Our son has bought a unit in a block of six in a regional city near us.
We are curious about whether we can help him get his own water and electricity meters. He will allow us to act on his behalf with the body corporate.
We’ve found the link for the water, in blocks of units between 2 and six they should have their own meter. Can’t find the power one on any of the web pages. He has his own power provider though so he must have a separate meter but we don’t know where it is.
He would be eligible for solar power rebates and his unit is at the front facing North.
Would he be able to have the meters for his property moved to his property? I guess if he did they would all want it.
Legally it looks to me as though the water ones should always have been on each property.
Not sure if I’ve explained this very well, hope so.
Our son has bought a unit in a block of six in a regional city near us.
You may need to advise which State or Territory you are dealing with.
Victoria, thanks for the prompt.
In some buildings depending on the design of the provision of utilities it can be almost impossible for metering to be individually deployed once the service is in place. Having an engineer look at it might be the first step in getting some clarity as to where they are now placed and if moving them is at all possible.
Some Strata Title properties have some shared common utilities eg hot water, which cost is then just divided between unit owners with no regard to who uses how much.
In most states, any improvements to external of the unit (such as on external walls or roof) would need approval of the body corporate. There could also be issues in relation to how individual ownership (such as one owning solar panels) works when it is located on a body corporate asset (roof). One needs to consider insurance implications as well as access for installation and ongoing maintenance.
Power meters are owned by the metering company (usually also the local distribution network provider) and can’t be removed from where they are installed.
If it was possible (he needs to discuss this with the body corporate to see if it is possible) to install a separate meter for his unit, he will need to make a request to the metering company for this. This is usually done through the electricity retailer he purchases his power through.
Thats the problem in a way, if youre frugal with water, who wants to be paying for someone else’s overuse?
With the issue of solar, it would good if you could see the meter to track your usage.
One of the residents who lives there told us all the meters were in one of the units’ back yards, which seems a but weird. You would think they’d be on a piece of common property.
With older developments vs newer developments, some practices and rules change. Each state is the same but different. That’s from experience having lived in two and with family in another 3. And sometimes it varies between different areas - council rules from way back.
One useful observation other than the approx age of the units is how they are constructed. The six sound like standalone townhouses with perhaps a shared dividing firewall and separate roof spaces. Alternately all 6 could be enclosed by the one set of walls and share a common roof space. It does make a difference to how the services are provided and in some states the body corporate or owners corp, common property definitions.
Separate water meters might be an easy upgrade, subject to approval of the Owners Corp and water utility provider. If on a shared main it may not be so simple and become very expensive. The local water supplier should be able to clarify any requirements. Ours in another state requires the meters to be all at the front boundary of the lot (street front), hence very expensive to run new separate mains to each townhouse. More so due to the 50m of mesh reinforced concrete access drive in between. Hopefully your circumstances are less complex. It is worthwhile enquiring or as @grahroll suggested previously having a professional look at the property to advise.
Years ago it was quite common in the state where i live , Victoria , to build multiple units on a property and only have one water meter . This was never satisfactory in my case as the owners of Unit 1 had 3 cars and washed them every week end .
When I became secretary of the Body Corporate , now known as the Owners Corporation , I immediately notified the other 2 owners of my intention to have separate water meters installed . They agreed and the problem was solved . My water bill dropped by nearly one half …
If he is on Ausnet you can sign up for an Ausnet account and see it there, updated once per day. I am not sure what other network suppliers offer. Most solar systems also report it. Some inverters are web servers and others report to a company server that you connect to. Thus not having the meter handy is at most a very minor inconvenience.
My enphase reporting looks like this so one can see consumption, generation, and export.
The Ausnet myhomeenergy site has a few options to report - this one being the hourly costs. Below the line is export, from yesterday.
and here, the net costs per day from the previous week and includes the daily charge. The weather has been unkind to PV systems recently.
It’s a block from the 70s, like 6 little houses separated by their garages.
Depending on where the conduit, pipes. and wires travel under, through, and above this may mean the problem may be a very expensive fix (if even possible) to get individual meters for any particular property moved or installed.
Getting some true insight to where the meters are now, where the utilities run through, will give you greater clarity as to your options. The plans for the property if they are available may help, also as I suggested above having a site inspection by a professional might also be well worth the cost of their services. Sadly guessing many times only confuses and can lead to misunderstandings and cost blowouts.
It could be that they are located on or near the boundary within the area dedicated for the first unit (closest to the street). Usually the distance services extend into a property is minimised by the utility provider as the further in their connection point (or point of responsibility) is in the property, the more challenging it is to manage. Access issues, increase risk of accidental damage (and associated public liability) etc start to come into play.
It is worth siting down with the body corporate/property manager to see what the situation is and what options may be possible.
Guessing what may or may be possible without intimately knowing the unit development may give you the wrong impression or steer you up the garden path.
I’ve seen numerous installations where the water is shared between all units whether joined or detached, and the power meters are all installed in the unit closest to the point of supply, regardless of whether this meter is on common area. Wherever the meters are, access typically must be provided to the relevant authority - and one would assume access would be provided to the unit owner/tenant who holds the account associated with that meter, but that seems a little more gray …
If he can have his own account, there must be a specific meter for his unit somewhere !
I agree, we’ll have to pin him down and see how much he knows.
All these replies have been very helpful, I appreciate you taking the time
A long time since this topic was active. This only applies to new builds but is a step forward.
I’m aware of multi unit complexes that utilise a single gas meter and/or shared hot water service. There is no independent metering or way of determining use.
The Owners Corp or Body Corporate may pay for the supply to the building. Hence the cost is shared between all unit owners. It’s also an unfair arrangement in that lower usage owners subsidise the larger users through the strata fees.