Less Waste, More Profits for AOA Members
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Recover Up to 90% of Your Utilities with Livable
If you're tired of including utilities with your rent every month, and chipping away at your net operating income, Livable helps put money back in your pocket.
- It works with or without rent-controlled buildings.
- Livable saves you money with no unit minimums - ever!
- It includes water, sewer, and trash.
- Livable Pro is so easy you can manage it yourself!
Did you know...
Water Utility Rates are Rising
Across the country, water utility rates are steadily climbing year over year. A combination of aging systems, fewer resources, and extreme weather have pushed water and wastewater bills up by 30% in less than a decade.
Electricity Costs are Soaring
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the residential electricity price nationwide increased by 1.5% in 2022, and forecasts U.S. winter natural gas bills in 2023 will be 30% higher than last winter.
But You Can Divide and Conquer
A well-planned RUB System can capture and bill a resident's actual usage as accurately as possible. Studies have shown that individually calculated utility bills can reduce water, gas, and electric usage by up to 35%.
Ratio Utility Billing in Your State
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) oversees privately owned utilities including electric, natural gas, water, and sewer companies. However, it doesn’t have authority over public or municipal utilities, like SMUD or the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
CPUC is responsible for regulating natural gas utility services for around 10.8 million customers served by various companies including Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Gas, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southwest Gas, and a few smaller utilities.
Water regulation in California is managed at state, county, and city levels, and involves multiple state agencies. As CPUC only oversees a small percentage of privately owned water utilities, it’s crucial to consult local authorities for property-specific regulations.
California State Senate Bill 7, enacted in September 2016, mandates water submetering in all newly constructed multi-family residences starting January 1, 2018. This law aims to make tenants more responsible for their water consumption, promote conservation, and ensure consumer protection. It also permits the development of additional water regulations, provided they are as strict as the existing ones in the new code section. For details, refer to Article 5, Section 537.3 (c) of SB7 about Multiunit Structures.
*Local ordinances and state laws that determine which utility costs can be recovered through Ratio Utility Billing can and do change, and while we try to keep our database updated regularly, we cannot guarantee that we have the most up-to-date legislation in your area at all times. For that reason, all information and language provided here are for educational purposes only. Livable is providing neither (i) legal advice regarding legal or regulatory requirements for tenant notice or consent nor (ii) any warranty or representation of any kind with respect to this information and the language contained therein, including that the information is suitable for any particular purposes.
- Tenant Billing: Allowed With Restrictions
- Regulations: Since September 2016, California State Senate Bill 7 requires that all multi-family homes built after January 1, 2018, must have water submetering. This means each unit in a multi-family dwelling like an apartment building must measure water usage separately.
Per California Civil Code 1954.216, there’s no specific rule for or against using Ratio Utility Billing Systems (RUBS). So, the common understanding is that since new buildings must have submeters from January 1, 2018, using RUBS isn’t allowed for buildings built after this date. However, for older buildings without submeters, tenants can still be billed individually using RUBS.
To simplify, California Code, Civil Code - CIV § 1954.216 applies mainly to homes where submeters are required or used to bill tenants separately for water. It doesn’t favor or oppose using a ratio utility billing system and only applies to the dwelling units specifically described in the legislation.
- Fees: Water is controlled at the state, county, and city levels with views from several state agencies as well. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) only regulates privately owned water utilities which turns out to be a small percentage of water in the state. Thus, it is important to check local jurisdiction regarding properties. The SB7 code allows for further water rulemaking as long as these controls are at least as stringent as what is in the new code section. (See Sec. 5, Article 5, 537.3 (c))
SB-7 Housing: water meters: multiunit structures - Article 5. Multiunit Structures 537.3. (c) This article does not restrict the existing authority of a water purveyor, city, county, city and county, or other local agency to adopt and implement a program to promote water conservation that includes the installation of water meters and submeters, as required pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 537.1, if the program is at least as stringent as the requirements of this article.
- Sources: California Civil Code Section 1954.216
California Civil Code Div 3-Part 4-Title 5-Ch 2.5 Water Service
CA SB-7 Housing: water meters: multiunit structures
CA PUC Regulation of Public Utilities Division 1 Part 2 Specific Public Utilities
CA Division of Measurement Standards Law
- Last Updated: 09/28/2022
Interested in More Resources?
Livable Pro offers its users access to a library of helpful resources and documentation for Rental Owners and Property Managers. From resident notices to lease addenda, we support customers transitioning onto our platform and implementing RUBS for their Residents.*
Why Choose Livable?
We Handle Billing for You
Livable bills your Residents monthly and provides multiple ways to pay via an easy-to-use Resident Portal.
No Unit Minimums
Livable Pro is the first billing platform designed for the independent rental owner.
Easy to Use
There's no need to learn any new "tricks" to use Livable Pro. We kept it easy so you can get started right away.
How it Works
Setting Up Livable Pro is Quick & Easy
Add Your Properties & Residents
Add each of the properties, including their name and address, that you'd like to enroll in Livable's RUBS program. Then configure each unit by specifying the size and number of residents in each unit.
Add Your Utility Costs
Enter all of the utilities for each property (e.g., water, electricity, gas) through either manual entry or data import. Specify how you'd like to allocate costs (by square footage, occupancy, etc.).
Start Saving Money
Livable Pro calculates potential savings based on the entered utility cost information and allocation methods. With your utilities better divided, watch your net operating income steadily improve!
Join thousands of housing providers and property managers using Livable to offset rising utility costs
Livable benefited my business by offsetting utility expenses through pro rata distribution to the lessee's and during the process reduced water usage by 25%. I no longer have to worry about what the amount of the bill will be as the residents also have an interest in not wasting water.
Livable was an excellent choice. Livable utility management offers a conscious responsibility to the owners and to the renters to ensure that the utility ratio billing is fair for both landlords and residents. Livable lives up to its simple program implementation. They are easy to connect with. I get immediate help if I need it. Thank you Livable.
Livable is an invaluable partner to our organization. For years in our rent-controlled city, the only way to increase the bottom line was through unit turnover. Utility costs increased by as much as 20%/yr, which directly impacted NOI. With Livable, we are able to not only recoup most of our utility costs but also are able to pass through future utility price increases.
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With no unit minimums ever; including water, sewer, and trash; what are you waiting for? Sign up for Livable Pro today to start improving the NOI on your properties. It's so easy, that you can manage it yourself!