A Beginner’s Guide on The Most Important Types of Electric meter options

Suppose you want to monitor your house’s energy consumption or reduce the energy-related costs of your household. In either situation, you will have to measure how much energy the home appliances altogether use for daily needs. 

So, how can you do that? This is where the role of the different types of electric meter options comes into play. 

An energy meter or an electric meter measures the electricity consumed by the tenant, building, or electrically powered equipment. 

Different energy meters are available in the market. While all of them might differ in functionality, they all serve the same purpose: calculating energy consumption. 

Want to know more about all the types of energy meter options? Then, keep scrolling! 

What Is an Energy Meter? 

Before discussing the types, let’s understand the definition of an energy meter in detail.

Well, an energy meter is a device that calculates the energy used by the electric load in a specific time. 

In other terms, the device records timely energy consumption by the electric load. 

Energy meters are used in industrial and domestic AC circuits to calculate power consumption. These instruments display accurate power readings in a specific period of time.  

Top 5 Types of Electric Meter Options You Should be Aware of

As mentioned earlier, many types of electric meter options are found in the market. So, if you’re wondering which they are and how they are different from the others, don’t worry – we have you covered!

Here’s an overview of the five different types of electric meter options. Let’s look into each of them one by one. 

1. Single-phase energy meter

Starting with the most common energy meter, the single-phase energy meter. This energy meter is adjoined to the load and the line. This meter requires two wires to supply the power to the household. 

Taking about its functionality, it uses a phase and a neutral cable to distribute the alternating power to the circuit. However, it is important to note that the meters do not supply direct current power. 

As far as efficiency is concerned, these electric meters cannot start manually and need motors to operate. 

This makes them different and less efficient from the next type we will discuss: a three-phase energy meter. 

2. Three-phase energy meter

This is a popular one among the different types of electric meter options. Unlike the single-phase meter, this meter can run without the assistance of any other devices. Hence, it is more efficient than the single-phase ones. 

Moving on to how it operates, the three-phase energy meter has 4 wires: 3 are phase wires and one is the neutral wire. 

It is useful for commercial, industrial, and institutional applications that require higher power than household applications.  

3. BTU meter

Now, let’s look into the third type of electric meter – the BTU meter. 

Before you ask, the name originates from British Thermal Units (BTU), which measures the energy in residential and commercial buildings. 

This meter comes with an additional temperature sensor that measures the power of a cooling or heating system. 

The BTU meters have three parts: flow meter, main unit, and temperature sensor. Here’s how the components collectively work to generate electricity. 

  • – When water passes through the system, the flow meter calculates the flow rate and sends the calculation to the main unit. 
  • – On the other hand, the temperature sensor calculates the temperature of the supply pipe and sends this to the main unit. 
  • – The meter then draws the information from both the components, calculates the energy, and displays the overall energy consumption. 

4. Smart electricity meter 

This is one of the most advanced types of electric meter options. A smart electricity meter has a strategic construction and remotely transmits the data to the customers and measures the energy consumption. 

The best part about these meters is that they can communicate from both directions – smart indeed! 

While the meters can send the parameter values, power consumption, and alarm to the utilities, they can also collect the message from the automatic meter reading system, upgradation of meter’s software, and other messages from the utilities.

Another amazing benefit of smart electricity meters is that no power can be tampered with or used illegally. 

5. Prepaid electricity meter

Lastly, there is a prepaid electricity meter. This is one of the unique types of electric meter options. Here’s why! 

Like mobile recharging, you can buy a recharge card and get energy based on the balance amount. 

This means that every time you use energy from the card, the balance amount will come down and show zero if all the energy is used. 

However, the amount of energy reduced from the card depends on which time you use the energy from the card. 

For instance: If you use the card during peak hours, the power will likely get reduced quickly. 

This alternatively means that if you use power during the off hours, you can save some energy for later use. An important hack to remember!

The best feature of this energy system is that the grid monitors the energy consumption accurately and can detect user tampering attempts. 


All these types of energy meter options are different from each other based on their functionality, design, and working principles. 

If you aren’t sure which one to buy, you can cross-compare the advantages of each and select the one that you find the best from the list mentioned above. Do not forget to check the disadvantages as well. 

Determine how many phases, the amps, and the communication protocols you’ll need to power up your system, and based on it, purchase one among the different types of electric meter options that best suits your needs. 

Also, consider the cost and buy the one that is economically viable and suits the modern power requirements. 


Q. Which among the types of electric meter is used at home?

Single-phase electric meters are used in household electronic appliances. Since this electric meter can calculate less energy, it is ideal for household purposes. 

Commercial and industrial companies require more energy. Therefore, a three-phase electric meter is used in these places instead of a single-phase electric meter.  

Q. What is the basic purpose of an electricity meter? 

The basic purpose of all types of electric meter options is to calculate the energy consumed by the electronic appliances in the commercial, industrial, or home setting in a specific period. 

Q. What is the difference between the single-phase and three-phase electricity meter?

The difference between these two types of electric meter options is the electric supplies and the efficiency. 

The single-phase electricity meter needs a single phase, whereas the three-phase electricity meter requires three phases to calculate the energy. 

Besides, a three-phase electricity meter can calculate more power than a single-phase electricity meter.