If you are currently paying for any utilities through your Condominium fees, there may be room to make improvements to your Corporation’s overall utility management. When utilities are proportionally split an individual is left paying too little for their personal utility consumption and others too much for their consumption. It is not an equitable or transparent platform as it does not allow Owners or their Tenants to see how changes in consumption can not only lower their utility bills but also support conservation. In these situations, sub-metering can provide a fair billing platform.
Sub-metering consists at a high-level of installing individual meters for specific utilities in each unit. A practise that has been in place for Single Family Homes for decades. The meters are read remotely over a secured internet connection. This platform allows for individual invoices to be issued reflecting unit-level consumption. Sub-metering is available for all utilities including water, gas, electricity, geothermal and thermal heating and cooling.
A sub-metering system is often ideal for Condominiums, as equipment and installation usually can be included at no charge to the Corporation or Owners. Additionally, these systems, while very easily installed at the new construction phase, can be implemented post-construction, decades later, as a retrofit option. In some cases, Municipalities offer incentives or rebates when these systems are put in place as they often result in Occupants lowering their overall utility consumption, which is ideal for a region’s infrastructure and the environment.
A robust sub-metering solution should include a water leak detection system. The key to mitigating damages from water is early intervention. Leak detection systems can detect both low-level and high-level leaks. A recent Case Study by Onyx Energy confirmed that one toilet running for a total of 7 hours wasted the equivalent of 8,000 water bottles (500ml bottles). A leak detection system can not only save you from damages, insurance claims and deductibles but save and conserve water.
The implementation of a sub-metering system can lower condominium fees, which may assist with remortgaging or selling of an asset, which is another added benefit to sub-metering.
Working with a reputable sub-metering firm ensures that your Corporation will be compliant as it relates to utility reporting, compliance and regulations. It is imperative that Corporations and their Board of Directors understand that only USMP (Unit-Sub-Metering-Providers) licensed with the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) can invoice for electricity in the province of Ontario. For additional information and to determine compliance, please visit the OEB website.
Is your Corporation sub-metering? Are you paying for your neighbour’s utilities? A brief discussion with your Property Manager or with a sub-meter provider is the first step to ensuring that a fair and transparent utility billing system is in place, a system that every Owner deserves.
Onyx Energy, President