Frequently Asked Questions

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Over the years we have had a great many happy customers. You can imagine that on our way there, we had many of them ask questions. There are many potentially confusing aspects to this service. That is why we have compiled a list of some of our most commonly asked questions.

There are some questions that are truly dependent on the individual situation and circumstances and will not be found here. Feel free to use the adjacent form to ask any questions that are not included here.

Frequently Asked Submetering Questions

Utility submetering is the new standard for utility management on properties with multiple tenants, whether residential or commercial. In the past, one bill for a utility would be sent to a property’s landlord. That individual would then have the difficult task of dividing out the bill based on square footage, or on a more complex algorithm, then divvying out bills, collecting them and paying the company themselves. What an enormous amount of manual work!

The old method led to an unfair distribution of costs and was a time consuming, tedious, and extremely inefficient process for the property manager. Today, submetering offers streamlined and simple solutions to all the manual roles landlords once paid, offering the ability to monitor the individual utility use of each tenant, and even providing direct billing for that use in appropriate cases. Submetering is now nationally recognized as a superior means of measuring energy consumption in a multi-use facility, and in some states, it is even legally required in commercial use properties.

Submetering systems can be used for both commercial and residential purposese. It can be used to measure individual unit use of multiple kinds of utilities, including gas, electricity and water.

Imagine no longer having to compute a complicated unit breakdown of utility use manually! Flow Rite can install a system that will measure any utilities your residents or tenants use, taking that burden off your shoulders, and making your life easier, all while saving you money.

Managing the utilities for a property is only one of the many roles a landlord must perform, however, it can take a disproportionate amount of time and energy if the proper equipment and services have not been put into place. For landlords or owners who are responsible for multiple properties, the cost and time required to handle utilities at multiple sites can be enormous. Having one single provider for submetering installation, maintenance and reading can simplify the process immensely, leaving time for the many other hats a property owner must wear.

The New York State Energy Research and Authority performed a study on submetering, revealing that on average, 15 – 30 percent energy use savings can be achieved through the addition of submetering systems. This savings benefits everyone – the landlord, who has been responsible for distributing and collecting the payments from every tenant (and dealing with deficits from late payments or objections from specific tenants), the tenant, who has potentially been paying than more fair share, and the planet. When energy use goes down, the planet benefits, too! That’s why in part submetering is legally required in some states for large commercial properties.

Yes! Submetering saves an average of 15 – 30 percent in energy consumption, a savings that is passed on to the landlord in time. While there is an upfront investment required to install submetering equipment, it has one of the fastest turnaround times in terms of return on investment among other energy savings upgrades or installations. And having clients held individually responsible for their energy use saves time too, another savings that is passed on to the property owner.

Submeters save more money and provide a higher return on investment among many other energy savings investments. Three years is the typical turnaround time to provide a return on an energy savings property upgrade. Submetering consistently provides a positive ROI in less than three years, and it will save you for years to come. The cost of submetering units are becoming more and more competitive as technology advances and as more retailers offer affordable units. This is a great time to transition to a new way of measuring, reporting and charging your tenants for the utilities they consume each day.

No, we find that once tenants are educated about the benefits of submetering, they appreciate the opportunity to save money themselves. Once submetering systems have been put in place, tenants have the opportunity to control their own energy usage and in doing so, control how much they must pay. Tenants welcome the opportunity to pay their fair share, especially when they have the opportunity to lower their utility bills.

Here’s an example:

Imagine Apartment 201 is a one bedroom that houses a couple with no children where both spouses work and are away from the home each day. They turn their air conditioning up to 80 for 8+ hours a day and work hard to make sure they use as little energy as possible. Apartment 102 on the floor below houses a family with two parents and five children. Three of the children are home all day, thus the electricity is on, and the television and lights are constantly in use year round.

Before, the energy bills sent to each family were broken based on the number of bedrooms in the apartment. Now they will reflect actual usage!

The larger family in 102 may see a bill at a similar amount or perhaps slightly higher. They decide to make adjustments to their air conditioning use to compensate for the slightly higher bill. When the next bill comes, they are thrilled that they’ve been able to reduce their bill. The smaller family in 201 will see a significantly reduced bill, and will be happy to know their efforts at energy savings are now being rewarded.

The initial cost of installing a submetering system will depend on the size of your property, the number of units, which utilities (water, gas, electricity, etc.) you would like to include in the system, and which panel you select. Our team of experts will be happy to talk with you, and do a thorough breakdown of the system that would best benefit you. We also offer contract maintenance plans to help manage your system. Contact Flow Rite today to get an accurate assessment and estimate for installing submetering on your property. We provide quick estimates and work hard to install the system according to your preferred timeframes.