Older article but still very applicable today!
When Greystar Real Estate Partners acquired three apartment properties last year in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., the new owner installed submeters in each unit in order to gauge water consumption and bill residents directly for their actual usage. That method marked a major departure from the previous landlord who relied exclusively on rent to cover the cost of utilities.
The result? Water and sewer costs dropped by at least 75% at the three properties because the owner passed on a portion of the utility costs to renters and encouraged residents to curb wasteful practices, like letting leaky toilets go unreported. Owners at submetered properties still pay utilities for common areas, and often choose to pay an additional portion of total utility costs so residents aren't paying for energy lost through insufficient insulation or single-pane windows.
Actual savings for Greystar varies by property, but submetering at a typical 300-unit complex reduces annual water and sewer charges by $60,000 to $70,000. That savings goes right to the bottom line, according to Mark Hafner, a principal at the Charleston, S.C.-based company.
Read more...Lowering Utility Costs in Apartments via National Real Estate Investor