What is sub-metering?

Water sub-metering is the implementation of a multi-water meter system that allows multi-unit property owners to measure their own individual water usage and be charged for their respective water consumption.

Typical users of sub-metering are units, townhouses, apartment complexes, and commercial buildings.

Is sub-metering mandatory in new developments? 

Yes. On 1 January 2008, the Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code made it mandatory to install sub-meters in all new multi-unit developments and some non-residential premises.

Why is sub-metering useful?

Prior to the introduction of the Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code, it was not mandatory to install water meters within multi-unit residential premises and commercial premises.

Premises such as these built prior to 1 January 2008 typically have a single water meter for the property and are charged for water consumption on a pre-determined apportionment schedule.

This means that in these circumstances, individual unit owners have no knowledge of their individual water use and consequently may not be encouraged to reduce their individual consumption.

Sub-metering enables water service providers such as Unitywater to provide water consumption information to individual unit owners and directly charge those owners for their actual water consumption. It’s a fair and equitable solution to ensure the user pays for their usage.

Is sub-metering mandatory in existing developments?

Existing developments are exempt from the conditions of the Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code. This is because it may be impractical to sub-meter all units in the existing complexes.

It is optional whether an existing complex elects to install sub-meters. Should they elect to do so, they will need to follow the same requirements for new premises.

If the owners of the existing development decide to proceed with the installation of a sub-meter, a body corporate resolution is required and the installation is at the cost of the property owner or body corporate.

What is Unitywater’s policy on sub-metering?

In March 2011, Unitywater adopted a sub-metering policy and associated technical specification to address the requirements of the Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code.

A full copy of this policy and the required technical specifications can be downloaded below.

The sub-meter installation and any required automated meter reading equipment is the responsibility of the developer for new developments (post 1 January 2008) and the responsibility of the body corporate for existing complexes that choose to retrofit sub-meters.

Your sub-metering resources are available for download below:

Application to install sub-meters to a new or existing development (PDF)  

Sub-Metering Information Kit (PDF)

Sub-Metering Fact Sheet (PDF)

Sub-Metering Policy (PDF)

Sub-Metering Policy Appendix 1 (PDF)

Sub-Metering Policy Appendix 2 (PDF)

Sub-Metering Technical Specification (PDF)

Notice to the Water Service Provider - Installation of sub-meters (PDF)

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