What is the most fair and accurate method for water billing in the multi-family industry?
There are several methods for billing utilities to residents as fairly as possible. When an apartment building was built, for one reason or another, meters could have been installed for each apartment, or as is common, a single meter per building, or even one meter for the whole community. Each community is different depending on the time it was built. So at the end of the month, when the Property Manager receives the utility bill from the gas, water or electric authority, how do they know how much each resident should pay?
Let’s focus on Water Billing. We have many methods to fairly bill these utilities by a common ratio to all residents ranging from simple division to complicated functions. Of course, having direct sub-metered reads of the water used is the best way to know that residents are paying the correct portion of the water used by everyone in your community.
We receive most of our meter reads by digital transmission from the actual meter, which is registered on the main data collector on the property. Accuracy is obtained because Resolve Partners is directly receiving the meter reads digitally. Many of the properties that we bill are set up to have the meter reads sent to us daily for each resident. By seeing the residents’ daily meter reads and usage, we can pinpoint exactly when a potential break occurred; or most commonly, when an abnormal consumption was measured that causing a spike in the bill. The most common cause for an increase in consumption is a running toilet which can consume about 200 gallons per day – most apartment homes use 50 to 150 gallons per day, so ignoring a running toilet is a sure way to double the residents’ water and sewer bill. Similarly, a dripping faucet will consume about 10 gallons per day – not as dramatic, but that will still add possibly an extra 300 gal to the billing for that month.
If you suspect your toilet is leaking but don’t hear an audible running sound near the toilet, it may be a slow leak from the tank, running into the bowl. Property Managers can provide a tip to everyone – simply drip some food coloring into the reservoir tank, wait a little while, and see if that coloring has leaked into the bowl. Financial and environmental savings!
Sometimes a high water bill surprises the resident. Could they have possibly used so much more than normal in just one month? Assist the resident by reviewing the billing dates first. They are not always 30 days. Couple that with other factors like having guests for for a few days, spring cleaning, excessive laundry day and even pet cleaning or shampooing of the carpets can all add to usage in surprisingly consumptive ways. Most likely, the reading is actually an accurate read. But if anyone from your staff to the resident has any questions, our dedicated customer service team is happy to help answer any questions. If we find further investigation is needed with your meter reads, we will contact your property manager and work to fix the problem as quickly as possible.
Contact us today at 844-315-5494 or email us here for more detail. Thank you to all our terrific clients and partners. We appreciate you very much.