Re: Electricity and water, paying the whole bill
From: Katie Henry (katie-henryatt.net)
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 17:19:02 -0700 (PDT)
My former community is a large building divided into two wings - the cohousing 
community (about 85%) and 11 empty live/work spaces that were built out by each 
buyer (about 15%). The cohousing units have individual meters and pay their 
bills directly to the electric company. The building itself has a main meter 
that initially covered the interior and exterior common areas as well as the 
live/work spaces. The developer sub-metered the live/work spaces after they 
became occupied. The management company reads the sub-meters periodically and 
bills the work/space unit owners for their usage. That amount is subtracted 
from the bill for the main meter. The balance for the main meter, reflecting 
only the common areas, is then split between the two wings on a basis that 
reflects their share of the common areas. Fun with spreadsheets.
Life would be easier if the developer had installed individual meters on the 
live/work spaces, but I suspect decisions were being made at a time when the 
plans for that part of the building were still up in the air.
Water and gas are on a single meter, with the cost split pretty equally among 
all units. (There's some weighting by unit size.) I'm not aware of any concerns 
about unequal use, but it's been a few years. Gas is not used for heat (the 
building has electric geothermal heat), so there wouldn't be any huge 
discrepancies in usage between units, just stoves and fireplaces. Back in 2007, 
gas usage came to about $8/unit/month; not enough to get worked up about.
Katie Henry

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