When you submeter water to say a park with 80 units, seems like it would be time consuming to go around to each unit each month and read the meter, especially the meter is in a box in the ground, under the snow or the like. How do you handle it? Where is the best place to locate the meter, how often do you read it, and who does the reading?
I think they have a link on this site with refrence to meter reading (in valuable links section), and I have got post cards in the mail of copanys that has a billing system for park owners,
But!!!, in our 72 lot Park, we read our own meters, thieve been placed in meter boxes,in ground, about a foot or two out from the home , usualy read them on the 20th of the month ,takes a few hours (and we call it a day!!! Hey we work for ourselvs,lol) we keep all our books/records in QUICKBOOKS so in goes the meter readings, it totals the readings(with my better halfs help of course,she does quickbooks,lol)) and we print invoices and give them out by the 25th of the month, on the invoice we break down water/sewer/trash/lot rent/mobile home payment/etc… takes about a day to enter and print all these,
Im sure there several different options on this subject,at this point of the game were just hands on kind of people and do it ourselves, walking and reading the meters gives you a first had view of whats going on in the Park, and some of the yards.
Post Edited (04-14-11 22:11)
This is a good subject and one that is really changing quickly.
For my park in eastern Ohio, I am having meters installed at each home. The actual readout is attached via #18 wires to a meter on the skirting. This keeps someone from having to dig through the snow to read the numbers in the winter.
I plan to have a handyman do the meter reading each month. This gives me another set of eyes and ears on the property and lets me manage it from afar. The numbers get forwarded to Edison Micro Utilities in AZ for bill preparation. They will send out bills each month showing the space rent, water/sewer charges, garbage, and anything else I care to add such as shed or skirt financing. Edison includes a self-addressed and stamped envelope. I get an on-line accounting and they deposit the money directly into my bank account. This will cost me $75/month for the meter reading and $4/space for the billing.
I looked into Internet based meter reading. It was much more convenient but also more expensive. A short-range radio receiver set up at the community and tied to a modem monitors each meter and can detect normal usage and leaks. Info is sent via the 'net to a central processing center and then billed monthly like Edison. The company is responsible for supplying and maintaining everything but the phone line.
I guess it really gets down to which method floats your boat better. You will come out ahead no matter how you handle water billing.
For wireless meter reading, I was dealing with:
Universal Utilities, Inc.
This arrangement can also be done in apartments as no-one has to physically read the meters.
We use Edison Micro (see the Resouces page for contact information). They will provide our manager a spreadsheet to populate each month with the meter readings. The manager will then send the completed spreadsheet back to Edison Micro. Edison Micro will create a bill for all utilities that you bill back to the tenants (gas, water, sewer, trash). Edison Micro will make sure that you are compliant with all the state regs. Edison Micro will charge a base fee to the resident if you would like from $4.50 - $7.50 (additional profit source for you). Edison Micro will charge you a fee to produce the bills (@$1.50). If you would like them to collect the payments, the fee would be higher.