Multi-Family Water Meter Program
Water meters help conserve water, and provide a fair and equitable way for residents to pay for water use. The City offers a voluntary water meter program for multi-family complexes. Multi-family complexes that are interested in participating can apply to the City to have a water meter installed. This will allow your complex to pay only for the actual amount of water you use, rather than being billed on a flat-rate system.
What happens if we want to install a water meter?
- Applying for a meter: Complexes can collectively apply for a water meter to be installed. Installation requires approval from the strata council or property manager. If your strata is interested, contact email@example.com or 604-276-4179 for more information.
- Meter installation: The City will install a water meter at each of your complex's water service lines. An estimated cost of the installation will be provided to your strata and the City will subsidize up to $100,000 or $1,200 per unit towards the cost of your installation.
- Metered billing: Previously, each unit receives an annual flat rate bill from the City and residents are charged based on average water and sewer use within the City. Once a meter is installed, bills will be sent to your strata quarterly. Water and sewer fees will be calculated based on your actual water usage.
Why install a water meter?
- 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. This equals $430 for the typical townhouse unit and $340 for a typical apartment unit each year.
- 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:
- FREE water saving devices: All property owners with a water meter can request for a free water conservation kit that includes low flow adapters for showers, toilets and sinks.
- 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 adjustments: If your water usage increases because of a leak, you will be eligible to have your bill adjusted for up to two quarters once you fix the leak.
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
Is my complex eligible for a water meter?
My strata does not want to install a water meter. Can i have a meter installed for my unit only?
Can individual meters be installed for each unit to further improve equity?
Does it cost me anything to have a water meter installed?
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?