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What is Utility Submetering?

Inovonics_TapwatchUtility submetering is the implementation of a system of meters in individual residences that measure the amount of water, electricity, or gas used by a resident.  This usage data is used for billing and analysis purposes.

Submeters are used in "master-metered" multifamily residential complexes and condominiums.  They are fitted with wireless transmitters that send consumption data to a centrally located data collector.  The data collector connects to the Internet or to a telephone line so that usage data can be accessed remotely.

Master-Metered Properties Have Higher Utility Costs

Many multifamily properties are "master-metered" meaning they have a single meter measuring water, electricity, or gas consumption for multiple residences.  In order to divide up the utility expense among residents, many property owners and condominium associations use a RUBS (Ratio Utility Billing System) formula based on unit size, number of occupants, or some other metric.  The drawback of the RUBS method is that some residents will pay more in utility costs than they would have paid if their apartment or condo was submetered.

Submetering Measures Individual Consumption

By installing a submetering system, a multifamily owner can charge each resident for the utilities that the person uses.  If the tenant conserves, he/she benefits financially.  If the tenant uses more water in comparison to neighbors, the tenant pays for that extra usage.  Submetering is the faires way to bill for master-metered utility expenses and creates a powerful incentive for conservation.