Utility submetering allows property owners and managers to allocate utility costs fairly among residents by measuring each unit's true consumption of water, gas and electricity.
Synergy Utility Billing is the leading expert in designing, deploying and maintaining custom multifamily submetering solutions. We provide a full-service experience, from initial consultation and system design to professional installation, meter reading, billing, collection, analytics and optimization. Most important, we take the hassle of submetering and utility billing away from you and your team. We make it easy to comply with state and local regulations and deliver a seamless experience for residents of your apartment buildings, condo complexes, HOA, mobile home parks, water district or multi-property portfolio.
Our commitment to providing unparalleled service, highly effective utility system design and maximum cost recovery has helped us recover over 90% of utility costs for our clients.
Why Choose Utility Submetering?
Utility submetering has benefits for both your firm and your residents. Installing individual submeters is the most precise way to allocate gas, water and electric costs. This improves utility cost recovery (and NOI) by ensuring that residents are billed according to their actual usage, rather than a mathematical formula or guesswork. Residents are significantly more inclined to pay a utility bill that they perceive as accurate.
Another benefit of utility submetering is its reduction in water, gas and electric usage. Studies have shown that offering residents individually calculated bills drops overall utility consumption by as much as 35%. This reduces financial exposure and has a positive effect on the property’s carbon footprint. All of these factors lead to increased property valuations.
How to Start Submetering
Synergy makes it easy to implement utility submetering across your multifamily property investments. We begin with a holistic review of the current state of your utility infrastructure, with eyes on creating the most efficient and effective submetering system possible. After the solution is designed, we help choose the right equipment and work with our professional installation partners to deploy it correctly.
Once the equipment is in place, we read each submeter every month (either manually or via a network connection), bill residents according to their usage, and provide them with multiple payment options. Our resident service team is always available to help resolve billing inquiries and answer questions, so your team doesn’t have to.
Both your management team and residents have access to customized online portals for 24/7/365 access to account details, usage analytics, billing history and more.
New Construction & Existing Buildings
Utility submetering is suitable for both newly built multi-unit properties and existing construction.
With new construction, it is common (and beneficial) for a submetering specialist like Synergy to be involved in infrastructure design. This ensures that the system will be highly effective from Day 1. We can help install the submeters themselves, or provide expert counsel to the contractor or builder.
Existing water, gas and electric infrastructure can usually be retrofit with submeters. As an added benefit, this process creates an opportunity to closely analyze usage and eliminate waste. In some cases – such as extremely old buildings or unusual system setups – a ratio utility billing system (RUBS) solution may be a better fit.
Utility Submetering as a Resident Amenity
More and more multi-family property management groups are considering submetering a resident amenity. Utility submetering gives tenants enhanced control over their finances by tying billing to their precise electric, water and gas usage. Offering flexible payment options, a modern web portal and dedicated service team also improves the resident experience.
Utility Submetering FAQ
Multifamily utility submetering is the practice of installing individual utility meters for each unit or dwelling within a multifamily property (e.g. apartment complex or condominium) to measure and bill tenants for their individual consumption of utilities
This utility billing method allows property owners and managers to allocate utility costs fairly among residents by measuring each unit’s true consumption of water, gas and electricity.
Utility submetering works by installing individual meters to measure the utility usage of each individual unit. Utility bills are then calculated based on the actual consumption recorded by the submeters in each unit, meaning tenants are billed for the amount of utilities they use each month.
Any utility where usage can be tracked and billed against can be submetered. The most common examples are water, electricity, gas and heating/cooling.
The property owner usually owns utility submeters on their multifamily property, while the master meter on the building or property is owned by the utility company.
A submetering system should be viewed as an investment. While there is an up-front cost from purchasing and installing the submeters, the system should, over time, pay for itself through incremental improvements in utility cost recovery.
Yes. In terms of accuracy, allocation and ability to recover costs based on the usage each tenant uses, submetering is the best utility billing method. However, RUBS (ratio utility billing system) is a good alternative to allocate utility costs without the up-front investment required by submeters.
In many cases, yes, submeters can be installed in older multifamily buildings. However, the retrofitting and installation process is usually more complex and costly than in new construction. A utility billing expert can help you weigh your options so you can get the best utility billing system possible.
The most common reasons multifamily property owners implement submetering systems are to increase utility cost recovery, better allocate utility costs and encourage conservation by giving tenants the ability to lower their utility costs by reducing their usage.