas bill

If you want to read your meter to see how your gas bill is calculated, remember you’re billed for the energy you use, not the volume of gas recorded by your meter. 

Meters measure the volume of gas used and that information allows us to calculate how much energy is used in your home each month.

We use a conversion factor to translate volume of gas used into gigajoules of energy consumed. The conversion factor (shown in the gas usage calculation box on the right hand side of your FortisBC bill) takes into account your location's standard conditions of temperature and pressure, as well as the average energy content of the gas.

To check your gas bill against your meter reading:

  1. subtract previous reading from present reading = the volume of gas used
  2. multiply by the conversion factor (as noted on your gas bill under gas usage calculation) = the number of gigajoules you are being billed for

Submit your meter reading

We have two ways you can submit your own natural gas meter reading. Choose what suits you best.

  • By phone: call us at 1-888-224-2710, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Have your account number handy and simply follow the voice prompts to enter your meter reading information.
  • Submit online: log in to Account Online and follow the instructions.

Important: if you submit a meter reading and we use it, the meter reading will show as an estimate on the bill.