The Power of Submetering in Multifamily Investments

Harnessing efficiency and savings with submetering for multifamily investments

In a recent episode of the Multifamily Investing Academy Podcast, Charles Dobens and Kelly Koontz, President of Submeter Solutions, delved into the transformative impact of submetering on multifamily properties. The discussion revealed valuable insights for property owners seeking to maximize their investments through efficient utility management.

Key Takeaways from the Podcast

  • Utility Expense Management: One of the largest operating expenses for multifamily properties is utilities. Traditional methods like including utility costs in rent or using a Ratio Utility Billing System (RUBS) often lead to conflicts and inefficiencies. Submetering emerges as the superior alternative, allowing property owners to bill residents for their actual usage.
  • Impact of Submetering: By installing individual utility meters for each unit, submetering ensures that residents are charged based on their actual consumption. This system not only leads to fair billing but also encourages responsible utility usage, often resulting in a significant reduction in overall utility bills – sometimes by 20-30%.
  • Technological Advancements: Modern submetering systems utilize wireless, automated meter reading technology. This advancement simplifies the process, making it feasible for even smaller properties to adopt submetering without intrusive and frequent manual meter readings.
  • Diverse Utility Tracking: Submetering isn't limited to water usage. It can effectively track other utilities like electricity, gas, and even thermal heat. This comprehensive approach ensures that all aspects of utility consumption are accounted for and billed accurately.
  • Cost-Effective Solution: Contrary to misconceptions, the implementation of submetering systems is quite affordable. The hardware costs are reasonable, and the system itself requires minimal maintenance, making it a cost-effective solution in the long run.
  • Legal and Compliance Aspects: Submetering must comply with local and state laws, especially regarding billing and landlord/tenant relationships. Responsible providers offer guidance to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.
  • Benefits of Real-Time Monitoring: Advanced submetering systems provide real-time monitoring, which is particularly effective in identifying and addressing issues like water leaks. This feature not only saves costs but also aids in timely maintenance.
  • Customizable Solutions: Submetering solutions can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a property, regardless of its size. Providers like Submeter Solutions offer a range of products and services, ensuring that each property gets the most suitable setup.


Submetering stands out as a game-changer in the multifamily property sector. It aligns with both economic and environmental objectives, offering a win-win solution for property owners and residents alike. As the industry evolves, embracing such innovative solutions will be key to maximizing the potential of real estate investments.

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