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Glossary of Submetering Terms


Determining resident utility charges by means of a formula rather that by measured usage based on a meter. Allocation billing can be used in properties that cannot be individually metered. 

AWWA Standards

The American Water Works Association has established minimum performance standards for water meters and related water industry equipment. 

Common Area Deduction ("CAD")

In utility allocation formulas, it is common practice to subtract common area utility usage from the master-metered utility charge before allocation. 

Consumption Analysis

Measuring master meter utility usage and comparing that usage to the total of the submetered usage for the same time period. Consumption analysis helps detect underground water leaks and rate or equipment problems. 


In a radio frequency submetering system the Data Collection Unit is the device that collects usage data. 

Fixed Charges

That part of a resident's utility charge that is not affected by consumption. 

Leak Detector

Typically a sweep hand on the head of a meter that indicates any flow through the meter. 

Master Meter

A single meter that measures utility usage for an entire property. 

Master-Deduct System

Installation of submeters in all units except the unit that has the master utility meter. Utility charges for the master unit are calculated by subtracting the submeter usages from the master meter usage. 


Generally used to describe a local government water department. 

RB Account

An acronym that stands for Read and Bill. RB billing service includes monthly reading and billing of utility usage. 

RBC Account

An acronym that stands for Read, Bill and Collect. RBC billing service includes monthly reading, billing and collection of utility usage. 

Remote Reader

A device installed on the exterior of the building, which is wired to the inside meter. The remote reader will either display the meter reading or provides for electronic reading of the inside meter. 


An acronym that stands for Ratio Utility Billing System, which is a method of allocating utility usage when individual meters cannot be installed. Costs are allocated based on factors such as occupant count or square footage. See "Allocation" above. 

Run Time System

A measurement system used to allocate gas or electric usage in master-metered properties. In certain applications, run-time equipment can be a less expensive alternative to installation of individual meters. 

Submetering is the process of distributing utility costs to individual residents in mutli-unit rental properties. Costs are distributed on the basis of actual usage measured by a submeter that is installed in each rental unit.


A term used to describe either a provided natural resource such as water, gas or electric, or the provider of the resource. 

Water Meter Size

Meter size has two dimensions: the bore opening and the matching pipe size. For example, a 5/8"x3/4" water meter has a 5/8" bore and 3/4" straight pipe threads. 

Units of Measure


U.S. Gallons is the most common water-billing unit in United States with Cubic Feet also widely used. One cubic foot equals 7.48 gallons. 


A Therm is equivalent to 100 cubic feet of gas. There are 100,000 BTU's in 100 cubic feet of gas. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, which is the quantity of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit at or near 32.9ºF. 


A Kilowatt Hour is the amount of energy delivered at a rate of 1,000 watts over a period of one hour. 

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