Electricity and natural gas meters

Meter accuracy

Electricity and natural gas meters must meet stringent requirements to ensure they measure accurately.

Before a new type of meter can be used for billing purposes, the manufacturer must provide Measurement Canada with a prototype. Measurement Canada then evaluates the prototype design for accuracy. If the meter passes these tests, it's approved and can be used for billing purposes in Canada.

In addition, Measurement Canada or accredited organizations:

  • verify the accuracy of the meters before they are placed into service
  • seal the meters before they are placed into service
  • periodically check to make sure the meter accuracy is maintained

Doubting your meter's accuracy

If you feel that your energy bill isn't an accurate reflection of the amount of electricity or gas you've consumed, you should do the following:

  1. Double check your energy usage.

    Maybe you actually used more energy than you think. You may use more energy than expected if:

    • the weather is hotter or colder than normal
    • you added an appliance
    • you had an appliance such as a refrigerator, freezer, water heater or air conditioner that was working more than normal

    Your utility may have overestimated the amount of electricity or gas you used. This can happen when the utility hasn't been able to take a reading from your meter and must estimate the amount consumed.

    You may have experienced a rate increase that you may have overlooked. It is unusual for higher energy bills to be caused by inaccurate meters, but if you still have doubts, contact your utility.

  2. Contact your utility's customer service department.

    Ask your utility to investigate the source of your concern. If you're dissatisfied with the answer and still think the meter is defective, you may file a complaint.

  3. File a complaint with Measurement Canada.

    You may ask Measurement Canada to test your meter by filing a complaint. At the same time, to avoid surprises, check with your utility to see if it will be charging to remove the meter for testing.

Meter readings when moving

If you are moving, you should contact your utility to confirm the current reading of your meter. This way, you will receive a bill based on actual and not estimated consumption.

Removing meters from service

On occasion, utilities or other service providers must remove electricity and gas meters from service. The utility must notify you in advance that they intend on removing the meter. You must allow the utility to remove the meter from service without interfering.

Utilities and other service providers may remove a meter to:

  • test the meter to make sure it continues to be accurate
  • replace a defective or broken meter
  • test the meter when there is a complaint related to its accuracy
  • test meters to monitor their compliance with the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act
  • routinely maintain the meter

It is an offence under the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act to prevent or refuse the removal from service of a meter for one of these reasons. If your meter is being removed for a reason other than those listed, such as to replace it with a smart meter, you should contact your utility about your concerns.

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