Apartment buildings built when electric power was inexpensive often have a single meter for the entire building. Upgrading the building to add utility company meters to each unit can be very expensive – thousands of dollars per unit. Installing submeters and billing the tenants for the power they use tends to lower the total electric bill as tenants start to conserve when forced to pay for the power they use.
Some large apartment buildings have three-phase power, while most individual units only have two phases of it. A 3-wire, single-phase meter will work in most cases. Be sure to determine what is needed for your particular site. Many apartment meters have Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) installed to aid in billing tenants. As a general rule, meters should not be installed inside an apartment or condo unless it is connected to an AMR system.
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