Commercial Sub-Metering

An Evans Supply Case Study

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Commercia Property Associates Limited is a full service property management firm. Together with its parent company Royale Grande Property Management Limited, they manage over 7,000 condominium units in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Commercia was formed to specialize in the management of industrial, commercial, and office condominiums of all sizes.

The Challenge

One of Commercia’s recently acquired complexes in the Town of Richmond Hill, ON has a mixture of tenants including two small office buildings and 31 ground floor retail units. The retail units comprise of a diverse range of tenants including a food market, dental office, travel agency and book store along with several hair salons, massage therapy clinics and restaurants. As part of the property maintenance fees charged to tenants, a portion of the complex’s water usage is also included. Commercia staff continued to have difficulty reconciling the Town’s master bill to the individual tenant’s consumption.

The main challenge to reconcile water usage within the property was a result of non-metered units some of which were higher consumers such as hair salons and restaurants. Several other issues were also identified almost immediately upon inspection including reading resolution which was not uniform throughout. When remotely read many usages were found to be off by a factor of ten when compared to actual register. A few water meters were directly read while the majority were probed remotely, some with obsolete technology. A small percentage of meters did not have remote capability and required ladder use therefore making them dangerous to read. It was also discovered that several units were never read at all due to difficulty of reading or unawareness that a water meter already existed. The Commercia property managers were looking for the best solution that provided readily accessible and accurate water meter readings preferably without entry to each individual unit.

The Solution

Evans Supply Limited (ESL) along with Parker Services conducted a comprehensive survey of all ground floor retail units. To overcome all of Commercia’s water billing challenges to date ESL recommended a rework of the existing meter and reading system to create a homogeneous water meter and reading system technology. To achieve this goal, Evans Supply proposed the supply and installation of Neptune’s R900i wireless water meter and reading equipment. The R900i water meter is accurate to one tenth of a litre; captures real time consumption; tracks leaks; and sustained periods of zero or negative consumption. This allows the property management company to read all the units accurately within minutes and as a bonus achieving this without entry into any units.

With the assistance of Parker Services for installation, the project was accomplished in less than four business days with minimal disruption to the tenants. Approximately half of the units already utilized Neptune metrology and only a register upgrade was required. The majority of the remaining units were not metered requiring Parker Services to cut into plumbing and install complete water meters. A few locations had existing competitor water meters that could not be upgraded or retrofit with RF technology and as a result were replaced with new Neptune water meters. All 31 RF water meters can now be easily read using the Neptune Belt Clip Transceiver and an Android tablet utilizing the NGO application. The captured reads and advanced data are downloaded to a laptop in the management office. What used to take a full day along with interruption to the business tenants now takes just a few minutes with no disruption.

About ESL & Parker Services

Evans Supply Limited (ESL) has been a proud partner to the municipal waterworks industry since 1992. Quality products and customer service have always been our main focus. Product technology is constantly evolving, and ESL works closely with our suppliers to remain current and up-to-date with our product training so that we can provide the best possible customer support for our product lines.

Parker Services has been in the water meter industry for over twelve years now.  Scott Parker is an expert in the field of water meter installation and replacement. Parker Services provides turn-key project management for small to medium size water meter projects. Parker Services’ track record is 22,000 plus trouble free meter installations to date.

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