When I was in college, I lived in an apartment in which the rent I was charged included all of my utilities. I fondly recall the cold winter nights when I cranked the electric heat up to toasty levels while my cat and I lounged on the bed under the open window. The fresh, cold, clean air mixed with the warmth of my apartment was heavenly and although I loved it, I’m quite sure my landlord did not.
I didn’t realize how selfish I was back then and how wasteful I was being of my utilities and natural resources. Unfortunately, this scenario is still very common among apartment dwellers and other multifamily housing units whether rents include utilities or not. Our natural resources are dwindling, our economy is still struggling, yet too many folks continue to waste utilities and make someone else pay for them in one way or another.
So how can property owners cut costs and increase their net operating income (NOI)? The answer is by submetering all of the tenants’ utilities via individual meters or through a fair Ratio Utility Billing System. Doing this will force tenants to pay for their own utilities and give them an idea of their consumption tendencies each month. The hope is that they will more careful of their utility usage but if not, they will bear the cost of their imprudence, not the landlord.
In addition to saving money by simply using less water, gas, or electricity, property owners will save money and time on maintenance issues. For example, when less water is running through hot water heaters, plumbing, faucets, and shower heads, the wear-and-tear on these structures will subsequently be less. This gives these items more longevity which not only means less repairs and replacements but more time for the landlord to focus on other operational and upkeep issues.
If you are the owner or manager of a commercial or residential property with multiple tenants and you are interested in putting in submeters, you may wonder how to get the process started. There are utility submetering companies online that outline their services in a concise manner and who have friendly and helpful staff to help get you started. Choose a company who has experience with submetering and who maintains an excellent reputation for quality service. The company installing your submeters should also be the ones performing maintenance and any future repairs as well as be responsible for billing and collecting payments from your tenants. This ensures that you will be working with a company who understands the unique needs of submetering and the way it promotes conservation and increased NOI for you. And since your submeters will be a fixed part of your property for a long time, it is essential to develop a relationship with the best utility submetering company in the field.