What is Submetering? - Multifamily Utility Company

Full Service, Nationwide Utility Billing Company

what is submetering?

If you own or manage multifamily properties, this page will tell you more about submeters and utility expense recovery.

– What is a submeter?
– How submeters work
– Why you should consider submeters

– The various types and brands of submeters
– The submeter installation process
– Sample utility recovery savings

We provide services and free utility audits to communities 
with 20+ multifamily units.


what are submeters?

Submeters are utility-grade meters installed between your master utility meter and your individual units. They allow you to recover the cost of providing electricity, gas, and water to your residents.

Submeters are a preferred multifamily option because a quality submeter provides precise readings and a long lifespan with little maintenance. Advanced wireless technologies eliminate the need for manual meter readings.

Your residents receive a bill that accurately reflects their usage, which often results in improved conservation of resources.

In States like California, submeters are required for new construction, but they are a great option for retrofits and have a fast ROI.

The Multifamily Utility team works with properties either with or without meters to manage the utility billing and expense recovery for your residents. Our platforms integrate seamlessly with your property management software and provide a wide range of customizable reports. For added convenience, resident utility bills and other ancillary fees can be consolidated into a single invoice which is integrated with your property management software.

We also design, install, monitor, and maintain submetering systems and can provide a higher-quality product at a lower cost than your local utility company.

Customized Reporting

Excellent reporting is part of the system, and reports are customizable to your needs.

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Resident Satisfaction

States Served

US Employees

Why we are different

Multifamily Utility has been on the Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list for six straight years. We attribute our success to treating each customer like our only customer. Our mission is to help you recover the maximum utility expense possible, increase your NOI, and help you conserve water, gas, and electric resources. Our regulatory experts will help you comply with your local regulations and conservation programs, and can assist with benchmark requirements.

From Our Clients

Best Implementation

“I am very impressed with the level of attention MUC gave us as we transitioned to their platform. They addressed all our questions, thoroughly validated the data we supplied, and made certain our account was setup exactly as intended. One of the best implementations I’ve been through. Kudos!”

Followup: “Thanks again to you and your team — it’s really made administering RUBS a breeze compared to our prior experiences.”

Patrick McNamara
M | J | D Development

Responsive and Professional

“We have found Multifamily Utility Company to be an extremely professional company. Their representatives are always responsive and attentive to our questions, as well as being very knowledgeable of all state regulations regarding utility billing. They gave us suggestions for increasing our revenue and we have seen a marked increase in collections and revenue since we started using their services. We are very pleased with all aspects of their service and look forward to a long, continued relationship with Multifamily Utility Company.”

Client From Dallas, TX

Increased Property Value

“Many other property owners have told me that they do not have the money to make the initial investment to install meters. But I recommend that they find a way to fund it because the payback is rapid — usually about one year to 18 months, and the revenue recovery is ongoing. For example, when we purchased a 169 apartment home community in Indianapolis, I asked our bank to add the cost of meter installation onto our loan, which they readily did after I demonstrated how the program significantly increases property value. It cost about $225 per apartment home to install the gas submeters at the property, for a total of $38,025, and our mortgage increased by only $500 per month. The gas bill for that property alone is $85,000 per year and we recover about 70 percent of those costs, after factoring out common area and vacant apartment home costs, a savings of $59,500 per year, which far surpasses the initial installation cost. Another benefit is that our property value has increased exponentially, which I calculated by taking the $59,500 at a 9.5 percent cap rate (rates can vary) which raised the property value by more than $500,000.”

Client From Indianapolis, IN

Easy to Work With

“I don’t mind sharing some information at all. Let me start off by telling you that I have been the manager here at OBT for a little less than 2 years. We have 214 units. The system was installed by the developer at construction so I can’t share any feedback related to the process of installing or speak to any differences prior to the system being installed. When I arrived the association was dissatisfied with the prior billing company (AUM) and shortly thereafter we switched to MUC. We recently renewed our contract with them for a second year. We’re pleased with their work. They were responsive to some concerns shortly after the switch and sent Josh over to Phoenix from San Diego to assist in some investigation work on-site. The issues were tied back to bad information passed on from the prior vendor. They have been easy to work with and were agreeable to modifying the billing dates and the timing of their process in order to accommodate some property specific needs.”

Client From Phoenix, AZ

Seamless Transition

“Multifamily Utility Company has done an excellent job with our properties. They are very professional and have seamlessly transitioned many of our apartment buildings to the Ratio Utility Billing program, as well as setting up online automated meter reading and billing with our newer properties. I would recommend them to small and large property owners alike.”

Client From San Diego, CA

Adding to the Bottom Line

“We have calculated the increase in property value that comes along with submetering. For instance, on a property with 285 apartment homes with an average water bill of $7,000 per month, we can add up to $6,000 or more per month to the bottom line. At a 9 percent capitalization rate, that equates to a property value increase of $800,000.”

Client From Tampa, FL

Recouped Cost

“The results did not disappoint me. In December the bills declined after we began billing residents for their water consumption. In March 2003 and April 2003 bills were approximately $270 per day; May fell to $254. The difference between $462 in April 2001 and $270 in April 2003 is $192 per day – a payback of less than one year. The payback actually is much faster because we are collecting about $2000 each month from the billing program, an amount that should double by year-end as new leases are signed.”

Client From Columbus, OH

Great Incentives

“Accurately monitoring each apartment home’s electrical usage gives greater incentive for residents to conserve energy, since they are paying for exactly what they use. During a one-year period, an average of 17 percent less energy was consumed in the submetered residences.”

Client From Portland, OR

Conscious Energy Use

“An obvious trend has emerged now that residents are responsible for their own utility bills. Before the days of submetering, it was not uncommon to see windows open or hear air conditioners running in the middle of winter with heaters going full blast. It was a way to cool down the apartment, but now that residents are responsible for their own bills, they tend to just turn down the heat.”

Client From Columbus, OH

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Grab your free Utility Audit

No obligation, we’ll even audit a billing program you are already running. Due to the cost of providing high-quality service, we have a twenty unit minimum.