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Water Submetering for Existing Properties

Traditional Water Submeters

Some properties were built with foresight of water submetering. They were constructed with a single point where water enters the unit, with adequate space (in an appropriate area) for a water submeter. Click here for information about water submeters for new construction which are comparable to such properties. Like properties in new construction, labor to install water meter retrofits must be provided by a local plumber.

Diagram of a traditional, single point of entry water suppy
Diagram of inferential water submetering for apartments

Inferential Submetering

Some properties were built without foresight of water submetering but with individual hot water tanks. These properties are excellent candidates for inferential submetering. Though strikingly similar to traditional water submetering, only the water that feeds the hot water tank is actually measured. The entirety of water consumed is then extrapolated and billed to each unit based on measured cold water feeding each hot water tank.

RUBS: Ratio Utility Billing Service

Many apartments were built without individual hot water tanks and without a single point of entry where water enters each unit. Retrofitting these apartments with water meters can be difficult or in some cases even impossible.


One effective approach to billing residents for water in this circumstance is to estimate, or more precisely, allocate charges using a fixed formula. Often called RUBS for Ratio Utility Billing Service, this approach is a well-established and a well-accepted method when actual utility metering is impractical.


Many properties with these characteristics use RUBS to recover utility costs. Although utility conservation by tenants is not as significant as in properties where water consumption is actually metered, RUBS does help properties eliminate the unpredictable financial performance that can result when utilities are included in the rent.


With Invoice America RUBS, utilities can be allocated based on the ratio of apartment sizes, the number of occupants, or a combination of these factors.


Except properties utilizing RUBS, where no equipment is needed, frequency-hopping, spread spectrum RF (radio frequency) wireless monitors are installed in every apartment. This equipment is used to monitor utility consumption in over two million apartments nationwide. Automated nightly data collection is provided using either a dial-up modem or an internet connection.

RF Technology

Consumption data is uploaded daily from your property's onsite data collector to our centrally-located billing facility in Omaha, Nebraska. At the end of each monthly period, a statement that looks like an ordinary utility bill is prepared by Invoice America and mailed directly to apartment residents.

Invoice America Services

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Over 40 years experience specializing in multifamily utility cost allocations.

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