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Learn the difference and which one can benefit your property the best.


Submetering is the most accurate form of utility billing since it measures exact usage by residents. Improvements in metering technology have made it possible to economically convert multi-family properties to be individually metered using submeters. However, the plumbing configuration in many properties makes it too costly, and in some cases, impossible to install individual submeters.

RUBS is a way to help residents understand the true cost of utility service in properties where submeters cannot be practically installed. By allocating a portion of the property utility costs, residents can see the connection between usage and cost. By separating utility costs from rent, water conservation is motivated. Residents now have control over total rental costs as low as possible and also promote environmental conservation.

Submetering Pros

  • Provides historical data for utility system troubleshooting
  • Leak detection
  • Allows residents greater control over their utility usage and costs
  • Improves property value
  • Adds physical infrastructure

Submetering Cons

  • Submetering costs more than RUBS
  • Some older systems may not allow for submeter installation
  • Some states limit the ability to submeter utilities


The benefits of RUBS are ease and cost. RUBS can be set up quickly since it is not necessary to purchase or install physical equipment. And a good utility billing provider can help you rapidly create an industry-accepted formula based on factors like:

  • Unit square footage
  • Number of occupants
  • Amenities
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms


  • Less accurate than submetering
  • Costs are estimated, giving residents less control over their usage and billing
  • Doesn't offer data on usage in specific areas which cannot pinpoint fixes for mechanical issues


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of submetering vs. RUBS because it depends on your situation, your facility, and your needs. Either solution will increase utility cost recovery, driving NOI, tenant satisfaction, and property value. Utility submetering and RUBS are a good idea for residents, property managers, HOA's, and more. Choose what program is best for you.