Re: Metering Common Heating System
From: Joani Blank (
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 19:52:43 -0500
I too wish the Berkeley community luck with their common metering. Tom
(Lent) is a very aware and smart fellow and I trust that with his guidance
they will put together a system that works. At Doyle St. we have separate
gas and electric meters for each unit (unfortunately we couldn't plumb for
gas heat throughout--just got it so far as our kitchen stoves--tnank
goodness for that).  I would be unhappy if we had some kind of billing here
based on square footage for the following reasons. Different ones of us have
really different needs around heat AND different levels of conservation
awareness as well. One of my neighbors (whose iunit is only marginally
larger than mine) spends over $100 per month in the winter (Yes Dorothy, we
do have winter here in Northern California, though compared to New England
it sure ain't very cold here), while mygas and electric bill has never gone
over $15. I confess that since my place has practically no walls, I can warm
it up nicely by opening my gas oven door for a couple of hours--only when I
am at home of course-- and turning on the cieling fan to circulate the warm

Our water heating is done centrally in the common house--not a circulation
problem since we are all essentially in one building. But a metering system
that was supposed to measure hot water used by each unit has never worked at
all since this place was built in '92. Except that we pay for laundry
differentially which makes that hot water use fairly distributed, the
household hot water use is not divided at all fairly. For example, I am a
household of one who never uses her dishwasher and showers a couple of times
a week, while another household of four uses their dishwasher daily and all
four people bathe or shower every day. Hmmm. Well, nobody ever said life is

Doyle St. CoHousing, Emeryville, CA

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