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ECS and Intellidyne are so confident that the IntelliCon products offered will reduce your energy consumption by a minimum of 10% in the first year, or we will refund your entire purchase price if we are unable to attain these savings. Ask you sales rep for details.

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Sub-metering is the measurement and billing of electric use in individual apartment units in a master-metered multi-family building. 

Sub-metering achieves its savings because residents reduce their own consumption in order to re-duce their individual electric costs. Unlike other conservation or load management measures, such as energy management systems, which may force conservation by outside control, sub-metering savings are the result of a purely voluntary decision by the resident electricity users. Thus, residents who choose to maintain a wasteful energy use pattern can do so, but will pay for this choice. 

"Users of Electricity will vote for sub-metering, abusers will vote against it."

Charles Rappaport (dec.) - former Carlyle Towers Representative and President of Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives 

Because residents are now paying for what they use, they tend to become more aware of their electricity use and, in turn, the monetary benefit they can realize from reducing unnecessary use of electricity. For example, prior to sub-metering, residents who left their air conditioners running while they were not at home during the day were not specifically penalized for this waste. This added cost (a function of increased consumption and peak load demand) would be borne by both the conservers and non-conservers. On the other hand, residents who conserved electricity or who were not at home (such as those who spend summers away) for extended periods did not receive any specific benefit.

 After studying the installation of sub-metering at Carlyle Towers NYSERDA indicated, "The impact of sub-metering on residents has varied widely, based on each resident's individual usage habits, conservation efforts and occupancy patterns. Overall, 73% of residents in Carlyle Towers now use less energy than the pre-sub-metering average, so they PAY LESS for electricity than they would have without sub-metering. Only 7% are using significantly more than the pre-sub-metering average, so they pay more, and should, because they use more than their neighbors. Those who take extended vacations can also save with sub-metering, since they won't pay for what they don't use."

With sub-metering, residents have an incentive to conserve and to invest in conservation since they can obtain a direct benefit through reduced electric charges. Short-term conservation means turning off lights, air conditioners, and other appliances when not in use. Long-term conservation also can include purchase of more efficient appliances, lighting, and timers, which results in more persistent energy savings.

 Sub-metering allocates the building's total apartment sector electric charges to the individual apartments in direct proportion to their individual usage. It provides a mechanism for individual residents to monitor and reduce their own monthly electric expense by practicing conservation. Additionally, once the issue of fairness has been addressed, apartment residents are less inclined to scrutinize each other's lifestyle as far as electric usage is concerned. Finally, in those buildings where monthly charges are assessed for appliances such as air conditioners, dishwashers, freezers, washing machines, and dryers.

 Sub-metering eliminates the building management task of estimating and billing residents for the additional electric consumption associated with these appliances. It eliminates the need for annual apartment inspections to count appliances, many of which are hidden by the residents to avoid the extra charge. Elimination of this task tends to diminish the adversarial relationship between the owner and the residents. 

A number of studies and demonstration projects cited by NYSERDA confirm both the short-term and long-term benefits of sub-metering, including: 

  • Sub-metering saves energy. An analysis of sub-metered buildings (where data have been made available) conclusively illustrates that annual savings of 10-26% of total apartment electric consumption were achieved in the first year.  
  • Sub-metering energy savings persist over time. Sub-metering savings have proven to be maintainable over long periods of time as demonstrated in a number of studies described in this manual  Some likely reasons are: 
    • that conservation is reinforced each month by the resident's receipt of an electric bill; and
    • residents will invest in efficiency (e.g., more efficient refrigerators and lighting) because they will reap the benefits directly. 
  • Approximately 60 to 70% of residents benefit from Sub-metering The only residents who fare worse under Sub-metering than under other means of allocating electric cost are those who use excessive amounts of electricity. Those residents who find that their electric bills are excessive have the ability to reduce cost by reducing consumption. They have joined the vast majority of New Yorkers, who are directly metered, but they often retain a distinct advantage - where applicable, they continue to pay at the bulk rather than the retail rate. 
  • Sub-metering is eminently fair. Sub-metering simply restores the "pay for what you use" concept. Con Edison data reveal that 20-25% of total apartment usage is consumed by only 10% of the residents, yet under master-metering, these excessive users pay the same as other residents. Individual apartment consumption has been shown to vary by a factor of as much as 10:1, and typically, by approximately 5:1 in apartments of the same size in the same building! From the point of view of fairness, Sub-metering is equally beneficial to all buildings regardless of type. Analysis of data from buildings that installed Sub-metering as part of the Con Edison Residential Sub-metering Program (cosponsored by NYSERDA) confirmed this fact quite dramatically. The variability of apartment consumption was consistent regardless of building and resident characteristics, so there were always inequities that Sub-metering would resolve. 
  • Sub-metering benefits owners - Sub-metering largely eliminates a volatile, variable, and difficult-to-control factor from a building's operating budget-apartment electric usage costs. Whether the building is a rental, cooperative, or condominium, owners can better predict costs when the only electric usage to be considered is for common areas under management control. 
  • Sub-metering benefits utilities and society - Sub-metering benefits utilities and society in the same way: by reducing the waste of energy and deferring the need to site, build, or otherwise acquire electric generating capacity, as well as reduce the use of fossil fuels (e.g., oil), still the primary source of power generation in New York State. Reducing fossil fuel use is a giant step toward enhancing the environment by improving air quality. Decreasing our dependence on foreign oil clearly benefits all Americans.

These conclusions confirm the benefits of Sub-metering to society, utilities, owners, and consumers, given the appropriate allocation of costs and benefits.