25 January 2011
Dear Maintenance Men:
With the increase in water rates and the decrease in rents, I’m looking into sub-metering as a way to manage some of my income and expenses. But, the more research I do about submetering, the more confused I get. Can you help make sense of it all?
Great Question! We have always found a great way to save a resource and cut the costs is to have the person who actually uses the resource pay the bill. You will find they become very conservative with the resource! After reading your question, we contacted Todd Clark from California Utility Billing Services to help us with your question.
As you may have found in your research, there are two basic methods to bill your residents for their water use. 1: RUBS (Ratio Utility Billing Systems) and 2: submetered billing systems.
The RUBS is a method of allocating utility costs evenly between multiple residents within a community. The billing is based on factors such as occupancy, square footage, number of bedrooms, etc.
The sub-meter billing system uses individual meters between the master meter and the resident’s unit. This provides a way to measure individually each resident’s usage. The sub-metering method is more accurate than the RUBS method, but plumbing configurations on many properties could make the sub-metering costly or impossible to install.
Both methods require a little preparation to work smoothly and both will require monthly input. The RUBS system will require you to supply monthly water bill information and occupancy numbers. The sub-meter system will require monthly meter readings.