Submetering in North Carolina
Submetering in North Carolina requires knowledge of the strict laws surrounding utility management. North Carolina has a commission, North Carolina Utility Commission, that regulates Submetering more than 14 units, with the exception of condominiums.
What is Submetering?
Submetering involves the installation of equipment to measure and bill each unit’s water/sewer, gas and electric use. Submetering has been used since it was invented in the early 1920’s.
What are the benefits of Submetering?
When a property takes advantage of submetering, it raises consumer awareness, users work harder to conserve, therefore reducing overall consumption dramatically. We typically see around 30% water savings. The real estate owner is able to save money since the tenants pay for the water they used. Common area water usage can be accurately measured and billed accordingly. The return on the investment is usually seen within 12 months.
What type of real estate is Submetered?
Only three types of housing may be submetered in North Carolina; Residential, Retail and Student. Each has unique regulations that Submetering companies and landlords must follow. National Exemption Service (NES) was involved in the development of several regulations in this state. If landlords plan on Submetering in North Carolina, extensive filing for approval is required. NES has experts on staff to guide landlords through this daunting process.
What is RUBS and how can it help real estate that can’t be metered?
RUBS is an acronym for Ratio Utility Billing System. RUBS uses formulas to allocate utility costs for water/sewer, gas, and electricity when submetering is not an option or if your investment dollars can be better utilized elsewhere. RUBS cannot be used in North Carolina due to state laws at this time.
How important are Submetering regulations?
Submetering regulations are very important. The laws and regulations regarding submetering multi-family properties change frequently. If you plan on Submetering your own real estate, we highly recommend staying up to date with the latest regulations.
National Exemption Service (www.Submeter.com) is one of the largest Submetering companies in the USA. NES has dedicated compliance staff to keep up with state regulations. This article is updated with the most recent regulations that North Carolina real estate owners need to know. National Exemption Service (NES) President & Owner is also a voluntary board member of the Utility Management & Conservation Association which makes him privy to best practices in the industry. NES currently services real estate in various cities in North Carolina including Charlotte, Raliegh, Durham, Greensboro, and Asheville. The NES North Carolina warehouse and local staff allow for quick distribution and repairs.
New Submetering Regulations in North Carolina
- All submetering of over 14 units is regulated by the North Carolina Utility Commission (NCUC) with the exception of condominiums.
- North Carolina has maximum billing fees allowed
- North Carolina does not allow for late fees to be charged
- North Carolina does not allow for “move in” fees to be assessed
- Most importantly landlords must file with the NCUC and be approved prior to billing residents
6 Things To Look For In A Water Submetering Company
When choosing a Submetering company for your commercial or residential property, it’s important to consider the following:
History of the submetering company and ownership
Type of meters the submetering company offers
Cost of meters (Many companies markup over 50%)
Length of warranty offered on meters
24/7 Auto leak detection
Ease of payment portal and autopay for tenants
NES is American owned and operated by its founder since 1988. Submetering has changed dramatically since the 80’s, new meters are state of the art wireless devices that report usage back on a daily basis. NES provides a warranty to landlords that covers all mechanical issues related to the meter. Unlike competitors, NES sells or leases the meters at cost which is unheard of in the submetering business. NES also offers leak detection services for an additional fee.
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