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Answers to FAQs
  • What size complexes does MeterNet service?

    MeterNet will service anything down to ten-units and up to 10’s of thousands or units, however it is more important that the costs of sub-metering/ billing provides a benefit greater than the costs. So for most practical purposes, this equation usually limits the size down to twenty-units or more on residential complexes. Of course commercial projects are entirely different, and many make sense below twenty-units.

  • What areas do you service?

    MeterNet serves the entire United States for meter reading and billing services; additionally we offer extended sub-meter installation and repair services in Southern California and Western Washington State. If your community is outside of our local service territories, we will work with you to select a local plumbing company to install meters and then we will read and provide the ongoing billing and customer service.

    MeterNet serves the major metropolitan areas listed below:

    Anaheim, Santa Ana, Long-Beach, Orange County: California
    Atlanta: Georgia
    Austin: Texas
    Baltimore: Maryland
    Boston: Massachusetts
    Charlotte North: Carolina
    Chicago: Illinois
    Cleveland: Ohio
    Colorado Springs: Colorado
    Dallas: Texas
    Fresno: California
    Honolulu: Hawaii
    Houston: Texas
    Los Angeles: California
    Miami, Ft Lauderdale: Florida
    Minneapolis: Minnesota
    N.Y.: New York
    Norfolk: Virginia
    New Jersey
    Oakland: California
    Philadelphia: Pennsylvania
    Phoenix: Arizona
    Portland: Oregon
    Riverside, Ontario: California
    San Diego: California
    San Francisco: California
    San Jose: California
    Seattle: Washington
    St Louis: Missouri
    Tampa, St Petersburg: Florida
    Washington DC

  • How much are the reading/billing service fees?

    They vary depending on the number of units, type and frequency of services being billed; contact us for a price quote and proposal.


  • Does MeterNet service apartments?

    Yes, MeterNet also provides the same great services we offer to HOA’s and Condos to apartment complexes nationwide. While our focus and business practices are geared towards Association billing, the benefit for apartment complexes is a higher level and quality of service.

  • Does MeterNet provide metering for gas or electric?

    Yes, depending on the location. In general we don’t provide sub-metering for these utilities in the Western U.S. because of the providing utility’s and state regulations. However this dynamic is substantially different in the eastern U.S. and Canada, so we look at each case separately to determine the suitability based on local regulations.

  • Does MeterNet sell meters?

    Yes, we sell meters from the following manufacturers: Neptune, Sensus, Amco-Elster and Master-Meter, all well-known brands with quality products.


  • How much do meters cost?

    Basic manual read meters are from $80 up to $165 for a standard 5/8 x 3/4” household meter. Adding an encoder for reading an interior installed meter from the outside adds another $115+, or for radio read add $165, plus $2000 for the base station and setup.

  • How much does installation cost?

    Anywhere from $95 to $220 per unit, as long as there is an existing individual shutoff valve for each unit, if there is not and the plumbing requires major reconfiguration expect $750-$2000+ per unit.


  • What type of meters do you use?

    MeterNet offers several brands of meters for both cold and hot water applications. Each have their own specific qualities and we select only the best options for each project. All meters that we sell are institutional grade and approved by AWWA. In California we only utilize meters that are type certified and sealed by Weights & Measures for accuracy.

  • Where and how are meters installed?

    Sub-meters can be installed almost anywhere, the location with easiest access is often best so they are often located outside (in warm climates), in meter ‘pits’ underground, or in a garage or water closet by the water heater.

    However, with the advent of wireless radio-read transmitters, sub-meters are now found in coat closets, under sinks, in basements and high in attics.

    Sub-meters are usually installed after a shutoff valve that isolates each unit, ideally with couplings on both ends for easy removal. If there is insufficient clear accessible pipe to simply ‘splice-in’ the meter, a ‘loop’ is installed to accommodate the meter, these are either standard or custom built depending on the specifications.

  • What is sub-metering?

    ‘Sub-meter’ simply describes a private meter installed downstream from the city or water district meter (‘master’ meter). In ‘sub-metered billing’ this downstream meter is used to calculate the usage of a single apartment or condo unit and bill the resident for their specific usage.


  • What is PASS (ratio) billing?

    Due to the plumbing configuration of many older buildings it is not financially feasible to install sub-meters. In these cases PASS (Proportional Allocation of Shared Services) may be used as a method of more appropriately allocating costs to units based on a usage profile. This method involves first sub-metering down to the nearest possible point, usually a building or quadrant, then using an occupancy factor to further allocate the correct charges to each unit.

  • What are the advantages/disadvantages of PASS?

    The biggest advantage is that PASS can be used where sub-metering is not feasible, and the implementation cost is very low.

    The disadvantages are that PASS is not as accurate as sub-metering (being based on occupancy rather than actual consumption) and conservation rates are therefore not as high.

    With sub-meters installed on each building or group however, leak detection becomes much more possible and this helps to drive conservation.

  • Does sub-metering really save water?

    Absolutely! We have yet to see anything less than 18% reduction in usage after sub-meters are installed, please view our case-studies for more detailed information. Equally as important as conservation, is the precise allocation of charges so that those who use more or less pay for only their personal consumption.


  • Why don’t complexes already have individual meters?

    Most Townhome, Condominium, Co-op and Apartment complexes are served by ‘master-meters’ that provide water to more than one unit (usually 4+, even up to hundreds of units per meter) rather than individual meters. Older complexes were built this way because water/sewer was very inexpensive so it made economic sense to have the least amount of plumbing and fewest city/district meters. Now-a-days, the reason is still economic; most water districts charge several thousand dollars or more (up to $31,000+) per meter connection, so developers and builders choose to install sub-meters instead.

  • How are the meters read?

    If they are located outside they will usually be manual read (yes with a clipboard and pencil, by a person!) If indoors, they may be either encoder (still read by a person, but with an electronic data collecting wand) or radio read (a wireless radio transmitter sends the readings to a concentrator, where they are then uploaded via internet to the billing software).

  • Who regulates sub-metering/ billing?

    This depends on the locale. There is no federal oversight and in many states there are varying regulations, from outright bans, all the way to zero regulation; while many cities have their own local set of regulations regarding utility billing. Sub-meters themselves are often separately regulated by the state department of Weights & Measures. It is best to check local regulations or contact us for specific details for your location and application.


  • How much water does an average household use?

    There really is no such thing as ‘average’ when it comes to water consumption, but a good rule of thumb is between 3750-7500 gallons or 5-10 HCF per month. Anything over that for a family of three is probably leakage or excessive use/waste.

  • How much is an average bill?

    This depends on consumption and local water/sewer rates, so the best way is to total the cost, deduct an estimated amount for common area and then divide by the number of units, or use our ROI Calculator, it will show an analysis including average bill amount.