The Hot and Cold of It Utility Submetering for Savings

 Utility submetering is the implementation of a system that allows a condominium  association or other multi-tenant property to bill tenants for individual  measured utility usage by making use of individual water, gas, or electricity  meters for their relevant utilities.  

 Submetering provides an opportunity for building owners to shift their rising  electricity costs to tenants who lack ownership or control over thermal  efficiency of the structure, its insulation, windows, and major  energy-consuming appliances.  

 Todd C. Quarterman, president of Rochester, N.Y.-based WaterWatch Corporation,  says that many condominium communities built or converted prior to 1980 use  master meters because they did not submeter the utilities, especially their  water.  

 “In many cases, the HOA is bundling the utility costs into the monthly  association fee so homeowners are not required to conserve their usage,” Quarterman says. “Once utilities are submetered and the homeowner is held accountable for their  usage, they will conserve. With water submetering, total consumption will  decrease around 20 to 25% once submeters are installed.”  

 Since the homeowners represent the community association, energy costs will also  decrease making it a win-win for both the homeowner and the association.  


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  • Chapter 183A, section 10(b)6 of the Mass. General Laws indicates that changing by-laws or master deed is not necessary, only a vote of approval by a majority of owners in attendance at a duly called meeting, called for the purpose of the voting on the specific installation.