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Frequently Asked Questions/About My Bill

Energy Management Systems

What is Submetering?Submetering is the installation of metering devices to measure actual energy consumption after the primary utility energy meter. Submetering allows you to monitor energy usage for individual tenants, departments, pieces of equipment or other loads individually to account for their actual energy usage.

Why should I Submeter?Increasing energy costs are frequently the largest variable expense for commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-family facilities. The installation of submeters provides a variety of benefits to the building owner as well as the tenants:

- Record actual energy usage (no estimation)

- Analytical tool for allocating costs to tenants, departments, CAM

- Analytical tool for energy management

- Compliance with green building initiatives

- Measurement & verification of energy conservation programs

What are the Benefits of Submetering?

There are a variety of benefits including:

- Accurate energy monitoring

- Provides actual usage data eliminating the need for square foot estimates

- Submeters are accurate and certified to meet/exceed national accuracy standards

- Concise energy management tool. Submetering easily ties into building/energy management systems to provide detailed energy data giving users maximum control over their energy usage. Remote monitoring by Automatic Meter Reading system acts as a “watchdog” to keep an eye on performance, the bottom line is that maximum control = maximum savings and submetering provides the tools necessary for maximum control.

- Promotes energy savings. You can’t manage what you don’t monitor-it is impossible to effectively manage energy without first knowing exactly how, when and where it is used. Accurate knowledge of where energy is being used is the first step to create a savings program while constant monitoring allows the user to gauge the ongoing effectiveness of the building’s energy savings programs.

- Positive environmental inpact. Every kilowatt-hour of electrical energy saved reduces pollution by 1.5 lbs carbon dioxide (CO2), 5.8 grams sulpher dioxide (SO2) and 2.5 grams nitrous oxide (NOx).

- Ease of use & flexible installation. Compact meters install in practically any available space and can monitor any size circuit from main distribution to a single branch circuit.

- Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) allows reading of meters at any time, day or night in any weather condition, from anywhere in the world via your PC.

How do I Actually Submeter My Building?Submetering can be as simple or as complex as your application requires. You can install one meter, add meters later and also upgrade to a complete metering system. A basic submetering project includes:

1. Outlining loads/tenants to be monitored.

2. Contacting Energy Management Systems to order and install your submeters on the loads specified.

3. Reading meters and allocating costs to tenants, departments, equipment, common areas or other loads.

4. For a more advanced system you can interface with AMR (Automatic Metering Software) for faster bill generation as well as creating energy usage charts and graphs to support energy conservation/load management efforts.

What Utilities Can I Submeter?All utilities can be submetered. EMS offers a complete portfolio of third-party products for monitoring electric, water, gas, BTU, etc.

Does EMS  install / repair / replace  meters?Yes.  We have a Service department.They can be reached at Service@ems3.com

We recommend that you discuss any possible service issues with your Account Representative first.

What is a deduct meter?A deduct meter calculates usage by subtracting one meter reading from another meter reading. Deduct meter calculations are used to determine usage of an unmetered space that is part of two other metered spaces.

What kind of technical support is available to us from EMS?At EMS, our goal is to provide the support and services required by our clients. Both telephone and email support are provided; other support such as on-site service and consulting can also be provided.

How can our management team keep track of billing, usage, and other factors of interest?Management uses its own secure internet access provided through the EMS website. Members of the management team are assigned logins and passwords that give them access to up-to-date reports and tracking information. Reports are provided in PDF format.

In addition to standard reports, your organization may wish EMS to develop a download file in order to upload billing information directly in to your property management software.

Can EMS manage billing for other services we might offer our residents? Garbage pickup, for example?Absolutely! Whatever services you offer—garbage pickup, waste disposal, cable, Internet access, and so on—can be billed by EMS. This also simplifies matters for your residents, who receive a single bill rather than dealing with multiple bills.

What can EMS do to improve our cost efficiency?EMS provides Reading, Billing, and Payment Processing services for your multi-family community utility use. That is, we Read the usage for each unit, we Bill the unit resident, and we Process and Collect the monthly charges. Whether your units are submetered or use a RUBS allocation or other method to determine per-unit expenses, we remove the burden of these tasks from your management team, saving you time and money.

In addition, we offer inclusive submetering system design, installation, and support services.

Everyone is talking about “Going Green” what does that mean and how does submetering support green efforts?“Going Green” includes a variety of programs and initiatives to reduce energy and support the environment. Submetering is an inherently green product as it promotes energy awareness and energy conservation for building owners as well as energy users.  By holding tenants accountable for their usage you may see an overall reduction of energy costs for the facility as users tend to reduce their usage if they are held accountable for it. 

What is a common area allocation?Measuring, computing, and apportioning energy usage in areas such a lobby, hallway, parking lot, or elevator are referred to as common area allocations.

One of my tenants is a tax exempt organization. How do I get sales tax removed on this tenant’s utility bill?Send your EMS account representative written notice of any non-profit, religious, or charitable organization tenants in your building. The account representative will make the necessary adjustments for your tax exempt tenant.   

Why can’t the meter reader notify EMS when someone moves in or out of a unit?At EMS we strive to capture and document the most accurate information available on behalf of our property managers or billing owners. EMS will only process account updates from an authorized person at each property management office. A meter reader may not have knowledge of a tenant’s actual move date. This infornation is best verified and supplied to EMS by each building’s tenant coordinator.

Why is the Utility company bill higher than the amount that EMS recovers from my tenants each month?There are several reasons why this may occur. Perhaps usage from your building’s common areas (lobby, hallway, elevator, or parking lot lighting) is not submetered. Or, there may be meters in your building that EMS currently does not read that should be included in each month’s report. Malfunctioning meters might also be the cause of this problem. Did you know that the typical lifespan of a meter is about 10 years? If you’ve explored these possibilities on your own, and are unable to determine the cause of the shortfall, EMS has a dedicated consulting department ready to conduct a utility survey, or an energy audit which will find the missing pieces of your energy bill puzzle.

Does the meter reader know if a meter is functioning correctly?He may notice a damaged meter, but he is not trained to diagnose meter accuracy.

How do I contact EMS?Call or email your Account Representative.  Their name is on the Current Charges Report.It is also on the website.  After you select a Property from the drop down list the Account Rep name, email address and telephone # is right under the Property name. Hours: Monday through Friday   8:30a.m. – 4:30p.m est.

Can the tenants access the EMS  website?Yes.  But they can only access their own information.

(View Back of Bill)

- You can get a financial transaction history of their own account (view, download, print, save).

- You can access (view, download, print, save) copies of their bills.

- You can communicate questions and some changes (by email) to our Customer Service dept.

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