Mastering the Submeter: How Smart Upgrades Can Improve Data Collection, Billing, and More
If you manage a facility or building that uses old utility meters, you’re probably paying more than you should be—as much as 30% more, according to some experts.
That’s because, in the past, large developments like apartment communities and business complexes either had one master meter for the entire development or a single meter for each building. As such, the entire community was responsible for utility bills, with the expense divided equally between residents. But this often resulted in charges for energy your tenants weren’t actually using (or wouldn’t be using otherwise).
Submetering is a comparatively modern alternative. It occurs when a meter is installed on each unit, meaning utility usage is measured and divided based on individual consumption. Those who use more, pay more, creating a more accountable model. Indeed, this transition is linked to drops in energy consumption since paying for your own usage incentivizes conservation.
Nonetheless, submetering faces its share of challenges. Remember, this alternative is only comparatively modern. Over the past two decades, it has become the standard for most utility companies, many of which do not wish to invest in new smart upgrades. Instead, they rely on cumbersome, outdated legacy equipment, which can lead to faulty data, inaccurate billing, and other issues.
How a Complicated Legacy Can Lead to Inefficiencies
Property managers using traditional meters often struggle to measure consumption, usage patterns, and downtimes with much accuracy. With submetering, they gain accuracy, but now they must read dozens or even hundreds of meters while gathering the data needed to calculate bills. This not only becomes a time-consuming chore but also creates different hurdles:
- Building managers are not utility experts, and yet they’re reading meters, recording data, and creating bills—all via manual processes, which increase the risk of human errors.
- Different model multipliers, utility charges, and old technology with outdated methodologies further complicate the data collection process.
- Residents who discover they’ve been overbilled will, of course, want their money back. What if a large business discovers an error going back not months but years and demands full repayment for a six-figure mistake?
Clearly, serious problems may arise. So, why not upgrade? There are a variety of reasons property managers may overlook new submetering solutions, from the upfront costs to the time and complexity of installation, but the reality is that the right system can return your investment tenfold.
Should You Replace or Modernize?
Modern submeters are digital devices that establish two-way communication between the end-user and the service provider, collecting and transmitting data electronically to prevent manual errors, ensure accurate billing, and enable efficient energy management. Even better, pairing this technology with a smart information system can enable remarkably granular data, deep analytics, and near-limitless customization.
As mentioned, however, property managers can’t always foresee this return on investment. Instead, they see the upfront price tag and installation timelines—all for a solution that will shove them out of their comfort zone. But here’s why those assumptions are incorrect:
- Many submetering technology providers have service-based offerings, meaning you can pass on the expense (which is often offset by savings) to tenants through billing fees.
- Digital recordkeeping replaces hours of clipboards and spreadsheets with a single, unified app. Scan each meter and go, saving you time without any costly mistakes.
While the initial investment of modernizing your submeters might seem steep, the upgrade is more than worth it—for you, your tenants, and even the world.
The Smart Pursuit of a Sustainable Future
Enabling energy efficiency is a huge step toward a more sustainable future (and also combats rising energy costs), but for organizations that run large, complex facilities, it requires detailed usage information that is not always available. With smart submeters, however, you can access in-depth energy consumption data to inform better decision-making, identify and eliminate waste, and gain early warnings before equipment fails.
Amzur provides smart submetering solutions for a range of building types, from smart homes to hospitals. Our submeters not only monitor and record data but also analyze consumption patterns, enabling you to provide accurate billing, predict downtimes, and optimize power utilization, all while making your buildings more eco-friendly.
Best of all, our real-time tracking, monitoring, and measurement systems let you customize energy supplies based on unit-specific needs. They empower you to adapt. To transform your properties for the future of energy. With smart submetering, you can install cutting-edge solutions like rooftop solar and even start selling the energy you produce back to the grid.
Smart submetering is a practical, user-friendly gateway into a new world of energy, but it also represents so much more. Flexibility, freedom, independence. It lets you stop consuming and start giving back—to your tenants, to yourself, and to the world.