As industry-leading developers and property owners find budget certainty and resident flexibility in submetering, there are lessons to be learned in each successful project. Recently, Wyse explored hundreds of projects and discovered five consistent and significant strategies that underpin submetering success. In each, we identified easy-to-apply best practices that made the difference between ease and frustration for our clients.
Since August 1, 2007, all new condominium buildings constructed in Ontario are required to include a smart meter for electricity for each unit. Under the regulation, a developer has the choice whether to have individual units metered directly by the local distributor, or to have the distributor provide a bulk interval meter for the building while having individual units submetered by an Ontario Energy Board (OEB) provider.
Existing condominiums are not required to install smart meters for each unit but can do so at the option of the condominium corporation. This being said, meeting only basic requirements does necessarily set you up for success.
Beyond electricity, many developers/owners have focused on ‘triple-net leasing’ as it relates to utilities –submetering for electricity, water and thermal. This step has allowed many to gain control of utility waste, and has equal benefits from a resident perspective as they are empowered to take control of their usage and associated costs, and stop subsidizing their neighbour’s usage.
Submetering systems are as key and complex as any building systems and should ideally be included in project planning from the beginning. Yet, developers/owners often start too late – even after the building is opened and tenants have moved in. By bringing submetering providers in during the first design revisions phase, the provider and contractor can work closely on requirements and timetables to maximize efficiency and save money.
EFFECTIVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Submetering providers stand by you every step of the way. Once contacted, a provider will look at your project, construct a solution, and help shape financial options for meters and installation, including a no-cost option, as well as install and maintain the meters. Once the switch is flipped, these experts will also help you and your residents maximize your submetering data.
ABILITY TO EMBRACE LATEST TECHNOLOGY
In its 2019 Global Construction Survey, KPMG found that top developers/owners – those representing the top 20% worldwide – were “fully committed to investment in technologies that can enhance performance.”
Submetering provides a technological edge when it comes to utility management: Wireless metering. Retrofit programs. Real-time data. Leak and freeze notification. As technology will continue to drive the future of utilities, forward-thinking organizations will continue to wholeheartedly adopt submetering and realizing value today – and tomorrow.
MAXIMIZING PROJECT MOMENTUM
The project does not end when residents move in.
Submetering is essential to a well-managed building of the future, with potential increases of $1,800 per suite per year in building financial performance. Removing in-suite utilities costs from common element fee calculation means lower fees and more desirable living spaces.
It also means addressing resident demands as they evolve. According to the 2019 Canadian Multi-Res Tenant Rental Survey, more than 3-in-5 Canadian multi-residential tenants wanted to be billed for only the utilities they used. Do you think those numbers are going down with more people working from work using energy all day long?
To realize those gains, however, you need to keep up. Keep staff fully trained, build and maintain informative resident materials and portals, understand how to maximize the constant flow of useful data being delivered. Some industry leaders recommend budgeting someone's time, on your staff or with a vendor, to analyze the data. Submetering providers can help with all those efforts.
Published November 10, 2020 multiresidential multires submetering energyefficiency newconstruction sustainability sustainablebuilding livegreen utilitymetering construction thermal thermalmetering conservation energysaving climateaction watermetering buildgreen utilities businesstips electricsubmeteringsolutions electricitymetering customerservice utilitybilling technology