Changes to Water Billing for Townhouse Condominiums in the City of Cambridge
Owners of townhouse condominiums in Cambridge, Ont., should prepare to change the way they pay for water use in the City of Cambridge. As part of a new water management plan, the city will no longer provide individual billing to townhouse condominium owners and will begin tracking and billing for water use by the entire complex instead.
In the next couple of months, many current water customers will start receiving letters in the mail indicating that the city will no longer provide them with individual water billing. As part of this transition, the city will negotiate a date for service transition, transfer ownership of the existing individual meters inside the complex to the condominium, and start reading water consumption for the property from a large meter at the property line.
Why is the city making this Change?
In most municipalities, the water meter is typically the physical “dividing line” between where the city’s responsibility to supply water ends and where the homeowner’s responsibility begins. Condominiums present a unique problem for water departments because there is often a lot of water pipe between where the water arrives on the property and the location of each unit’s water meter. This space between the property-line water connection and the water meter inside an individual unit is often described as an “infrastructure grey area.”
In the last couple of years, many municipalities have decided that they are no longer comfortable with this “grey area” in condominiums because it results in wasted water and lost revenue for the water system. To solve this problem, the City of Cambridge has decided to supply water meters only at the property line for new condominium complexes. In existing condominiums that already have individual city meters installed in each unit, the city typically “gifts” this equipment to the condominium. The condominium board can then hire a private submetering company like Clean Cut Energy to service the individual meters in their complex, or recover the cost of water bills in condominium fees.
Why move to Submetering?
Clean Cut Energy has been working with townhouse condominiums to solve water-billing problems for the past nine years. We have helped numerous condominiums seamlessly transition from public to private metering and save lots of money in the process. In many cases, Clean Cut Energy has been able to save condominiums thousands of dollars in water costs simply because we are able to provide this service at much lower cost than the city currently does. We are also able to help condominiums track water use more effectively, identify leaks and solve equipment problems that may occur inside their complex. Submetering also ensures that unit owners care what happens to the water that enters their home because they continue to receive a bill for what they use. Studies have shown that unit owners who pay for water tend to use 20 to 25 per cent less on a monthly basis because they receive a bill and are responsible for their water use.
Internet of Things (IOT) Water Metering Solutions
Clean Cut Energy’s exclusive Waterfactor submetering system is specifically designed to provide townhouse condominiums with cost-effective, hourly water meter readings for each unit through our customized web interface. With this system, we can alert owners about leaks and help them identify and solve issues before they turn into a big water bill. Our Waterfactor equipment is completely compatible with all existing city water metering equipment so your condominium can likely make the transition very easily. We are working to transition our current customers to this new platform, and we’re happy to help you find out if this an option for your condominium complex.
So if you get one of those letters in the mail, don’t panic. Give us a call at (226) 780-0284 or email Mike Kazmaier at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll help make this transition simple for your condominium and save you money in the process. We will also be attending this year’s Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI) 2018 Grand River Chapter Conference and Trade Show, May 4-5. Come visit us in Booth 4 and let us know how we can help.
Mike Kazmaier is a Professional Engineer and the Director of Operations of Clean Cut Energy, an engineering and submetering company located in Guelph, Ont. Clean Cut Energy designs, installs and manages submetering systems that reduce water and energy use for clients across Canada.
CCI-National Greetings to CCI-Grand River Chapter
CCI-Grand River Chapter Annual General Meeting - Fall 2017
Thirty-five years is a long time. I have not been around CCI that long, but I can only imagine that the founders of CCI would be very pleased to see how it has grown and thrived. It has been a challenge to grow a national organization that still recognizes the difference in legal and market landscapes throughout its regions, but the fact that we have done this and are continuing to grow is a testimony to those founders and their vision, all the hardworking and dedicated volunteers that followed throughout CCI’s history, and all of you who continue to work across this great country of ours to improve the lives of condominium owners. In many ways, CCI is like Canada, strong in its diversity and even stronger together.
This year has seen many great developments, including the creation of your new Grand River Chapter. With the creation of the Grand River Chapter, we are now 17 chapters-strong. I want to thank all the volunteers of the Grand River Chapter and the Golden Horseshoe Chapter that made this transition go smoothly. We have also seen some new great initiatives like the Great Canadian Condo Contest, and the expansion of the Condo Strength Program. There have also been challenges, such as the emergence of new organizations competing for our members’ attention.
We have also taken on the challenge of looking at how CCI will need to adapt in this changing world in order to grow and serve the Canadian condominium community in the next 35 years. Changing member demographics, the rise of mobile and short form media, the impact of free online content and social media competing for members’ attention are just some of the challenges facing traditional membership-oriented organizations like CCI. To that end, CCI has undertaken an examination of itself, how it delivers services, and how it funds itself. Working with the leadership of all chapters and committees, this process is well under way and I am confident that it will result in a re-invigorated and stronger CCI.
While looking into the future is necessary and very important, so is continuing to serve our members as we have done in the past. Your volunteers in the Grand River Chapter will no doubt have a busy year ahead, but we are confident of the success of the chapter due to the solid base upon which it is grounded. We wish you all the best in the coming year and are here at CCI National to offer whatever support you require.
When you reflect on the past year please recognize, as I do, the role of everyone that provides their time and energy in assisting your Chapter in its activities. Without volunteers, CCI would cease to function. Not only time and energy, but creative thinking and dedication are given by many. On behalf of all CCI, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and thank all the volunteers that have made the world for condominiums, and CCI, better.
From all of us and National, thank you for your contributions, thank you for your time, thank you for your energy. I hope you have a great annual meeting and look forward to our continued mutual success in 2017-2018.
CCI National President
CAO Board of Directors appoints chair of the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAO Press Release)
September 1, 2017 - The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) will be designated as the condominium authority for purposes of the Condo Act and will become responsible for the administration of certain provisions of the Condo Act, including management and oversight of the tribunal. You can find more information on the CAO's website.
November 1, 2017 - Most Condo Act changes, including the new tribunal, and the licensing provisions of the CMSA will come into effect.
The Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) will be designated as the administrative authority for purposes of the CMSA and will become responsible for administering the CMSA including licensing condo managers and providers. You can find more information on the CMRAO's website.
CCI Legislative Update - Dates Announced for New Condo Law Changes
Ontario is making progress on its commitment to increase consumer protection in condos and improve how condos are run. The ministry is excited to announce a number of new protections under the amended Condominium Act (Condo Act) and the Condominium Management Services Act (CMSA) that will be taking effect this fall and in early 2018.
New Condo Law Changes:
Condo Act – New changes to the general regulation under the Condo Act are now available on the e-laws website. These changes include increased protections for condo owners, including improvements to how condos in Ontario are governed and greater transparency and accountability of condo boards. (Please note that it may take several days before updates are added to Ontario Regulation 48/01).
Condo Authority Tribunal – A new regulation is also available on the e-laws website that supports the establishment of the Condominium Authority Tribunal. The tribunal will offer alternative dispute resolution services for certain types of disputes prescribed by this regulation.
Condo Manager Licensing - As a reminder, a new regulation regarding licensing of condo managers and management providers was previously released and is available on the e-laws website.
When Changes Take Effect:
On November 1, 2017 - Most Condo Act changes, including the new tribunal, and the licensing provisions of the CMSA will come into effect.
On February 1, 2018 – Remainder of the CMSA will come into effect.
Designation of Administrative Authorities:
On September 1, 2017 – The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) will be designated as the condominium authority for purposes of the Condo Act and will become responsible for the administration of certain provisions of the Condo Act, including management and oversight of the tribunal. You can find more information on the CAO's website.
On November 1, 2017 – The Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) will be designated as the administrative authority for purposes of the CMSA and will become responsible for administering the CMSA including licensing condo managers and providers. You can find more information on the CMRAO's website.
What’s Coming Next:
The ministry will be releasing in the near future:
- A series of new forms under the Condo Act to make it easier for condo corporations and owners to comply with the new requirements.
- A set of plain language guides and fact sheets to help Ontario’s condo community better understand the new condo law changes.
- The education and exam requirements for condo managers.
The ministry will also be seeking public input on future regulations, including:
- Public registry of condo corporations.
- Complaints procedures, code of ethics and insurance requirements for condo managers.
Stay tuned as we will be notifying you as soon as these become available!