In case you’re late to the party, commercial submetering is becoming increasingly necessary in commercial real estate (CRE) and multitenant housing. Laws like California’s SB 253 and New York Local Law 88 have thrust submeter billing into the spotlight. In addition to governmental regulations, attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements and potential cost savings, commercial submetering is becoming increasingly relevant in securing tenant contracts.  

But submetering goes beyond helping property managers and tenants abide by energy laws. It helps property teams know where to attribute utility costs and gives tenants more control over their utilities. Let’s explore how commercial submetering and its technology solutions are helping to automate this otherwise time-intensive process.  

Here are the Top 5 Reasons Tenants Want Commercial Submetering 

  • Fairness and Accountability 
  • Cost Savings  
  • Sustainability/ESG 
  • Improved Budgeting 
  • Legal Requirements 

Fairness and Accountability  

Two of the most important aspects of commercial submetering are fairness and accountability. Property teams often implement submetering to gain a more accurate account of the energy their tenants consume. Tenants who use more utilities are responsible for a higher share of the costs, and those who use less pay less. It makes billing more equitable compared to the one-size-fits-all approach of metering your building’s water, electricity or gas.  

Additionally, commercial submeter billing helps property managers forecast utility expenses more accurately. They can better anticipate costs based on actual consumption patterns rather than abstract formulas. This enables better budgeting and financial planning for property maintenance and improvement projects. 

Cost Savings with Cloud-based Submeter Billing 

Commercial submeter billing makes utility costs fairer among tenants. Instead of dividing one total amount among every tenant, property managers can charge on a tenant-by-tenant basis.  

The transparency that comes with this method of reading and billing helps encourage tenants to reduce consumption. Those aiming to cut costs must have the most accurate data possible; submetering is a precise way to gather this data. For example, if a law office only uses certain parts of their suite on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, then they can keep the electricity off in the unused areas. They will be able to save more money by knowing how they use their energy. 


Property managers may use submeter billing as an opportunity to educate tenants about sustainable practices and offer tips on reducing utility consumption. Sustainability can be boosted at both the suite and building levels with commercial submeter billing. It promotes more responsible and efficient resource usage while incentivizing conservation. Since tenants only pay for what they consume, they have financial incentive to reduce their resource usage. In turn, lights are turned on for a shorter amount of time, appliances can be turned off when not in use, as can heating and cooling. Reduced runtime means longer equipment lifespan.  

Improved Budgeting 

Submetering establishes a baseline of utility costs, which can lead to better price predictions and more accurate budgeting. By anticipating the cost of utilities each billing cycle, tenants can meet their budgets. 

Further, submetering is a powerful tool for improving budgeting for both property owners and tenants. It provides accurate consumption data, predictability in billing cycles, transparent cost allocation, and incentives for energy efficiency. Tenants can make more informed decisions about their utility usage, leading to better budget management and potentially lower utility costs. Property owners can streamline their operations and enhance their financial stability through accurate cost recovery. 

Legal Requirements 

In some areas, submetering may be required by law as part of energy efficiency and environmental regulations. Property managers can use this as an opportunity to meet legal requirements and showcase their commitment to sustainability. 

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has developed many of the minimum energy-efficiency requirements in use today. Due to new technological advancements with submeters, ASHRAE now requires submetering technology in certain buildings.  

Following the criteria of ASHRAE and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), states such as California and New York have begun mandating the installation of submeters. Noteworthy compliance standards include:  

ASHRAE 90.1 

CA Title 24 

New York Local Law 88  

Seattle Energy Code 

For more information about submeter billing laws and regulations, take a look at Genea’s guide to submeter billing

submeter billing dashboard

How Genea Submeter Billing and Reading Works 

Genea Submeter Billing works with networked and non-networked meters. For those buildings operating on a networked system, a small Genea device is plugged into your building management system (BMS). Once plugged in, the device automatically takes submeter readings.  

Manual or non-networked submetering is simple with the Genea’s submetering app. Property managers or engineers first attach a QR code to each of their meters. To read the meter, the building engineer simply scans the QR code with their phone and the meter information is transmitted to the Genea application and then billed to the appropriate tenant.   

To find out more about Genea Submeter Billing, contact a helpful Genea representative.  

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