Electric Service


Highly recognized for its standard of service, DME maintains a 99% reliability index. DME strives to maintain quick response times to all customer power interruption calls. This low response time is maintained by our dedicated employees, your neighbors, who are committed to the community in which they live.

How to read your electric meter

Your electric bill is determined by the number of kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electricity that you use each month. This usage is measured by the electric meter. Like the odometer on your car, which records the cumulative number of miles the car has traveled, the electric meter records the cumulative number of kilowatt-hours that have been used since the meter was installed. If you wish to know how many miles you have driven a car over a period of time, such as when you are taking a trip, you read the odometer twice; once at the beginning of the trip and once at the end. By subtracting the first (smaller) reading from the second (larger) reading, the number of miles traveled can be determined. The electric meter operates the same way. Each month, a Denton Municipal Electric meter-reader records the usage indicated by the meter. By subtracting the previous monthís reading from the current reading, the number of kilowatt-hours consumed for the month is easily determined. The number of kilowatt-hours is then multiplied by the applicable electric rate (the price per kilowatt-hour) to determine the electric bill.

A kilowatt-hour is an amount of energy (power x time) equal to the use of 1,000 watts (one kilowatt) for one hour. Not only will a 1,000 watt hair dryer used for one hour will consume one kilowatt-hour of electricity, so will ten 100-watt light bulbs used for one hour (or one 100-watt light bulb used for ten hours). The amount of energy consumed depends on the wattage of the appliance and the amount of time that it is operated. Many electric furnaces are in the 5 to 10 kilowatt range (5,000 to 10,000 watts). An eight kilowatt furnace operated continuously for one hour will used eight kilowatt-hours of electricity. See our rate section for current rate information.

The dials on the electric meter (usually five, sometimes four) record the kilowatt-hours in much the same way as the digits on the automobile odometer record the miles traveled. The dial on the far right records single kilowatt-hours, the dial second from the right records tens of kilowatt-hours, the third dial from the right records hundreds of kilowatt-hours, the fourth dial from the right records thousands of kilowatt-hours, and the dial on the far left records tens of thousands of kilowatt-hours. When reading the meter, read the dials from right to left, and write the numbers down in that same order, right to left.

Notice that each dial has a zero at the top, and the number 1 through 9 around the outside of the dial. Also note that the numbers are arranged around the different dials in an alternating manner. On the dial farthest to the right, the numbers are arranged in a clockwise direction. On the dial second from the right, the numbers are arranged counter-clockwise. This pattern continues for all the dials. Each dial has a pointer hand, much like the hour hand on a clock, which rotates around the dial in the same direction as the numbers are arranged. Thus, the pointer on the far right dial rotates clockwise, and the pointer on the dial next to it rotates counter-clockwise.

To read the meter, examine each dial beginning with the dial on the far right, and write down the number that the pointer hand has most recently passed. If a pointer is between two numbers, you should write down the lower of the two (except when the pointer is between the nine and the zero; in this case the zero functions as a ten, and you would write down the nine ñ the last number that the pointer has passed). If a pointer hand is pointing directly at a number, and you are unsure what to write down, look at the dial directly to the right of the dial you are unsure of. If the pointer hand on that dials is past the zero (on the "one" side of zero), write down the number that the pointer is pointing to. If the pointer hand on that dial has not yet reached the zero (is on the "nine" side of the zero), do not record the number that the pointer hand is pointing to, write down the next lowest number again, the number that the pointer has most recently passed.

Once you have written down the numbers and the date of your meter reading, store that information in a convenient place such as in a notebook or on a calendar. Then, wait for some period of time to elapse, such as a week. Read the meter a second time. Subtract the earlier reading from the later reading, and you will know how many kilowatt-hours you used during that week. You can multiply that number by the current rate to determine the amount of money you spent on electricity for that time period. You can also discover your average daily usage by dividing the kilowatt-hours consumed, by the elapsed number of days.

Electricity is one of the few commodities that we use before we pay for it. Regular monitoring of the electric meter ensures that you are using the amount of electricity that you are paying for, and paying for the amount of electricity you are using.

Please be sure that your meter is accessible to our meter readers. If you have fences with locked gates, dogs, or other obstructions, your meter will not be read and you will receive an estimated billing. Your cooperation will assure the accuracy of your bills and is appreciated.

During 1997, an automated meter reading program was implemented. Staff can now retrieve customer consumption levels via computer, reducing the cost of service. With the high turnover of college students residing in apartments, this program has improved customer service while drastically lowering the overall cost of service.