Energy efficiency
Meter installation
Cost management
”Individual metering is far more effective at reducing water consumption than joint billing. We can see this in the housing divisions that now have individual water meters. People go from not caring to having a much greater interest in it, and they become much more conscious that it costs money every time you turn a tap on. It’s pure consumer behaviour.” Niels Munthe, Energy Manager at ALBOA.

Energy saving consumers

The public housing association ALBOA is responsible for the administration and leasing of approx. 7,000 homes distributed across 80 housing divisions. The majority of the homes are in multi-storey buildings that were built in a period stretching from the end of the 50s to the start of the 70s. However, the portfolio also includes more modern buildings, such as low-rise terrace houses. A pair of new low-energy housing divisions were added in more recent times, and several of these homes already meet the energy requirements for 2020.

The major difference between the divisions is not just the housing stock, it’s also the way water and energy metering is carried out. Today, around a third of ALBOA‘s 80 housing divisions have individual water meters installed, while another third has no individual meters installed at all. The remaining third of residents are billed directly by the utility company.

”We haven’t set any specific energy and climate targets in ALBOA. We can start some initiatives and give energy efficiency a push in the right direction, but at the end of the day, it’s the residents who pay, so it’s they who decide. In saying that, many of our residents really want to be green and energy conscious. In general, ALBOA’s energy consumption has fallen in the last few years. We’re also involved in energy projects all the time. It may be investments in new windows, insulation or the renovation of installations,” says Niels.

"A housing division with 156 leases reduced its water consumption by 50% after individual meters were installed. In round figures, they save 6,000 cubic metres. In the final analysis, this means the tenants benefit from annual savings of around DKK 300,000.” 

Niels Munthe, Energy Manager at ALBOA.

Individual metering makes perfect sense

Even though individual water metering may look like a good deal for all of the parties involved, the energy manager admits that rolling it out to all of the divisions in the housing association is not that simple. Every investment increases the rent, so there has to be a financial gain for the residents. This is why ALBOA makes precise economic calculations before they install individual meters in residents’ homes. And there can be major differences in its effect, from housing division to housing division, and from apartment to apartment.
When ALBOA is doing pipe renovations today, they always install new meters or leave room for them to be installed in the future since the additional costs are limited. ALBOA’s experience to date has shown that its residents have been really positive about individual meters once they are in operation. ”It makes perfect sense and it’s something most people can understand, so you don’t end up paying for the neighbour taking a bath four times a day. Of course some people get a bit of a surprise when the first bill arrives, but even those with extreme levels of water use, significantly reduce their consumption once they have a water meter installed,” says Niels.
ALBOA’s energy manager adds that in the years to come, more and more housing divisions will start measuring individual consumption. “I expect that over the next few years, we will see a great many of the housing divisions have meters installed. This is partly because we must renovate the older piping systems anyways, and partly due to the new legislation which says that water meters must be installed unless an economic calculation shows that it is not cost-effective”. With examples of impressive reductions in water consumption and significant financial savings, ALBOA is certainly an example of how cost effective it can be to Kamstrup’s intelligent water meters.


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Time frame: On-going since 2000