As water and wastewater rates increase faster than the rate of inflation, more and more buildings in the multi-family housing sector are converting to systems where each multi-family dwelling unit pays for water and wastewater directly instead of including these charges as part of the rent. The National Multiple Family Submetering and Allocation Billing Program Study evaluated the merits of separate billing programs including the potential water savings, costs and benefits from various perspectives, and the accompanying administrative and regulatory issues. It was found that the practice of installing individual water meters (submetering) on multi-family apartment units and billing based on actual consumption results in water savings of 15%. Water billing practices based on allocation methods (commonly known as Ratio Utility Billing Systems or RUBS) did not effect any water savings. The study was motivated by the water industry's interest in capturing potential water savings by multi-family residents where there is currently no pricing signal to encourage efficient use.
Direct billing of multi-family customers for water use presents new opportunities and challenges to water providers in the United States
R.E. Bennett; Direct billing of multi-family customers for water use presents new opportunities and challenges to water providers in the United States. Water Supply 1 November 2005; 5 (3-4): 43–48. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/ws.2005.0081
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