The last decade has given rise to a flood of ‘smart’ electronics and devices designed to make everyone’s lives easier. Whether or not they have been successful in this mission, the reality is that smart technology is here and it is having a clear impact on all business sectors, including condo management.
No doubt, new innovations and technologies in property management are enabling players to automate mundane tasks and connect their organization in unprecedented ways – but the possibilities do not end there. By adopting green technology, more and more condominiums are discovering new ways to reduce energy consumption and, in the process, lower their operating costs.
What it means to be green
Green technology is technology intended to mitigate or reverse the effects of human activity on the environment. LED lighting, for example, is becoming a widely accepted way of control and reducing lighting costs, while many condos are also investing in Electric Vehicle Charging (EVCs) stations. This will support residents’ green driving preferences and increase the building’s value at the same time.
That said, how does one measure the success of implementing technologies like LEDs and the amount of electricity used in EVCs? This is where energy management and tracking technology becomes useful.
Enter: Suite metering
Not only is the data gathered through green technologies advantageous, but it is also now required by law. Under the Reporting of Energy Consumption and Water Use regulation, Electricity Act, 1998, S.O. 1998, c. 15 Schedule A, property stakeholders now have to collect information about their building’s gas, electricity and water every year from January to December.
Herein, the most effective way to track actual utility usage and reduce electricity and water consumption is by installing a suite metering program. With this program in place, each condo suite is billed individually, meaning each resident becomes responsible for taking the steps necessary to reduce their utility usage and, thereby, keeping their bills low. Residents who consume more will pay more, making suite metering not only an energy saving incentive but a money-saving opportunity as well.
Suite metering also provides property staff with a breakdown of energy and water consumption per unit and common area. Not to mention, it can enable stakeholders to measure the amount of electricity being used in underground garages and EVCs.
It’s worth noting that in order to invoice each resident appropriately, a reliable utility billing company serving the suite metering market is required. Often, metering equipment is installed at no capital cost and the installation of a suite meter system is done by licensed electrical contractors.
Test it for yourself
Suite metering can be new territory for condo managers. That’s why it’s always a good idea to work with a trusted provider to test a metering program first. During a typical pilot program, a portable test meter is installed on the suite risers for a defined period to coincide with the building’s bulk electricity billing. This allows for an accurate comparison of electricity costs between suites and common areas.
“More control for your residents and the property managers results in a well-balanced condo community, and increased building value,” says Andrew Beacom, President of Priority Submetering Solutions. “Test Metering provides an overview of how much the maintenance fees could be reduced and a review of monthly electricity consumption, while also showing the benefits of investing in energy efficiency. It can serve as a backdrop for your buildings initial assessment and system design required for an effective suite metering initiative.”
Becoming future ready
New regulations mean building performance and energy performance statistics are now publicly available. As such, expect players in the property and financial markets to compare and analyze each building result against one another. Buildings will also be given an Energy Star score which is disclosed and reported nationwide, and if your building scores below 50, questions and concerns will be raised.
Suite metering is a smart way to stay on top of these new obligations and stay ahead of the pack.
To learn more about suite metering, and the value of investing in smart energy conservation technologies, visit Priority Submetering Solutions.