Multi-Family Water Meter Program
The City of Richmond's water metering program encourages water conservation and provides an equitable way for residents to pay for water use. With single-family residential, industrial, and commercial water use already metered, the City is now gradually implementing mandatory metering of multi-family complexes.
Over 480 multi-family complexes are already metered as of the end of 2021. All remaining unmetered multi-family complexes are scheduled to be metered over the next 15 years, starting in 2022.
The City will contact complexes ahead of their planned meter installation date to begin coordination. The installation costs will be fully covered by the City.
After the water meter is installed, the strata will be billed based on the metered consumption of the entire complex. The City will send a consolidated bill to the strata with all of the items that are currently on each unit's utility bill transferred to the strata. Water and sewer charges will be billed quarterly and the other items (flood protection, yard trimmings, blue box, waste management, large item pick-up) will be billed annually. Water and sewer charges already paid by individual units will be pro-rated and credited to the property tax accounts.
- Equitable billing: Water metering allows your complex to only pay for the water that you use. It enables residents to take control of their own water bills.
- Cost savings: In 2019, 98% of metered complexes saved on their water and sewer bills compared to the flat rate. Savings vary based on factors such as the amenities present, the appliances used, the number of occupants and the usage habits of occupants; however, on average, complexes with a water meter saved approximately 46% in water and sewer fees compared to the flat rate.
- Water conservation: Water metering encourages residents to be more conscious about water use and helps identify and fix leaks to reduce unnecessary water loss.
What else does the City offer through this program?
The City offers a number of incentives to help multi-family complexes save water and money with a water meter:
- Five-year guarantee: During the first five years after you install a meter, you will not need to pay more than the flat rate. If your metered bill exceeds the flat rate during this time, you can apply to the City for a credit equal to difference in amount.
- Leak Rebates: If your water usage increases because of a leak, you will be eligible to have your bill adjusted after the leak is fixed.
- FREE Water Saving Devices: All participants in the Multi-Family Water Metering Program are eligible to request low flow adapters for showers, toilets and sinks. These devices can save up to an additional 8% on your water and sewer bills.
- Toilet Rebate Program: Homeowners who install a low-flush toilet through the City's Toilet Rebate Program may receive a $100 rebate credit per toilet replacement, up to a maximum of $200 per unit.
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
For inquiries about the program, installing a water meter at your complex, or to request a water-saving device or a leak adjustment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-276-4179.
For inquiries related to your water bill, including when you will be billed, how to pay and what the billing rate is, please contact the City of Richmond's Tax Department at 604-276-4145.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can individual meters be installed for each unit to further improve equity?
Does it cost me anything to have a water meter installed?
What are the next steps to have a water meter installed at my complex?
I want to volunteer for a water meter - what do I do now?
What if my metered rate exceeds the flat rate?
How do water meters help conserve water?
Can I revert back to the flat rate after the meter is installed?
How often will I receive a bill under the metered rate?
How will strata divide the water and sewer bill among the various units in my complex
Why are metered water and sewer bills sent quarterly instead of yearly?
What if there is a leak in our underground water service?
Where will my water meter be installed?
How long will the installation take?
Will my plumbing system or hot water tank be affected by the water meter?
Will the meter affect my water pressure?
Where can I get more information?