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The submetering effect: How billing and metering influence tenant water usage

Updated: Apr 29

Water is a precious resource that sustains life, and its conservation is a responsibility we all share. In the realm of rental properties, a fascinating phenomenon emerges when tenants are directly responsible for paying their water bills or when water usage is submetered. Suddenly, the relationship between water consumption and personal finances becomes intimately intertwined, leading to a significant reduction in water usage. In this blog post, we will delve into the intriguing reasons behind why tenants tend to use less water when they foot the bill or when usage is measured by meters.

Financial Incentive Spurs Mindful Consumption

The most apparent reason for reduced water usage lies in the financial incentive it presents. When tenants bear the cost of their water usage, they are acutely aware of the impact their habits have on their wallets. A higher water bill resulting from wasteful practices, such as leaving taps running or ignoring leaks, becomes a direct expense. This monetary motivation encourages tenants to be more cautious about their water usage, fostering a mindset of mindfulness and thriftiness.

Personal Responsibility Breeds Action

When tenants are accountable for their water bills, they are more likely to take immediate action to address leaks and maintenance issues. The prospect of a rising bill provides a powerful push to fix a dripping faucet or a running toilet promptly. This proactive approach not only prevents wastage but also cultivates a sense of ownership and responsibility toward the rented space.

Behavioral Shifts for Environmental Well-being

While financial considerations are compelling, the larger environmental impact cannot be ignored. Tenants who pay their water bills or face metered usage often develop a heightened awareness of their ecological footprint. This awareness, combined with the desire to minimize their impact on the planet, results in behavioral changes that promote water conservation. Shorter showers, efficient appliance usage, and diligent leak detection are all part of this conscious effort to reduce water wastage.

Empowerment Through Conservation

Paying the water bill or facing metered usage empowers tenants to take control of their consumption patterns. This newfound empowerment encourages them to explore innovative ways to save water and subsequently contribute to a sustainable future. The satisfaction that comes from making a positive impact fuels a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue practicing water-efficient habits.'

Cultural Norms and Social Influence

Societal norms and cultural values play a pivotal role in shaping behaviors. In regions where water conservation is a widely accepted norm or where environmental consciousness is a social expectation, tenants are more likely to align their habits with these values when they are financially responsible for water usage. Peer influence and the desire to conform to social standards further encourage water-saving behaviors.


The connection between personal finances and water usage is a potent catalyst for positive change. When tenants assume the responsibility of paying their water bills or are confronted with metered usage, a remarkable transformation takes place. They become water conservation advocates, championing a cause that benefits not only their bank accounts but also the environment at large. The financial incentive, coupled with a sense of empowerment and environmental stewardship, forms a powerful combination that drives tenants to use less water and contribute to a more sustainable world.



Take control of your water usage and save money with our submetering system.

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