Local ordinances or policy should be adopted to require that all new multi-family buildings (i.e. apartments, town homes, condominiums) be built with either individual water utility owned meters on each unit or sub-unit meters owned and managed by the property owner with a utility owned master meter. Water service would be based on volume of use. Local ordinances for this purpose are authorized by the Official Code of Georgia, § 12-5-180.1. The billing for water use can be accomplished by the water provider or by a private, third party, such as the development owner. Language has been provided by the District representing variations for the water utilities preference.
Sub-metering provides several benefits that single meters do not. Sub-metering allows for the water use in each apartment to be tracked and for each apartment to be billed for their actual water use. This lets residents know how much water they use and may encourage wiser use of water in their home in an effort to reduce their water bill. Unusually high water use detected by a sub-meter can more easily locate a possible leak. This is beneficial to the apartment’s management for several reasons:
The National Multiple Family Submetering and Allocation Billing Program Study showed that sub-metering reduced water use by 15.3% compared with traditional in-rent properties.