The main reason for the two valves, and either one will shut off the water too the dwelling, is if the meter fails and needs to be replaced, it can be removed and the house will remain charged, and won't drain down, or require the system to be recharged, which can be a PITA.
Thanks for the explanation!
So I used the one after the meter and while the water was OFF the meter started dripping from the bottom. Once I re-opened the valve after the meter, the meter slowly stopped dripping. This was puzzling as why would the meter leak only when the shut off valve right after it is closed but will be completely ok when this valve is open
You discover the cure, so there may be a seal in the meter that is failing, and an inquiry with the service provider will hopefully result in the meter being replaced, before it fails, catastrophically, in the middle of the night.
The only reason for installing two valves is that if the meter needs to be replaced, it will be easier to shut off the water in a particular pipe than to shut off the water throughout the house. Although if you live in a private house, then I do not think that this will be critical for you. The fact that the counter is leaking is very bad. Contact the water company as soon as possible so they can fix it. Only I advise you to "embellish" the whole situation. I recently had a similar situation, but it was not the meter that was leaking, but the valve that is located after it. When I called for the first time, I was told that the plumber would arrive within a week ... He arrived only two weeks later and said that I should buy a new valve myself. (Shouldn't they be doing this ??) I had to look for a quality valve manufacturer usa, since I had never done this before. After that, he replaced the old valve, demanded $ 50 and left ... After this situation, I was thinking about changing the company, but unfortunately I have not yet found an alternative
When you look at my meter there is a prehistoric gate valve before the meter where my new PEX work starts beginning with a brand new ball valve. I asked about having a new meter or at least a new valve put in as it is in the basement and that old thing looked like a flood waiting to happen. Even though my little town owns the meter and valve behind it is their responsibility they had no desire to change it unless it was bad. So i shut it off exactly once when i put my new ball valve on.