Ratio utility billing (RUBS) is the practice of allocating a municipal utility bill across a multifamily, commercial, condominium, or manufactured home community based on variables such as the number of occupants and square footage of the unit. RUBS can be implemented for almost all utilities including water, wastewater, electric, gas, and trash. 

Besides the benefit of recapturing utility expenses, RUBS helps property owners to increase utility conservation. By conserving utilities, utility expenses will naturally decrease, keeping rents and associated fees competitive. Check out some of our RUBS frequently asked questions below!

Are customized ratio utility billing systems available?

WaterWatch Corporation offers a variety of customized ratio utility billing systems for situations where constraints do not allow a property to be submetered or the financial burden of full submetering is prohibitive.

RUBS requires no initial capital investment and is based on a pre-calculated formula that can be implemented immediately. The formula is determined based on several variables including the number of occupants and square footage of the unit. Different variables may be used for different utilities.

Does a customized ratio utility billing system encourage conservation?

Yes. While submetering encourages individual consumers to conserve, RUBS promotes utility conservation among the entire multifamily or commercial community. Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Apartment Association have conducted studies concluding that ratio utility billing encourages utility conservation. On average, utility consumption decreases by 10% to 30% once a RUBS program is implemented.

Is RUBS an alternative to submetering?

A customized ratio utility billing system can help increase utility cost recovery and savings when a property cannot utilize submeters. Since RUBS is calculated based on monthly utility bills, properties will be able to recover a greater percentage of utility expenses.

How do I get started?

1. A lease addendum should be developed informing tenants of their utility responsibilities. WaterWatch Corporation can provide a functional example of this addendum.

2. Building, unit, and resident information is provided to WaterWatch and verified for accuracy by property staff.

3. Copies of recent master utility bills are provided to WaterWatch and added to the billing system.

4. Once the proper notification time has elapsed and/or as new residents move in, individual utility bills are created on a monthly basis.

5. Utility bills are sent directly to residents via U.S. Mail.

6. WaterWatch collects payments via check, money order, eCheck or major credit card. Online and phone payments are accepted as well.

7. A monthly utility reimbursement check is sent to the owner, manager, association manager or other persons in charge of receiving payments.

Interested in learning more about how a ratio utility billing system can benefit your property? Contact WaterWatch Corporation today by calling toll-free at 1-800-256-9826 or emailing info@waterwatchcorp.com.

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