Making Sense of Energy

Case Studies

To give you an idea of the range of problems we’ve made sense of and how we’ve come up with cost saving and operational solutions across a wide variety and size of businesses, here are some brief case studies.

Submetering Savings for Multi-Unit Rental Buildings

Type of Building: Project: 

Energy Savings:  

Multi-Unit Residential buildings
Installing a submetering system
Est. $16.50 / month
Est. 15% / month (entire building)

Challenge for Landlord/Property Manager:  Landlords/property managers want to lower energy costs for their multi-unit residential buildings, moving the responsibility of energy use, fluctuating energy rates, and cost to each individual tenant.

Solution:  Installing a complete submetering system in the multi-unit residential building. 

Benefits for Tenants: 
Instead of paying an equal portion (usually included in rent) of the entire buildings energy usage, with low energy users essentially subsidizing heavier energy users, submetering gives tenants more control over their consumption and cost, allowing them to invest in efficiency and the conservation of energy. 

Benefits for Landlords/Property Managers: 
Studies have shown that when tenants are responsible for paying for their own energy consumption, and are billed more accurately, overall building usage drops an average of 15 percent.It eliminates risk of changing energy prices negatively affecting the building’s net monthly income.  Users are responsible for cost if energy rates increase or decrease.  Example:  If an unexpected rate increase causes a $30,000 increase in the building’s monthly utility cost, submetering would allow those costs to be passed on to users.  Without submetering the tenants rent might not cover the utility cost increase.

Estimated Cost:   If the landlord is paying a meter surcharge of $10.50/month to pay for the meters, plus a a read-and-bill service fee on the meters, the total additional cost might be $16.50/month.

Conclusion: At a minimal cost landlords/property managers can accurately distribute utility costs and responsibility to tenants, allowing each user to be responsible for their own energy consumption. Offering incentives for energy conservation and lower rates through energy contracts could be attractive to future tenants.