Let’s face it, writing a utility budget for the first time can seem like throwing darts in a dark room hoping you hit the target. You may get close to the bull’s eye but chances are you’ll miss. Writing a utility budget for a multifamily community is complex but starting with the essentials is a step toward success.
Below is key information you need to begin building an accurate utility budget:
- Property fundamentals: Number of units, floor plan mix, common area features such as pool, clubhouse and other significant water features.
- A current rate schedule from the water provider (which is typically available online). Call and ask the provider what rate would apply to your size community. This will vary by provider so don’t assume and make sure you verify. You will also be noting any fixed charges not based on consumption such as monthly maintenance fees, sewer capacity charges and meter size charges that may apply. Note the frequency of fixed charges which may vary from the provider consumption based charges and adjust formulas accordingly.
- Find out if there are sewer taxes in addition to your sewer charges on the provider bill. Check both state and county tax bills. Look for hidden sewer charges, storm water, bay fees, etc. Again, address frequency as these may hit on a different schedule than other charges.
Click here for the complete article which includes a sample budget template.
By Kate Forsyth, Director of Energy Management for Minol