What is Kilowatt Hour (kWh) Metering?

February 15th, 2021:
Your energy bill is charged based on the total kilowatt hour consumption over a stated time period; typically in a month by month format. In large enterprises and innovative companies, they have taken measures to capture this figure and create accountability for the energy usage through energy audits, engineering solutions, load-shedding, demand response and through the most basic and essential form; kWh sub metering.

Metering Kilowatt Hour Consumption

Kilowatt Hour, or kWh, meters are compact electronic monitoring devices that measure the consumed energy flowing through a circuit such as a standard 120VAC or 240VAC line and act as a kWh calculator. The meter is mounted in line with the circuit supplying the electricity such as a main panel or distribution sub panel and will accumulate a totalized reading accounting for the consumption flowing through. The accumulated number is the total power in kilowatts that has been used over a period of time, thus giving you the energy as expressed in kilowatt hour. The accumulated number is derived from all of the devices that are feeding from that circuit’s energy and can be read as the imported energy. This number can be reset after the end of the billing period or taken down and subtracted from the rolling total to calculate the next periods total energy use.

Using a sub meter for kilowatt hour metering provides a critical window into your energy consumption and ultimately the energy bill. Users are able to accurately monitor the energy usage in real-time instead of waiting until the end of the billing cycle. With revenue grade meters, users can verify bills for accuracy and/or allot charges to specific areas or users. Using digital meters with onboard memory for data logging, these records can be saved internally on the meter. Many of the digital meters have additional tools available which are made to create accountability for energy usage and in turn help save money.

Kilowatt Hour (kWh) Metering Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to get started metering kWh?

  • A kWh Meter - preferably an ANSI C12 Revenue Grade meter
  • A Designated Circuit - determine if you will be monitoring a single-phase or three-phase circuit and if it is 120VAC, 240VAC, 480VAC, etc.
  • Accessories - if you are using an older globe/glass style kWh meter, you may need a kWh meter enclosure/socket like the ones made by Milbank Manufacturing. You may also need current transformers (CT's) if you are monitoring higher currents. Here at Ram Meter Inc. we have a large selection of Current Transformers to choose from.

How do I install my meter?

Installation will vary based on the circuit. All meters come with simple directions which can be read easily by an electrician. However, if needed, Ram Meter Inc. has easy to read wiring diagrams which we can supply. Feel free to contact us at 1-800-446-4035 or fill out our online CONTACT FORM and we will gladly provide that to you.

How long does it take to see results?

After the meter is installed, results will show immediately. What you do with those results is entirely up to you.

What do I need to look for?

kWh. Make sure that you are reading the ‘imported’ or consumed energy as that is what you are using and being billed for.

Who can make use of kWh metering?

kWh metering projects range from home owners, landlords, and small businesses up to major companies and organizations.

Note: Information taken from an application note courtesy of Accuenergy (via the Accuenergy website). Ram Meter Inc. sells and stocks an assortment of Accuenergy kWh meters and current transformers, which can all be found on our website at www.rammeter.com/accuenergy You can also check out our full selection of other kWh & Energy Meters.