As a property manager, you're always looking for ways to maximize operational efficiency and minimize utility loss. One often overlooked area among utilities is the water bill. In most cases, property managers and landlords don't pay enough attention to water use. But, if you've ever received a high water bill or ever discovered a frozen pipe that burst and caused costly water damage, you start to think about how to minimize water related costs.
Water is the new fire. Water related issues account for the number 1 insurance claim in Canada. The price of water is increasing every year. For example, from 2005-2015, water rates increased an average of 3.8% every year in Ontario - that's more than property tax increased. Rather than react to unexpected water costs, it is possible to be proactive and minimize surprise water costs.
Here are 5 reasons why you should track your water use in real-time.
Depending on the city your property is in, your water bill might be sent to you monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. With real-time water use data, you have immediate insight into water consumption around the clock. The Flowie water sensor measures real-time water use to 99% accuracy, meaning you can work to reduce the cost of a water bill in advance of receiving it. This also leads to better utility budgeting and the elimination of surprise bills.
Every property has a water usage profile. It's like a fingerprint that identifies what typical water use looks like. Do tenants or occupants typically use 3 cubic meters from 8 AM to 9 AM every weekday but never on the weekend? Well, with unusual water alerts, if something is using water on Sunday at 8 AM - which deviates from the profile - you'll get a notification on your phone. By monitoring water use in real-time, you have immediate knowledge of the goings on at your property.
If a property is supposed to be vacant, water consumption should be 0. Any water use above 0 indicates a potential flood or leak, and you'll be able to take proactive steps to avoid a high bill or water damage.
During the period when water meters were expanded in Canada from 1991 until now, water consumption dropped significantly. That's because water users were more aware of how much water they were consuming. This effect of increased awareness is amplified when you see water use up to the minute. Alert Labs' customers reduce their water by 18% on average after installing Flowie. This is like getting 2 months of water for free each year!
The level of usage detail is greatly enhanced with real-time water use sensors. For example, if a furnace humidifier system turns on at 3 AM, tracking the water consumption of this specific appliance becomes possible. Water inefficient appliances can be replaced or repaired, saving money in consumption and reducing wasted water.
Installing property automation sensors means that they time spent making onsite investigations can be shortened significantly. When you monitor a property remotely, onsite investigations can be better prioritized according to those properties that have triggered water use alerts. Ensuring that vacant properties are safe from water damage is also much easier when sensors monitor 24/7.
The most common source of leaks at multi-residential properties is the toilet. Just 1 leaky toilet can waste an average of 946 L water a day. In Toronto, the cost of a cubic meter is $2.66. That means 1 leaky toilet can cost $918.47 a year. Having 10 leaky toilets throughout multiple properties could mean wasting more than $9,000 every year! When water use is being monitored in real-time, these immensely wasteful events can be avoided.
The advent of smart properties and IoT sensors means improved property management and boosted operational efficiency. Alert Labs empowers property managers with important water analytics and emergency events such as power outages, leaks, floods, and pipe freezing temperatures.
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