Submetering residential multi-family in DFW (Arlington)

6 Replies

Hi everyone,

I have a duplex under contract in DFW ( Arlington ) and will live in one side. The current owner 'pays' for water and I want to sub-meter and save on those costs while I hold the property long term.

I've had one company tell me they do no less than 12 installations and other have not returned my calls. I'm awaiting a call from the city but hope that one of you have a go-to or recommendation.

Any ideas or go-to companies out there?

Thanks in advance!


Many large apartments are master metered and are constructed in a way that prohibits a company from going in sub-metering them. They implement what's called a RUBS. It's basically a way to allocate utility costs to individual units. I don't see why you couldn't do that here, and just allocate the total bill to you and the other unit. 

Some ways to allocate are: # of bedrooms, # of bathrooms, # of occupants, unit sq ft. You can the idea. As long as you are consistent in your allocation method and don't make money by billing the other tenant, you'll be fine. 

I'd get a quote for how much it would cost to sub-meter the water and estimate how much money you will save (you should be able to get the historical water costs) to calculate an ROI. Depending on how long you plan on holding onto the the property, it may not even make sense.

When I house-hacked, I just paid for the water. Same for my SFR rental. I marketed the units at a higher rent than I would otherwise and included the selling point "Free Water" in my listing.

For those interested, has a package of wired or wireless hardware and service.

(interior at hot water heater)$55 + 57 for the meter(S) and 900 for the 3g data logger, which is 20-30 per months for 3g service. 150 setup fee for customer billing management and a kick back from the tenant of 5-10 for convenience fees. Plumber's fee to install separate. 

I'm putting down $1200 or so to install one unit at 30 per month to operate.

I'll add more updates as I learn more. (The city has not called back at this time).

Water sub-meters run as low as $45 for manual read meters to over $300 for RF meters.(Plus installation). Monthly billings fees are @ $5 which is typically paid by the end user (tenant) as a line item on their monthly sub-metering invoice.  With most sub-metering comanpies the owner/manager is not involved in the day to day busines of the sub-metering meter reading , billing or collections (RBC services). 

 We're here to ansewer your sub-metering questions.

My final updates is that the city said they would need to do drilling and add meter hardware because of the position of the main line in the culdesac, probably amounting to, say, 8k. In this case, I would have chosen the wireless route or possibly or RUBS. 

In the end, I declined to buy the duplex after seeing the inspection.