People in the United States are beginning to take heed of the reality that the environment is being depleted by the widespread profligate use of natural resources, and it is these resources that are needed to produce the utilities we use every day. The country’s population is ever-increasing and with that comes the need for more and more utilities. Even if renewable resources like wind and sunlight are used to generate power, the environmental impact may be less but people will still have to pay if they choose to waste their utilities. The financial impact will be even greater when people in multifamily living units, such as apartments or condominiums, share utility costs and are not aware of their individual usage.
The combination of natural resource depletion, negative environmental impact, and human selfishness equals a dire situation and one that needs a solution. One way to successfully combat the problem is through submetering. Submetering is a system of utility meters that measure the actual amount of utilities used by a consumer in a residential or commercial setting. It is not a new concept but many people may see it as such since many utilities have been “included” in rents.
When submeters are installed in individual businesses and housing units, tenants become more aware of the amount of water, gas, and electricity they use because they will be paying for their actual use. Submetering is a fair system, as well, because every unit or business pays for what it uses instead of some people paying for the wasteful behavior of others. Less utility usage equals more money saved, higher property value, less improvidence of natural resources, and more environmental responsibility. Being “green” is not something shared by everyone but saving some “green” is something most people strive to do.
It would behoove all property owners to consider submetering for any and all of their buildings. New buildings can easily be customized to accept submeters and most older buildings can be retrofitted to accept submeters, as well. Tenants who wish to pay a fair price for their utilities ought to look for living units or commercial buildings that employ the use of submeters. Utilities are a large part of rent for residential and commercial establishments alike; choosing to live or work in a building that uses submeters is obviously the smart choice.