Connecticut Expands Energy Sub-Metering
By: Fred Klein
Posted on: July 22, 2014
Up until very recently, only campgrounds and marinas could
sub-meter electricity usage. This meant
that landlords were prohibited by law from sub-metering electricity to their
tenants. As a result, any allocation of
electricity use was limited to imprecise formulas based on factors such as
square footage, number of appliances, or the like. Consequently, there was little incentive for tenants
to conserve their energy use since it had no financial impact.
That is all about to change.
Last year, the Legislature passed Public Act 13-298, which expands sub-metering
- commercial, industrial, multifamily residential or multiuse buildings where the electric power or thermal energy is provided by a Class I Renewable Energy Source or a Combined Heat and Power system, or
- in any other location as approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (“PURA”) where sub-metering promotes the state's energy goals.
On July 14, 2014, PURA
issued a Draft Interim Decision proposing new rules for sub-metering where
there is no on-site generation. (Rules
for sub-metering sites with generation will be issued following further
proceedings.) The new rules, if adopted,
- Sub-metering will be allowed in
buildings or campuses that are currently master-metered if it is likely to
lead to energy conservation.
- Landlords must apply to PURA to register before
they may sub-meter.
- The meters must be utility
grade capable of ± 0.5% or ± 0.2% accuracy
range depending on the type of meter and must be tested periodically.
- Sub-meters must be
installed in accordance with all applicable codes and standards, including
the National Electrical Safety Code, the National Electrical Code, and
state and local electric codes.
- All tenants in a single
building or complex must be sub-metered or sub-metering will not be
- Landlords may not make a
profit on the energy bills. The
total monthly utility bills must be allocated among tenants based upon
metered usage. The calculation is
designed to ensure that sub-metered parties pay for only their
usage. The cost of electricity provided to common areas, such as
hallways and garages, will remain the responsibility of the landlord and
must not be included in the tenants’ electric bill.
- Landlords may not charge
tenants a separate electric bill based on sub-metering if electricity
costs are included in their rent or otherwise already collected from tenants.
Also, sub-meter billing cannot commence until sub-meter billing is
performed for all parties. Further, to facilitate customer auditing,
expenses incurred by the sub-metering customer for meter reading, meter
testing and billing may not be included in the tenants’ electric bill.
- Landlords will also be
subject to consumer protection rules, including prohibitions against
termination of service, records retention policies, limitations on
security deposit requirements, segregation of rental and electricity
payments, and the need to develop written terms and conditions of
Recognizing that some landlords may have been sub-metering
without prior PURA approval, PURA will accept applications for prior
unauthorized sub-metering that has not been the subject of Authority/DPUC
proceedings provided that an application has been submitted and received by the
Authority, including any processing fees, no later than six months after the
date of the Interim Decision.
This Alert was authorized by Fred Klein, partner in the Regulatory Department at Pullman & Comley, LLC.
© 2014 Pullman & Comley, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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