The Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide To Submetering
Rising utility costs are one of the biggest areas of concern for property owners, property management companies and tenants. Installing a utility (water, gas, electricity, or thermal) submeter can help a property manager get accurate readings of individual utility usage, thereby leading to improved energy consumption habits.
Rising Utility Costs – Why Tracking Consumption is Crucial
Climatic variations are the leading cause of sharp increases in utility costs across the globe. Warmer summers, colder winters, untimely storms, and a rain and snow deficit impact utility consumption across Canada generally, and Alberta, specifically. While utility bills have risen for all Canadians, the bigger issue here is about measuring individual utility usage.
This is important for two reasons:
- Ensuring tenants are only billed as per their utility usage.
- Encouraging better utility consumption habits by both low and high utility users.
The best way to achieve this is by installing a submetering system for measuring utility usage. The problem, however, is that in Canada, and in particular Alberta, submetering has been done in pockets.
In Vancouver, to take one example, only 6.2% of the homes have a water meter while some communities lack residential meters completely. The city’s population is expected to expand by an additional 35,000 year on year for the next few decades. In Edmonton, the population is expected to grow by 45,000 by 2020. This population increase in both cities will obviously place a lot of pressure on water supply and energy consumption.
By installing a submeter in multi-tenant residential properties in Edmonton, water consumption and energy usage can be measured and studied to make provisions for future usage. Individual billing on utilities will also force residents to be prudent about how they consume utilities.
What happened in Cape Town, South Africa, could very well be a reality in any major metropolitan city in any part of the world!
Proven Advantages of Submetering
Intelligent utility measurement is the need of the hour for residential, commercial and industrial consumers. Here are some proven advantages of submetering:
- Individual billing leads to responsible and substantial economical consumption of utilities.
- Users are happier since they can see a tangible relation between economical usage of utilities and reduction in costs.
- It leads to a lower carbon footprint, which should be a priority with every single property developer on earth.
- Tenants are satisfied that they are not carrying the burden of someone else’s overconsumption.
- It instills a sense of fairness since tenants are aware the measurements are conducted by a 3rd party which means the billing will be fair.
- It can help improve property efficiency as any wastage (unnecessary usage) can be effectively plugged.
And here’s an important submetering fact: According to a study conducted by research firm Navigant Consulting, “If sub-metering were deployed in all currently bulk-metered, multi-residential buildings the annual potential electricity savings following complete deployment over five years could be 3.3 terawatt-hours annually – more than all of the electricity produced from Ontario’s wind power facilities in 2010.”
Improve Property Operations Costs by Switching to a Submetering System
A big area of stress for property managers is containing operating costs at a level that can impact the bottom-line. Smart systems such as submeters can lead to potential savings, especially in high cost units such as a HVAC system. Preventive maintenance is crucial if you want to avoid bloated repair costs and lower energy efficiency issues at a later stage.
The savings from improving the energy efficiency of your property can be used in introducing more green initiatives in other areas. Every green initiative has the potential to further lower cost of maintenance while also giving you the added satisfaction of further reducing your carbon footprint.
Assessing the Energy Efficiency of your Property
Submetering is pivotal to any energy efficiency initiative. Keep track of your utility (water, gas, thermal and electricity) consumption with our quiz — ASSESS THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF YOUR PROPERTY.
It will help you identify areas where you can gain from optimized usage such as from upgrading to better heating or lighting, and areas that are otherwise bleeding your utility consumption.
A comparative analysis of any energy retrofit is important for identifying improved efficiency levels before and after the upgrade. A submeter allows for this kind of comparative analysis and provides a clear view of savings after factoring in any changes or variables.
In big consumption areas, accurately measuring utility consumption is crucial. A submeter system can easily double check on both billing and utility reading.
Efficient utilities consumption is a collective human responsibility. Everyone from property managers, to residential property owners, and tenants has a role to pay. Start by switching to a submeter system today.