According to Unity Water's Sub-Metering Fact Sheet, water sub metering is the implementation of a multi-water meter system that allows multi-unit property owners to measure their own individual water usage and be charged for their respective water consumption. Typical users of sub-metering are owners and or managers of units, duplexes, townhouses, apartment complexes and commercial buildings.
Prior to 2008 it was not mandatory to install water meters within multi-unit residential premises and commercial premises. Premises built prior to 1 January 2008 typically have a single water meter for the property and are charged for water consumption on a per-determined apportionment schedule.
This means that in these circumstances, individual lot owners have no knowledge of their individual water usage and consequently may not be encouraged to reduce their individual consumption. If you live in strata titled units or Properties where the water rates are split between everyone from one water meter reading, you could be paying for other people’s water which is just not fair! This is often the case where the unit or property may be being used as a holiday home with just one or two people occasionally using water, compared to other tenants who are permanent residents with families.
Sub-metering enables water service providers, such as Unity Water to provide water consumption information to individual unit owners and directly charge those owners for their actual water consumption. It's a fair and equitable solution to ensure the user pays for their usage.
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Sub metered systems measure each tenant's water usage, rather than the standard metered system that records all the water usage and divides them equally amongst tenants. This is an attractive option for body corporate property owners as many potential tenants don't want to pay for water that's only been used by their neighbours.