Why You Should Submeter In Alberta And BC: 3 Facts

Submetering in BC and Alberta requires finesse and tact.

It’s no secret that the world is changing rapidly: From 100 year storms occurring every 30 years now to an increase in drought risk in more areas, climate change can be felt in all parts of the world. This increases the price of overall utilities. A big issue in Canada, specifically British Columbia (BC) and Alberta (AB) though, is that submetering in BC and AB are almost non-existent: Only 6.2% of homes in the City of Vancouver are submetered. Here are three facts about why you should submeter:

Rising Utility Costs

As we mentioned above, the price of utilities is going up. Without submetering in BC, these costs are normally added together with rent for rental properties. That, or they are subsidized through bulk metering and bulk cost reallocation. The problem is that rent in BC is only allowed to rise 4% per year. By removing utilities from rent, property managers and owners can properly charge for what a tenant uses.

Submeter to Reduce Tenant Use Through Cost Savings

In most older multi-residential buildings, the property has a central, or bulk, meter where utilities flow from. This can range from water, electricity, and gas. Property managers and owners have to take the total cost they are billed from the utility company and divide that number with the number of tenants on the property when no submeters are installed.

This is extremely inefficient and unfair, as low use tenants end up subsidizing high use tenants. Submeters installed at a tenant level can allow for tracking on an individual basis, reducing both property managers costs, as well as tenant costs. Low use tenants will almost certainly see cost savings, while high use tenants will be billing based on what they use.

Detect Unusual Use

More than just saving on use, submeters can help identify problems in your energy system. We’ve written about it here, but here’s a short rundown of the issue: Submetering in Alberta can help identify potential leaks or issues within your system by giving you more points of reference. For instance, a bulk water meter in a high-rise building has a leak. It would be next to impossible to locate this leak, aside from a dreaded dark circle patch in a tenant’s ceiling.

With submeters installed, it would be possible to detect abnormal use. In the same situation above, submeters, along with a system to analyze data like MeterConnex, would be able to see constant water use throughout the day, suggesting issues with the system. Early detection and repair would help reduce more expensive repairs down the road.

To wrap things up: Submetering in Alberta and BC will be crucial in the coming years to help Canadians. How can submetering help? Submetering can help by taking the risk out of rising utility costs by removing them from rent costs. Installation of submeters can change tenant use behavior to be conserver water and electricity, as they now have a financial reason to do so. Submetering can also help detect unusual energy use, allowing property managers and owners to be proactive in building repairs.

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