Make RUBS Part of Your Long-term Financial Investment Health Strategy

Posted by Livable Content Team on Jan 29, 2023 10:48:00 AM

AdobeStock_399081787With utility costs continuing to climb while rents and unit demand are dropping, the best way to  improve your bottom line is to implement a ratio utility billing system (RUBS), an inexpensive and easy way to make tenants financially responsible for their usage and incentivize conservation. 

Housing providers who use RUBS often enjoy double-digit decreases in costs in their buildings that implement  our innovative program. For example, in a fully occupied 4-unit building, water and electricity use went down 31% in the first year after implementing a customizable RUBS system.

“With our RUBS program, building residents quickly adopt a conservation culture,” explains Daniel Sharabi, CEO of Livable. 

Livable clients have seen similar reductions across other property sizes, with even a 300-unit building showing a 24% reduction in usage and an 89% recovery rate for the owner. In this case, that meant over $180,000 recovered in just one year of RUBS. While Livable can achieve that success for large properties, the system is geared toward independent rental owners (IRO's) and has no minimum unit requirements. Property owners living in half a duplex and renting out the other half can benefit as much as those who own dozens or hundreds of units. How? 

“We always see reduced consumption after RUBS is implemented, and that’s true in buildings with four units or 400 units. Since housing providers are able to regain close to 90% of their water and energy costs through RUBS, they can choose to pay a bit more of these utility bills during uncertain economic times," Sharabi says.

Simply seeing the costs associated with their consumption can substantially decrease utility use among residents andAdobeStock_114843897 increase the timeliness of leak reporting, especially when housing providers maintain an atmosphere in which tenants can report small problems without fear of negative feedback or reprisal. (Blaming residents for normal wear and tear like a running toilet due to a worn out tank flap doesn't encourage them to promptly report problems that can be fixed cheaply and easily!) 

Beginning in late 2022, rental prices began to soften across the United States, with consecutive drops in each month of Q4. Simultaneously, more communities are considering rent control measures, some of which restrict bill recovery programs like RUBS. It's more important than ever for housing providers to enroll in RUBS so they are "grandfathered" in if a rent control measure like the one now in effect in Pasadena, California is passed. And of course, utility prices continue to climb. 

In this kind of market for housing providers, maintaining a healthy net operating income can be a challenge, and recovering master-billed utilities is an essential piece of that puzzle. “Even in a tough market, RUBS just makes sense over the long run," Sharabi says. 

RUBS doesn't require the investment of a submetering system - we easily, legally and affordably allow property owners and managers to shed much of the expense of ever-escalating utility costs while doing something good for the planet too. What's good for the planet is good for your wallet!  

If you’re ready to enroll your building in our RUBS program and start saving,

book a call with our team today!



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In California, it is no surprise that air conditioners are a regular appliance in many buildings. Did you know it is important to service your air conditioner? Maintenance such as replacing or cleaning air filters regularly can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15%. The first day of spring is the perfect time to clean an air conditioner’s evaporator coil, which should be cleaned annually this will ensure the unit is performing at optimal levels.

RUBS climate change Housing developers Utility savings Rent control cost recovery