The Utility Billing Services Blog

Information and news about utility billing services

Article - Don't be afraid to switch utility billing providers

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Does this describe the utility billing situation at your multifamily property?

If you’re experiencing problems with your current utility billing services provider or receive daily and recurring calls from angry tenants, you’re not alone. The following are actual complaints from multifamily owners and property managers regarding their utility companies:

The billing company added a service fee to the last month’s bill without our notification. In two days, we received 55 calls from residents complainingA tenant renting a one bedroom studio brought in her current water/sewer bill. The amount due was $1,000Their customer service is really poor. They can’t answer simple questions, they don’t have any authority to fix problems, and they don’t really seem to care

 

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Article - How to calculate a RUBS water bill

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 Increase revenues without increasing rents

Many apartment owners and property managers are curious about how Ratio Utility Billing Systems (RUBS) are used to calculate resident water and sewer bills. This article includes two videos that explain how to calculate a RUBS water/sewer bill for up to ten (10) apartment units. It also includes a complimentary spreadsheet you can use to make the calculations.

Instructions for using the spreadsheet are written below. Please note that AmCoBi assumes no liability for your utility billing operations or the calculations made with the RUBS Billing Worksheet. Contact us if you have any questions.

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Article - A small group of tenants may be doubling your multifamily utility costs

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When utilities are included in an apartment complex's rent, some tenants are naturally going to consume more than others. High utility users, even if they represent a small group of tenants, can substantially increase costs. Since these cost increases are effectively hidden in the rent, those residents who use utilities responsibly subsidize those who don't.

A question to consider then is how much are high users increasing utility expenses? Does it make financial sense for an owner to include utilities or bill tenants directly? If an owner does decide to transition away from the utilities included model, what options are available?

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Article - Multifamily Owners: Including utilities may be killing your profits

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Learn how to protect your NOI

If your multifamily complex includes utilities in the rental fee, brace yourself. Utility cost increases are coming your way that may erode your hard-earned profits. Even more concerning is that you're responsible for a sizable expense that you have little or no control over. The "utilities included" model puts you squarely at the financial mercy of tenants, their usage tendencies, and utility companies. "Utilities included" also means that you have to be an accurate budget forecaster to ensure that your rental rates cover the annual utility expenses. Miss the mark and it's you who'll pay.

The exciting news is that you can quickly and easily change this situation by separating utilities from the rent fee and billing tenants directly--at no cost to you. By doing this, you'll make a positive and immediate impact on your net operating income (NOI) and the value of your property. From a price perspective, your complex will be more appealing to prospective tenants and you'll have effectively removed yourself from the utility equation altogether. Billing residents means no more worrying about the effects of runaway tenant usage and it leads to higher profits.

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Article - Selecting an effective multifamily utility billing services provider

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Choosing a vendor

If you own or manage multifamily residential units--apartments, condominiums, student housing, affordable housing, manufactured homes, or military housing--you are probably involved in utility billing in some fashion. Utility expenses for these types of properties can be substantial so most owners look for effective ways to manage these costs.

 

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Article - AmCoBi interviewed by Multi-Housing News Online

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AmCoBi was recently interviewed by Jessica Fiur, News Editor at Multi-Housing News MHN Online for an article titled "Increasing Revenue, Not Rents, With Utility Billing Systems." Ms. Fiur discusses how billing residents for their share of the utilities can prevent rent increases and lower overall costs.

The two primary approaches for billing residents for utilities involve:

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Article - AmCoBi article featured in Multi-Housing News Online

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MHN provides the leaders of the multi-housing industry with the most current and complete news, information and analysis in print and online to help them run their businesses more efficiently and profitably. The online magazine recently featured AmCoBi's article titled, "How Much Money Is Your Multifamily Community Losing?"

Click here to read the full article.

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Article - AmCoBi contributes to NAA's Units Magazine

Units Magazine April 2010

AmCoBi was recently interviewed by Jeffrey Lee for an article titled “Sensible Submetering: Apartment providers find both financial and conservation benefits from charging utilities to residents”, that was recently published in the National Apartment Association’s Units Magazine, April 2010 issue. AmCoBi was a contributor to the section on "Data Mines."

 

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Article - How Much Money Is Your Multifamily Complex Losing

Blog Losing$How Much Money Is Your Multifamily Complex Losing?

Owner loses nearly $200,000. Find out why and how you can avoid this situation.

How much money do you estimate was lost?" We put this question to a multifamily owner whose complexes total nearly 500 units. His answer was shocking. "Nearly $200,000 over three to four years." Our next question was obvious..."How?"

"It was very difficult to identify," the owner replied. "Each year, the amount of money we paid for our master-meter water and sewer bills increased, but the amount we recovered from our resident utility billing program slowly decreased. We relied on a billing provider to manage the process for us but the losses happened gradually enough that we didn't catch the errors."

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Video – How to Calculate a RUBS Water/Sewer Bill – Part 1

To watch "How to Calculate a RUBS Water/Sewer Bill – Part 2", click here. For more information on AmCoBi's utility billing services, contact us .
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Video – How to Calculate a RUBS Water/Sewer Bill – Part 2

To watch "How to Calculate a RUBS Water/Sewer Bill – Part 1", click here. For more information on AmCoBi's utility billing services, contact us .
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