Private Utility Metering Networks For Cost Recovery

What Is Utility Submetering?

Traditionally services like bulk hot water (circulating hot water), heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and gas in apartment buildings are unmetered. This means that the cost of these services is borne by the Owners Corporation / Body Corporate / Strata and then on-charged to lot owners on a lot liability basis, which is not necessarily representative of the consumption in individual lots.

Submetering is the installation of private metering devices (owned by the property owner or owners corporation rather than the energy provider) that measure utility usage for individual tenants or lots. Submetering is recognised as an effective cost recovery solution by landlords and owners corporations around the world.

With private metering installed, a landlord can monitor (and charge) energy usage to each section of the property individually and account for actual energy usage.

Utility sub metering is a cost-effective way to provide utilities including bulk hot water, heating and cooling to occupiers of apartment buildings whilst saving space in apartments. Circulating Hot water can be heated with gas or electricity and incorporate solar heating.

Submetering provides facility managers with the ability to control energy usage in a building and bill tenants effectively. With utility submetering installed, a landlord can access cost recovery solutions to cover common areas, maintenance costs and in some instances, generate a surplus. A common application of a residential sub-metering system is for bulk hot water.

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Cost Recovery Solutions – Bulk Hot Water

What Is Bulk Hot Water

In a standard Circulating (bulk) Hot Water system, the cost for the water and the energy used to heat it will be incurred by the Owners Corporation.  Lot Liability (share of owners corporation expenses) is then used to recover costs from individual owners or landlords within the building for hot water usage.

The downside of this system is that the cost incurred are not accurate relative to usage.

In an Energy On Bulk Hot Water System with private metering installed, the owners corporation is able to move to a “user pays” model, where each individual occupier pays only for the hot water they use.

A bulk hot water system with private metering is beneficial for:

  • Property Developers/Owners Corporations
    Reduced running costs, accurate billing, cost recovery, eliminate wastage 
  • Occupiers/Tenants
    More space in each apartment as each dwelling does not require an individual hot water system.
  • The Environment
    High efficiency systems typically produce substantially less green-house gases

For More Detail on how this works, click here to download a PDF outlining the process.

Cost Recovery Solutions - Heating and Cooling

As with Circulating Hot Water, some heating and cooling solutions are centralised and apportioned based on the number of occupancies. Depending on the solution in place and the capacity to meter each occupancy, similar cost recovery solutions are available.

In certain developments and meter configurations where the costs of cold water and gas are borne by the Owners Corporation, Energy On can design an effective recovery solution.

Benefits of Submetering

  • Accuracy - Accurate monitoring of consumption in real time, no estimates.
  • Data gathering -  A private meter network collects detailed consumption data
  • Informed Decisions – Use gathered data to optimize energy performance, reduce energy costs and reduce environmental footprints.
  • Eliminate Waste - Identify and eliminate sources of wasted energy
  • Monitoring & Maintenance – Identify issues or potential issues quickly and safely for repair before equipment failure.