When you are either moving in or moving out of an apartment, City Light as of December 15, 2000 requires that your meter be read and reported to them. This is in order to insure the accuracy of your opening or closing billing.


In our apartment buildings, this will require contacting the Manager to allow you access to the meter with the exception of the 419 building, which has the meters in a location available to the tenant in the hallway just outside of the laundry room .


    Write down the City Light meter number located on the front nameplate of your meter

    The meter will have four or five dials. The dials indicate the number of kilowatt-hours you have used since the previous reading.

    Stand directly in front of the meter so that you can clearly see the location of each pointer

    Read and clearly indicate the location of the pointers on the blank dial faces below. If the pointer is between two numbers, draw your line between those two numbers.




Electric Meter Basics

Electric meters measure a customer’s electric energy use in kilowatt-hours.

In single-family residences, most meters are on the outside of the house where meter readers can have easy access to them.

You can find your meter by following the electricity lines from the pole to where they connect to your house. Usually this is near your fuse or circuit breaker box. For apartments and commercial buildings, ask your building manager where the meter is, as it may be more difficult to find.

Seattle City Light owns and maintains the electric meter. Of the thousands of meters SCL checks each year, less than 1 percent are inaccurate, and most of those meters are running too slowly.

Meter Reading

Our employees read the meters on a regular schedule, usually every two months. Please help them do their jobs by keeping plants, tools, building materials and other items at least three feet away from the meter.

Remember - if you can’t see the meter numbers and dials, the City Light meter reader probably can’t either.

Locked Doors:

If your meter is accessible only with a key, please call (206) 386-1731 to make arrangements for access. Many customers give us a key, which we keep locked in a secure place. For your convenience, we will even pick up the key from you.


If we are unable to read the meter, we will estimate how much electricity you’ve used based on previous consumption history at your address. As soon as we can, we will read your meter and correct any billing inaccuracies that occurred.


Meter Identification Number

You may want to look at your meter  to make sure that the identification number matches the one printed on your bill in the “Detailed Billing Information” section. If you live in an apartment, you may have to check the identification number to determine which meter is yours. The meter identification number is generally five or six digits and in larger, bolder print. Older models may have only four digits.



Opening and Closing Your Account

When you open or close your Seattle City Light account, we will need to figure out how much electricity has been used since the last meter reading. There are several methods to choose from:

• You can look at the meter, then call to tell us where the pointers are positioned on the dials. A City employee will record this information and calculate the consumption.

• We can estimate the consumption.

• For a fee, a City Light meter reader can come out and read your meter.

You may use the blank meter dials below to record the positions of the pointers. This may be useful when you open or close your account, or if you inquire about your electricity consumption.


For help with your account, please call

(206) 684-3000 or visit the Web at



Understand Your Electricity Use

By reading your meter regularly, you  will get an idea of how much electricity you use between regular City Light readings. If you get a bill that seems unusually high, read your meter and compare the reading with the “Current Reading” number printed on your bill.