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Sub-Metering FAQs

What are the benefits of submetering?

A number of studies and demonstration projects confirm both the short-term and long-term benefits of submetering, including:
Submetering saves energy. An analysis of submetered buildings (where data have been made available) conclusively illustrates that annual savings of 18-30% of total tenant electricity consumption was achieved in the first year.
Submetering energy savings persist over time. Submetering savings have proven to be maintainable over long periods of time as demonstrated in a number of studies. Some likely reasons are:

  1. (a) that conservation is reinforced by the resident’s receipt of an electric bill;
  2. (b) residents will invest in efficiency (e.g., more efficient refrigerators and lighting) because they will reap the benefits directly.

Approximately 60-70% of tenants benefit from submetering. The only tenants who fare worse under submetering than under other means of allocation electric cost are those who use excessive amounts of electricity. Those residents who find that their electric bills are excessive have the ability to reduce cost by reducing consumption.

Submetering is eminently fair. Submetering simply restores the “user pay” concept. Tenants who leave windows open and leave on lights will pay for their actions or change their habits.

Submetering benefits owners. Submetering largely eliminates a volatile, variable, and difficult-to-control factor from a building’s operating budget. Owners can better predict costs when the only electric usage to be considered is for common areas under management control. Also, the meters’ small footprint increases rentable square footage normally wasted on meter rooms.

Submetering benefits utilities and society Submetering benefits utilities and society in the same way: by reducing the waste of energy and deferring the need to site, build, or otherwise acquire electric generating capacity.

How do my tenants and I benefit from submetering?

Tenants benefit from submetering by being charged only for the electricity they consume. When tenants are charged for electricity based on square footage occupied, they subsidize the usage of other tenants. Submetering promotes and rewards energy conservation.

How does the submetering work?

Submetering permits the measurement of electric use in individual units via a building-owned meter that is installed for each tenant. The building continues to purchase its electricity on the less expensive commercial or bulk rate basis, but now the owner is able to bill electricity to individual tenants on an actual consumption basis. The relationship between the building and utility remains exactly the same as before. The building continues to receive one bill from the utility and the owner allocates the utility costs based on the usage recorded by the unit submeters.

Who will read my meters?

The property manager sets the rates and collects the revenue. All of our meters are equipped with an LED display for local meter reading.

How will submetering affect the building utility bill?

The building’s utility billing process and meter reading schedule will not be affected by the implementation of submetering. The building will still be billed under the same rate as before and any changes in utility rates will not be affected by the presence of submetering in the building.

What is Power Line Carrier Communication (PLCC) and how is it useful for electrical Submetering?

PLCC uses existing building wiring for data communications between the unit meter and the building central station microprocessor/computer. PLCC eliminates the need for expensive building rewiring and addresses aesthetic concerns as well.

What does the submeter measure?

The submeter measures the electricity consumed within the building’s separate units. The meter is connected to the circuit breaker, which is the single location through which all electricity flows to the tenant.