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Home · Property Management · Going Green : What is Submetering?

Ben franklinMany apartment buildings (especially older ones) are set up so that utilities are metered and charged for the whole building as one entity. Submetering involves changing this process and distributing the utility costs to individual residents in multi-unit rental properties.

The costs are distributed based on the actual usage of the resident, as measured by the sub-meter that is installed in each individual unit.

What type of utilities can be submetered?  Just about any!  Multi-unit with a single master utility meter (such as water, gas or electric) can be individually equipped with submeters.  Each resident’s utility usage can then be measured and billed on a regular basis.

Submetering is not only applicable to apartment complexes.  It is also applied to condominiums, shopping centers and manufactured housing communities.

Recent advances in technology metering technology have made it possible to economically convert multi-unit rental properties to individually submetered units.  However, it is not always possible to install submeters.  Where submetering is not possible or economically advisable, it may be possible to allocate utility usage to each resident based upon factors such as:

  • the size of the apartment
  • the number of occupants in the apartment,
  • or the number of bathrooms.

The commonly used term to describe this “utility allocation” is RUBS.  RUBS stands for “Radio Utility Billing System”

To read more about the benefits of submetering, Click Here.

Submetering may be crucial for tenants with electric cars.  To learn more, click here.

Check out our Green Pages for information on money saving tips that help the environment.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services related to your commercial housing investment, including real estate forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing.  Find out more at

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