Re: Electricity and water, paying the whole bill
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 15:02:36 -0700 (PDT)
> On Jul 1, 2015, at 5:14 PM, Susan Adams <sadams430 [at]> wrote:
> It is our understanding that some coho communities have found a way to use
> only one meter for electricity and one for water, rather than having a
> meter for every home.  (Or in other words, to pay only one bill for each.)

We have one bill for gas and water; individual billing for electricity. 

Electricity is the utility that is unequally used because it runs our 
geothermal HVAC system, electronic devices, and lighting. Some households don’t 
use their air conditioning in the summer and have low temperatures in the 
winter. Rise with the sun. And have no televisions, etc.

We use far less water as a whole community than the average condo. If we paid 
individual water and gas bills we would be paying far more because there is a 
minimum for each account. A single person household will have the same minimum 
as a 4 person household. This way we pay much less. (I haven’t figured out how 

BUT you can also install sub-metering. Have one electric, gas, water bill and 
then sub-meter each household. You read the meter from outside the unit and 
then the costs billed to each unit. 

One reason for apartment buildings to do this is to ensure that the utilities 
stay on in apartments. If a tenant moves out and turns everything off, it’s 
hard to renovate and adjacent units, pipes can freeze, and adjacent units may 
have trouble heating their own units. With the building managing utilities 
there is more control over the health of the building.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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