Water conservation is a popular trend among municipalities, townships and through-out the multi-family apartment industry. In a three year study by the “National Multiple Family Submetering and Allocation Billing Program”, the potential savings in the apartment sector from requiring residents to pay for their water consumption separately from their rent, found that billing residents for their water usage by direct metering could reduce annual water consumption by an average of 15 percent. This latest research supports the apartment industry’s known fact that people always place greater value on things that they are responsible for financially. Not only do residents use less water when they are paying for it, but it also makes them more aware of the importance of immediately reporting plumbing leaks. A balanced and well implemented utility billing program is one of those rare issues that water companies, regulators, water conservation groups, property management companies and apartment / condominium owners can all be united. American Accounting and Billing Service (AABS) a nationwide full-service utility billing company with the reputation for the lowest billing fees and highest-rated customer service department has compiled a few benefits of why apartment owners and property management companies should install automated meter reading (AMR) water metering systems.
Water sub-metering immediately increases property value and cash flow more than any other ancillary service or comparable capital investment.
A water submetering system provides for the fair allocation of the property’s water and sewer utility costs among its tenants (Allocation or Ratio Utility Billing does not always allocate fairly, according to the USEPA) so residents are happier. Tenants billed for actual water usage will be able to directly affect water consumption and utility costs by becoming more knowledgeable and responsible about water conservation.
Water sub-metering has been proven to decrease water consumption by as much as 8,000 gallons per unit per year according to the USEPA, when compared to non-metered properties thus conserving one of our nation’s most valuable resources.
Water and sewer rates and other utility rates are rising as much as 10% or more per year on average. Some areas of the country have seen water rates double in the last year. A water sub-metering project will protect the property owner from the rising water and sewer utility costs.
The property owner can increase the NOI immediately because payback is fast and monies formerly allocated for water and sewer utilities can be reallocated for maintenance and or renovation, a project which further increases property values.
These benefits are achieved without increasing the workload on the property’s staff and without the associated liability and costs of monthly visits by a utility meter reader.
Implementing a third party water sub metering billing program helps to conserve water and energy and protect the environment.
“There is no question that our business has grown steadily for the past five years because owners are now realizing that water and sewer costs can be avoided by putting in place a successful third party billing system” says Sam Kordares, AABS President. “We here at AABS are now expounding on the notion of water conservation through water submetering to include tapping into the municipality and township sector” Kordares says. Having everyone responsible for their own water usage is the first step to conserve one of earth’s most precious resources.