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What is Submetering? How Utility Grade Submeters Can 10x Your Savings

To properly understand the benefits of submetering, we must understand the difference between meters and submeters. Master meters, or mainline utility meters, are mandated by local governments to track water, electricity, gas and more . Property managers and building owners are provided monthly or quarterly invoices from the utility company based on the building’s total energy use, and have to make manual calculations on how to charge tenants within their building. 

The slow billing cycle as well as manual calculations lead to tenant disputes as well as delayed responses to damaged systems, and can contribute to higher costs for repairs. With no access to unit specific data, building owners are forced to use a “guess-and-check” method to try to make any meaningful improvements to their property.

Submetering on the other hand, is a more accurate and cost-effective method of utility management. The process of submetering begins with the installation of individual submeters at the tenant level within a property. All energy consumption within the tenant space is metered and monitored, allowing for fair allocation of utility use. There are options for wired or wireless approaches to submetering, but the benefit of submetering allows for better insight into energy use trends as well as accountability for both property managers and tenants.

Best Practices For Submetering

Not all submetering systems are created equally. Our suggestion for an ideal submetering system would require several key components:

  • Encoded: Meters reliably produce accurate data and makes them tamper proof.
  • Quality construction: Ensuring your submeters are built using high quality materials ensures a longer lifespan and fewer measurement erros.
  • Active monitoring and management: For property manager, proactive monitoring is vital, utility meter data management platforms provide alerts based on irregularities with in your system.

Once a system has been implemented, each meter can either be tracked manually, by painstakingly reading their displays to determine usage or, if a wireless system is installed, any meter can speak directly to a utility data management system.

With the ability to view each tenant's usage, property owners can charge tenants for their real usage. This form of billing decreases costs for tenants with lower usage and puts pressure on tenants with higher consumption to re-evaluate their utility usage habits.

A perfect example of this is when a brewery and a clothing store are located within the same commercial building. The brewery will use exponentially more water than the clothing store, but without submetering both tenants would be forced to pay the same rate for their utility bill.

3 Popular Questions On Submetering

What Factors Makes a Submetering System Effective?

An important part of an effective submetering system is strong wireless communication. While this isn’t a mandatory part of a metering system, it does allow property managers to remotely monitor every individual meter installed on their property from anywhere at any time. The most cost-effective wireless meters on the market, in terms of both cost and range, are LoRaWAN-enabled submeters. LoRaWAN water meters have a data transition range of over 15 miles, allowing you to install less hardware than other systems, and can reduce material costs and labor.

Are All Submeters Effective?

Unfortunately, for property managers in North America, the market is plagued with low quality, inaccurate and polymer-based meters that constantly fail testing processes. Installing sub-par meters can lead to increased tenant disputes, caused by inaccurate readings and the constant need for re-verification and equipment replacement.

What’s The Most Effective Submetering System?

If you’re looking for a submetering solution that combines durability and accuracy with LoRaWAN communication you’re already in the right place. The Truety solution uses Swiss-made, utility grade water meters paired with LoRaWAN integrated gateways to produce the best submetering system on the market.

When this system is combined with our utility data management system, you get a highly accurate, remotely monitored submetering solution that will help you recoup your cost of installation, improve your property value and lower your operating costs in one compact package.

Contact us today to learn more about our solutions and take the first step towards cost effective property management.

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