Council committee to tackle what some claim is a new loophole for landlords
Landlords' group says suite meters are a fair way for tenants to budget their power consumption
Date Written: 13/10/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
There's growing concern among municipal politicians and tenants advocates about a relatively new practice by landlords called "suite metering" -- and the issue's set to be discussed at city hall Friday. Suite metering allows landlords to stop supplying electricity to their tenants, and instead hire a broker who installs a meter in each unit. The tenant then pays rent to the landlord, and a separate monthly electricity payment to the broker.
The idea began as a green initiative. The idea was to allow tenants the ability to decide when, and how much, power they used, under the assumption that most will choose to reduce their consumption.
But according to the report, newcomers and lower-income families don't always have the luxury of choice.
"Low income households often have the least capacity to shift energy use," it reads. "The negative financial impacts of suite metering may disproportionately impact low-income and vulnerable households, including those who must access peak-priced utilities for health reasons (e.g. those needing hydro for medical equipment).
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