submetering tenant billing

What is Sub-Metering?

Sub-Metering is the process of individually metering and measuring utility usage. Sub-Metering is usually downstream or behind the utility company's main meter. Sub-metering can be used for billing individual tenants, for cost accounting of buildings and departments or measuring individual system loads. Sub-metering always includes a meter specific to the type of utility such as electricity / power, water, gas or BTU's. With sub-metering you get an accurate measurement of the actual usage being consumed or used by a tenant, department, building or system. While traditional electrical meters have been used since the late 1800's and water meters stretching back thousands of years, most of the existing meters are antiquated, requiring manual and in-person inspection to read, with confusing and oftentimes hard to read dials and registers. Further adding to these issues, are lack of accuracy and conformance to modern revenue grade billing standards such as the ANSI 12.20 Class .5 and ANSI 12.20 Class .2 for electrical metering. Those classes mandate +- 0.5% accuracy and +- 0.2% accuracy respectively.

Tenant Sub-Metering

Tenant Sub-Metering specifically focuses on measuring tenant's utility usage. This could be a tenant in a multi-family / apartment building, a residential property or commercial buildng that has multiple tenants in the same building. Sometimes electricity, water or gas might be measured by the local utility company for each tenant space, but not all of the services. Therefore the property owner needs to measure the individual tenants to determine usage for their specific services.

In the case of many commercial properties, it's not feasible to measure usage outside the building for each tenant due to the layout of the building. Sub-Metering inside the building or inside the property solves the problem.

When sub-metering tenants, billing is the key component and reason that most sub-metering is done. After the accuracy of the sub-metering itself, the billing and automation of the data is vital to a building owner knowing the accurate cost of the utilities.

  • How accurate and flexible is the AMR (automatic meter reading) system?
  • How reliable is the data collection?
  • Does the data collection need to go over the building's internet connection?
  • If the data collection uses the Internet for transport, what happens if the Internet connection goes down?
  • How secure is the encryption level of the data while being transported?
  • Does it require facility personnel to have to visit the meters or be near the meters vicinity to read them?
  • Does the system have the capability to measure electricity, water and gas all in one platform and billing system?
  • Can you combine multiple meters, if multiple meters are needed to measure a tenant?
  • Can a tenant's bill include multiple spaces if they lease more than one space?
  • Can we avoid paper bills and send electronically to go paperless?

These and many other questions should be asked when evaluating a system. While the various aspects might seem complicated, a sub-meter tenant billing and management solution can solve all of these issues, making the task of billing tenants efficient, easy and effective when streamlined.

Energy Cloud's gMeter® energy management platform does address and solve all of these sub-metering challenges. Please call us for more information regarding sub-metering, so we can help you sub-meter and manage your tenant utility usage, and eliminate energy, water or gas waste or answer any sub-metering questions.