Impact of Sub-Metering Electricity in Ontario Greater Than Expected

by | Apr 23, 2012 | Rental Property Management Tips

Findings of a new report released this week show the conservation and environmental impact of sub-metering multi-residential apartment and condominium buildings in Ontario is much larger than previously thought.

EnerCare Connections Inc. (“EnerCare Connections”), a subsidiary of EnerCare Inc., retained Navigant Consulting Ltd., to estimate the conservation impact of electricity sub-metering on multi-residential buildings in Ontario.

The result is a comprehensive report entitled Evaluation of the Impact of Sub-Metering on Multi-Residential Electricity Consumption and the Potential Economic and Environmental Impact on Ontario.

For this analysis, EnerCare Connections provided Navigant with electricity consumption data for 3,971 units in 22 buildings in Ontario covering the period from September 2009 through September 2011. Data from 672 of these units that switched from bulk to sub-metering during the twenty-five month period was used to estimate the conservation impact of sub-metering.

According to Tom Cooper, EnerCare Connections’ Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Navigant’s findings relating to conservation potential and avoided costs are a clear indication that sub-metering promotes energy conservation by encouraging reduced consumption.

“Sub-metering is a win-win for building owners, condominium corporations and residents,” Cooper says. “Residents get to take control of their energy use, while building owners and condominium corporations get to save on rising energy costs. In addition, Ontarians generally benefit from cost savings associated with electricity infrastructure demands, reductions in power demands and reductions in greenhouse gases.” 

Future Cost Savings – Almost $3 Billion
Over a twenty-year period, Navigant estimates that Ontario’s potential future cost savings (in terms of investments for new generation assets, as well as transmission and distribution system upgrades) could be $2.73 billion if sub-metering were deployed in all currently bulk-metered multi-residential buildings that could feasibly be converted to sub-metering.

The report states: “To date, energy conservation impacts from sub-metering have not been counted by the Ontario Power Authority or local distribution companies toward conservation targets. Integrating sub-metering into conservation program delivery would contribute to Ontario’s conservation targets and could potentially deliver considerable benefits to the province.”

Environmental Benefit of Sub-Metering – Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Navigant also studied the environmental benefit of sub-metering, specifically reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Navigant estimates the total cumulative reduction in greenhouse gas emissions if sub-metering were deployed in all currently bulk-metered multi-residential buildings from 2013 through 2017 could be more than four thousand kilotonnes, and from 2013 through 2032 could be approximately 22 thousand kilotonnes, approximately the same amount as was emitted by all vehicles in Ontario in 2007, based on Statistics Canada data.

“From an energy conservation, cost saving and environmental perspective, the benefits of installing sub-metering in multi-residential buildings are clear,” Cooper says. “We will continue to work closely with the Ontario government, property managers and condo board representatives to encourage the adoption of sub-metering in multi-residential buildings across the province.”

EnerCare Inc. owns EnerCare Connections, a leading sub-metering company with metering contracts for condominium and apartment suites in Ontario, Alberta and elsewhere in Canada. EnerCare Inc. also owns, through its subsidiary EnerCare Solutions Inc., a portfolio of approximately 1.2 million installed water heaters and other assets, rented primarily to residential customers in Ontario.

Sub-metering uses a dedicated meter for each suite to bill for their electricity usage. Multi-residential suites that are not sub-metered are not billed for their individual usage; this form of billing is called bulk metering. Under bulk metering, residents are charged for their electricity consumption either as a part of their rent in a rental suite or as part of their monthly condominiums fees paid by owners of condominium suites.

Conservation Impact of Sub-Metering
According to the Navigant report, the conservation impact is significant: for non-electrically heated units, the average electricity use is reduced by 34 per cent, while the average electricity use is reduced by 27 per cent for electrically-heated units.


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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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