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Submetering, RUBS, and Water Conservation
To better understand how billing methods affect water consumption patterns, we examined detailed water and wastewater billing information for 32 properties acress three states. Key findings:
- Tenants who pay for their water use less.
- Billing type is a more important influence on consumption patterns than either the cost of water/sewer or the age of the building.
- Incremental conservation within a building that converted to submetering or RUBS was not as large as expected.
- Billing system conversion needs to be carefully thought out and managed.
- Even with RUBS or submetering in place, price signals to consumers may be muted.
- Despite rising water and sewer costs, few properties have effectively used available information to carefully manage these costs.
- Current gaps in water conservation management offer large opportunities for the future.