Behind Closed Doors

November 2023

People have a funny way of wasting utilities they think are free.

One condo owner loves his combination shower-nap.  He gets into the tub, turns the shower on, lays down, and sleeps for up to six hours.  Why not – “water is free”.  This is just one example of excesses that occur in communities where water, electricity and gas are paid by monthly condo fees.  Nobody receives a bill, is aware of actual costs, or curbs excessive practices.

It is faster to defrost frozen food under hot water than allowing it to defrost.  Air conditioning can run on warmer days, or heat during winter, with windows open.  All are wasteful and costly practices that can be curbed when owners and residents directly pay for water, electricity and gas they utilize.

Everyone should pay for their personal use of utilities.  This is achieved when each unit has an energy meter measuring their use of electricity, water and possibly gas.  Larger families, and those who are more wasteful, would no longer be subsidized by more conscientious owners.

Some oppose this practice believing savings do not justify metering costs.  Others don’t want to be responsible for paying another bill.  Available data on conversions to unit metering show that some see savings in excess of 30 percent.

Submetering, also described as smart metering, remains a best practice for reducing utility use and wasteful practices.