Utility submetering has its roots in Denmark. In 1902 two Danish brothers, Axel and Odin Clorius, established Clorius Controls. Their objective was to develop temperature and pressure control devices.
In 1924 Clorius received its first patent for a heat cost allocator. The device was designed to measure energy usage in apartments built with a common boiler heating system. The device was attached to each radiator in an apartment unit. By measuring energy usage at each radiator, a consumption-based utility bill could be prepared for each unit.
Use of the Clorius heat allocator and competing devices spread to Germany, Belgium and other western European countries. The scope of European utility submetering grew to include water and electric metering and utility management and billing services.
The emergence of submetering in the U.S. took a much slower path, primarily due to lower domestic energy and water costs.
The evolution of U.S. submetering will be explored in our next posting.