With the rising cost of utilities like electricity, water, gas and thermal, submetering is quickly becoming a Multi-Residential Property Owner’s new best friend. Utility submetering is becoming the norm for buildings in Toronto, Vancouver and other metropolitan Canadian cities, while smaller market cities are following close behind. There are benefits to submetering utilities on both the resident and landlord side, given that submetering empowers each resident to take control of their own consumption, and stop compensating for fluctuations in their fellow residents’ usage.
Our overconsumption of utilities like water, electricity, thermal and gas as a population is having a severe environmental impact. As such, it should henceforth be the focus of every citizen- landlord or resident- to reduce excessive utility consumption. Submetering is one important step toward resolving this issue. Utility submetering providers can provide valuable expertise to help reduce utility related costs and the administrative requirements to complete transition to submetered suites.
“We recently completed the transition of over 4,000 residential units to sub-meters. The organizational savings to our firm in terms of execution, administration and tenant servicing through the outsourcing of this project to a professional submetering company was the most efficient and effective method of accomplishing our objective.” Matt Organ, President of Skyline Residential
As a building owner or manager, you can count on your utility submetering provider to liaise with your residents regarding monthly billing issues or concerns, and provide efficient and effective customer service to inquiring residents. By bringing on a utility submetering provider, you will allow your team to focus on their respective roles without billing issues and customer service distractions. There is an underrated customer service aspect to the utility submetering business, which can provide relief and comfort to the owner. Make sure when selecting your submetering service that you choose a client-focused provider who is adequately equipped to satisfy both your needs and the needs of your bill-paying residents. Below are five key benefits that a submetering provider with effective customer service can provide.
1. Transparent and Accurate Billing
A private utility submetering service will take the hassle out of submetering for a landlord. This includes initial calculation of utility credits, to tenants being transitioned, right through to billing and collections. In short- submetering provides transparency. By independently measuring each unit’s usage, there is little room for argument on the resident side after delivering accurate, carefully calculated bills on a strict month-to-month basis.
2. Accessible & Efficient Customer Service
By bringing on a professional service to handle your electricity submetering, you are also adopting a professional grade of customer service, with access to call centers that offer responsive customer service in multiple languages to reflect our province’s multi-cultural population. Call centers offer more representatives, which means faster service and lower call wait times. Be sure to do your research in this department when selecting your utility submetering service. Make sure they offer an in-house call center as opposed to outsourcing, check out their call-center wait times, as well as the quality of training given to their customer service representatives. This will ensure that your residents really do benefit from their utility management services, and that they don’t come seeking out your staff if their needs aren’t immediately met.
3. Self-Monitoring Resources and Tools for Residents
Submetering offers the opportunity for residents to take their consumption into their own hands. By giving them access to self-monitoring resources, they can effectively manage their usage as well as their monthly costs. These tools will increase transparency and allow them to answer any of their own questions about their consumption and billing history that might arise. For residents that wish to reduce their consumption, there are many reference materials available. Be sure to ask your provider about communications and assistance for residents regarding the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and various other government incentive programs.
4. Resources and Support for Owners and Managers
Landlords and building managers can look forward to developing invested, long-term relationships with a quality utility submetering provider who can provide expertise, guidance and timely market knowledge on a regular basis. To ensure you are going to be as well-supported as possible, make sure your provider’s executive team is directly accessible. ensure that your account manager is knowledgeable of rate structures and consumption patterns for your type of property(s). Finally, be sure that they have an effectual web portal that provides timely data and reporting on consumption across your portfolio.
5. Staff Training
A legitimate provider will educate your staff on utility submetering, billing, and the use of their web portal so that they can effectively interact with your residents and answer initial questions regarding enrollment and the use of self-monitoring resources. However, it is important that your staff is trained not to play the between your tenant and your utility provider. All billing queries should be directed straight to the submetering company. The benefit? This protects your staff’s time.
Submetering has become an accepted strategy across the country for a majority of prominent landlords. When you decide it’s time to make the transition, remember the benefits of a professional submetering company outweigh the costs for both the landlord and their residents. Be sure to do your research when selecting a utility submetering provider, taking into account factors like billing transparency, the quality of their tools and resources, training, and their customer service reliability. For further information on utility submetering services and the customer service benefits, contact your local submetering provider.