Condos And Suite Metering: The Perfect Match
In Toronto, urban designers predict an additional 250,000 people will be living in the city by 2041.
While many residents dream about – and work toward – homeownership, many people and families rent their homes, especially apartments, out of necessity or desire.To accommodate the influx, condos have been popping up across the city. Thousands of condo developers, investors and property managers are achieving long-term, cost-saving results through suite metering. Utility bills typically make up 5% to 10% of monthly costs. Through suite metering, utility costs can be eliminated from the rent. Suite metering is ideal for existing buildings too. Property managers can relieve themselves of the stress of budgeting large utility bills that they have virtually no control of. The rent control provisions in Ontario require the landlord to reduce the rents by 100% of the current estimated costs of the electricity. Rent for each unit will be lowered. Overall costs for tenants will, in most cases, go down. Some high electricity users will experience a spike in their costs – and this is fair.
By following some energy-saving practices, it is simple for tenants to reduce their monthly costs. With bulk metering practices, high electricity users are, in effect, subsidized by low electricity users. Nobody wants to pay for their neighbour’s inability to turn out the lights when they leave their apartment. Suite metering can be part of an overall initiative to enhance building appeal. With the increase in condos being built, competition will increase too. Property managers will need to provide and maintain an energy-efficient building & appliances for tenants. They will also need to find innovative and appealing selling points.
Suite metering is not only a monetary selling point but an environmental one too. Tenants control discretionary energy use in-suite including lighting, electronics and appliances. Informing potential tenants that they will only pay for the utilities they use is a great way for the already environmentally conscious population to get on board. Encouraging and educating tenants on ways to reduce their consumption resulting in a lower carbon foot print and lower costs is a win-win for everyone involved, including Mother Earth.
Electricity is not the only utility that can be suite metered. A study conducted by the National Multi-Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA) found an 18 to 39 percent reduction in water consumption in suite metered dwellings compared to units that include water expenses in their rent. For tenants that still need assistance in achieving affordable housing goals, the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) is designed for eligible electricity customers to receive on-bill credits. Again, the pressure of handling tenants is taken away from the property managers. Priority Submetering Solutions works with OESP to ensure seamless and fair billing for all tenants.
Contact a Priority Submetering Solutions Sales team member today to find out more about installing suite metering in your new build or retrofit multi-residential building.