Digitizing Meter Readings and Tenant Transparency into Submeter Consumption


As is the case in many office portfolios, ownership was relying on a paper-based tenant submetering and billing process. Each month, on-site engineers had to transcribe meter readings to a clipboard, which subsequently was transcribed into spreadsheets and then again into generic invoices.

This process takes a long time, which delays the recovery of utility costs and hampers cash flow. In addition, the multiple transcriptions and lack of backup makes this process error prone and likely to lead to tenant disputes.

Ownership piloted several digital tenant submetering providers. While upgrading submeters to digital, remotely readable devices was the ultimate goal, speed was essential and so the decision was made to first digitize the manual process before making any major capital investments to the submetering infrastructure.


Ownership targeted two downtown high rise office towers for Enertiv to show the capabilities of the platform. Enertiv provided the Meter Reading App, automated tenant billing software, utility bill management and a tenant portal.

Both buildings were set up on the Enertiv Platform in a matter of weeks and the meter reading app saw rapid adoption by the on-site teams.

The process was quickly streamlined. Utility bills were automatically pulled in as soon as they were issued and stored indefinitely. From there, the Meter Reading App automatically created a list of actions for engineers to perform, which includes both entering tenant meter consumption amounts and taking images for backup.

Meter readings are then automatically uploaded to the billing software, which generates and archives tenant bills. In addition, Enertiv was able to set up approval mechanisms before bills were issued, such as when bills changed more than 25% from one month to the next.


Enertiv’s solution was selected by ownership among the competing tenant submetering providers due to the user-friendliness of the software, the hands-on approach by the client success team, and the ability to create a genuine partnership with tenants by providing comparisons to other tenants and displaying environmental impact of their consumption.

In most cases, the metering infrastructure from one building to the next has different makes, models, ages and capabilities making it difficult to scale a new submetering service. However, because the Enertiv Meter Reading App digitizes an existing manual process, it is infrastructure agnostic. This gave ownership confidence to quickly roll the software out across their portfolio.

At the same time, digitizing a manual process maps the infrastructure a byproduct of taking meter readings. This database is now being used to systematically upgrade the metering infrastructure to remotely-readable devices in a way that fits into each property’s budget.

As more buildings are onboarded onto the Meter Reading App and automated tenant billing software, the more valuable the analytics and dashboards included in Enertiv’s software become.

City and state governments are continuously increasing the requirements for reporting on energy consumption and influencing tenant behavior. Digitizing submetering data provides the transparency necessary to stay ahead of the curve.