RUBS - Ratio Utility Billing
System for Multifamily Properties
What is a RUBS System?
RUBS is a customized system for allocating utility
costs to residents for most utilities, including:
Water and sewer
RUBS - A Solution to Submetering
RUBS can be implemented in apartment, multifamily,
condominium, office, retail and other multi-unit
properties. RUBS if often utilized in situations where
there are space, construction or cost constraints that
don't allow for submetered units.
RUBS billing is a method that calculates a resident's
utility bill based on an pre-calculated formula. The
actual utility bill for the property is distributed to
each resident based on this formula. The formula is
determined based on several variables including:
Number of beds/baths
Number of water fixtures
Different variables may be used for different
utilities and are typically determined by state and
local regulations. Each state and municipality sets
rules regarding what criteria can be used for RUBS
billing. In general, there are six basic RUBS formulas
used throughout the industry.
RUBS Implementation Cost
The ultimate solution to allocating utility costs to
individual units is through submetering. However, the
plumbing or electrical configuration in many properties
prohibits submeter implementation due to cost or
construction constraints. The implementation of a RUBS
system requires no initial capital investment.
RUBS Encourages Water and Energy Conservation
When a RUBS system is implemented and utility costs
are transferred from the building owner to the tenant
it's natural to assume water and energy consumption will
decrease. By allocating a portion of the property
utility costs, residents can see the connection between
usage and cost. By separating utility costs from rent,
water and energy conservation is encouraged.
Recent water conservation studies sponsored by the
National Multi-Housing Council and the National
Apartment Association have found properties that use a
RUBS allocation formula to distribute water costs had a
reduction of 6 to 27 percent in water usage.
How Does a RUBS System Work
A complete property analysis is completed. This
includes an analysis to determine the need and goal
of the proposed RUBS program.
Notices are issued to residents to inform them of
the RUBS program.
Building, unit and resident information is uploaded
to a billing system and verified for accuracy by
Copies of recent master utility bills are obtained,
analyzed and added to the billing system.
Once the proper notification time has elapsed and/or
as new residents move in, individual utility bills
are created on a monthly basis.
Utility bills are sent directly to residents.
Tenants submit utility payments to the billing
A monthly utility reimbursement check is then sent
to the owner or management company in charge of