Customer Support

Identifying and Reading Meters

Get a better understanding of how your meter works

Your monthly bill from Xcel Energy is based on your electric and/or gas usage as measured by the meter in your home. Meters are read either manually (by an Xcel Energy Meter Reader), or automatically (by our Automated Meter Reading system). In both cases, your usage is recorded and used for billing purposes.

Locate an Electric Meter

Electric meters are typically placed on the siding at the rear or side of your home.

Locate a Gas Meter

Gas meters are typically located a few feet from the ground.

Reading a Digital Meter

If you have a digital meter and would like to read it yourself, simply write down the numbers that appear in the digital window.

Reading a Dial Meter

Follow the directions of the dials to read the number on each dial.

Meters Located Inside or in a Hazardous Location

Homeowners with meters located inside or in a hazardous location are eligible to enroll in the Meter Reading Window Card program. With this program, we will send you the Meter Reading Window Card along with instructions on how to use it. You set the dials on the Window Card to correspond to the dials on the meter, and display the card in your window on the correct date. The meter reader will record the information through the window of your home or garage.  

For more information see our FAQ  or call our customer contact representatives at 800-895-4999.

Estimated Reading

A number of factors can require us to estimate the reading on your meter. These factors may include poor weather conditions or equipment problems with the computer systems that record meter readings.

Meter Reading for Your Final Bill

If you have any questions regarding the meter reading for your final bill, please contact us at 800-895-4999.

Instructions for Your Meter Reader

It helps our meter readers to know if you've changed any conditions at your home, and we appreciate the information. Such conditions may include a new dog in your yard or that you moved your meter during a construction project. If any conditions have changed at your home that you feel we need to know about, please call us at 800-895-4999. We'll add the information to your account and make it available to our meter readers.

Colored Tags on Your Meter

The color-coding of meter tags varies by state. A red tag typically means the meter has been locked for non-payment. A green or gray tag means the meter is in normal working status.

Bridge Meters

Colorado customers who participate in Time of Use Pricing or Peak Demand Pricing will receive a bridge meter. These meters measure electric usage in 15-minute increments, store that data, and transmit it monthly to our billing system. Learn more about meters and billing with Time of Use Pricing and Peak Demand Pricing.

Smart Meters, Privacy, and Radio Frequency

At a basic level, “smart meter” refers to a meter that measures your energy use and transmits it directly to the utility without the need for in-person meter readings. These meters allow utilities to manage electric distribution systems more efficiently, reduce costs, improve service reliability, and offer customers more options for managing their electricity use.

Learn more about smart meters, privacy, and radio frequency (RF) technology.

Energy Saving Tip Icon

Energy Saving Tip

Set your hot water heater to no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This isn't just energy smart—it's also safer, since it reduces the likelihood of accidental burns.

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Break Ground, Not the Law

Always call 811 before digging in your yard to avoid hitting buried gas or electric lines. Not only is it the safe thing to do, but it's the law.