Submetering the Electricity

2 Replies

I have a four unit building with one meter for the building.  I am looking at submetering the elecric for each unit.  Each unit has its own panel in the furnace area plus a common panel.  The idea would be to submeter each panel that serves each unit.  We would have to send individual bills to each tenant after we calculate the cost from the bill (dollar per kw). 

Any advice on anyone who has done this from billing to the actual submetering equipment.  Pros and cons.  I know there are companies that will provide the billing per unit.  We are implementing as each units lease expires.  The tenants were in the building when we bought the building in the spring.


@Kenneth Garrett My understanding is you'd have to subject yourself to the laws as a reseller of energy like the companies that constantly call and knock on our doors claiming to be sent by ComEd to lower our bills. If each unit is already wired separately with its own panel, why not just finish the work and get each one its own meter from ComEd?

With some "illegal" units that have wiring married to other units, I've been successful in raising rents. IE rent is now $50 more per month, but electric is included. Change out lights with low-e permanent LEDs, and make sure you have good furnaces so they don't use space heaters, and you will be fairly safe. Plus, @ $50/mo, the tenant likely doesn't realize they are paying more than they would being individually metered since you only pay one customer/meter fee which makes up the majority of that charge...$35+ of it is likely a per-meter "customer charge" and not based on usage. X4 and you end up making $ each month.

You'll need to look into your state laws, but practically speaking it's pretty simple. Lots on manufacturers make power meters. Accu energy is one I've used. SQD, Eaton, shark something. Just do some googling and any electrician should be able to hook them up. If you want to get fancy you can hook them up to your internet and they automatically generate monthly usage reports.

Good luck, but in Indianapolis it's common.

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