Three Alternatives to Tenant Utility-Release Forms

by ‐ Tags: property management, tracking and benchmarking

When it comes to utility data, we here at WegoWise subscribe to a "the more-the-merrier" philosophy. Despite this unyielding love for information, we're also realists. This means we understand that sometimes it makes sense to forgo collecting tenant utility data in favor of other, simpler methods of benchmarking buildings with tenant-paid utilities. 

Today we're outlining three alternatives to a utility-release or waiver process. Keep reading for options we recommend to our customers.

Alternative One: Common-Area Benchmarks

A common-area benchmark is generated by dividing consumption totals from your common-area meter by the square footage of the area that it covers, such as hallways, community rooms and laundry facilities. These benchmarks can provide a property owner with enough information to start making decisions about their properties.

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Alternative Two: Requesting Utility Data From Your Provider

Some utilities (particularly those with service territories impacted by an energy disclosure ordinance) are willing to provide a year of month-by-month whole-building usage data. In this scenario, the utility provider takes the usage information from individual units and packages it into one aggregated sum to be sent to the owner. To figure out whether this option is available to you, just call your utility provider. We know that both Con Edison and National Grid offer this service for property owners that need to comply with Local Law 84. Con Edison does charge $102.50 per building for this service.

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Alternative Three: Landlord Portals

A few utility providers have started to offer usage data portals speficially for property owners and managers. We've seen two cases of this so far: DTE Energy's Landlord Utility Manager and ComEd's Energy Usage Data System.

DTE Energy's Landlord Utility Manager: This online dashboard allows landlords to manage electric and natural gas service from DTE Energy. The tool allows you to run reports about your property lists and usage, receive shut-off notifications, and view meter readings for tenants moving in and out.

ComEd's Energy Usage Data System: With ComEd's portal, owners can retrieve energy usage data for their building and benchmark it against other multi-family and commercial buildings through Portfolio Manager.

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