In residential building settings, oftentimes there is one meter that
accounts for the building's use of energy. This means the energy
total cost would be divided amongst the number of residents within
the building. The sub-metering concept looks at tailoring residents'
energy expenses according to how much energy they use over
the specific billing period. This can allow residents to monitor their
energy consumption rates and potentially lead them to figure out
ways in which they can reduce their energy consumption costs.
Image obtained from: Wix.
Ontario Utility Regulations allow sub-metering for electricity only, gas or water sub metering is not allowed. Any person wishing to engage in unit sub-metering may not do so without a license, as stated in the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998. It is important to consult Ontario's RTA (Residential Tenancies Act) before starting any program.
To enact an electricity suite metering program, the owner is required to reduce the tenant's rent by an appropriate amount. There are guidelines within the RTA which states "reducing the rent...by an amount that accounts for the total cost of electricity consumption and related costs." Two formulas can be used for calculating rent reductions:
Method 1 - Actual Consumption
Based on actual electricity costs for the unit for the previous 12-month period
Adjusted by vacant months during the 12-month period
Added additional charges and taxes for the following 12-month period (calculated based on actual electricity consumed for the 12-month period
If using this method, the same formula must be used for determining minimum rent reduction for all units in the building
Method 2 - Estimated Unit Consumption
Estimated based on total building costs for the last 12 months, divided by each unit based on square footage
Added additional charges and taxes for the following 12-month period (calculated based on estimated electricity consumed for the 12-month period)
If using this method, method 1 can be used for other units in a building (consent given at a later date when actual consumption data available)
1. Metergy Solutions (n.d), Utility Sub-metering for Residents. Retrieved from: https://www.metergysolutions.com/residents
2. Canada Utility Solutions (n.d), Ontario Sub-metering. Retrieved from: https://canadautility.ca/ontario-submetering/