Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about King & Queen Apartments, being a tenant and renting, in general.
“RUBS” is an acronym for “ratio utility billing system”. Per § 55-226.2 of Virginia law, “A ‘ratio utility billing system’ means a program that utilizes a mathematical formula for allocating, among the tenants in a building…the actual or anticipated [utility] billings billed to the building…owner from a third-party provider of the utility service. Permitted allocation methods may include formulas based upon square footage, occupancy, number of bedrooms, or some other specific method agreed to by the building…owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease.”
RUBs for Heating Fuel: King & Queen Apartments has a single meter for heating fuel. The meter is read at the beginning of each month and the square footage of an individual dwelling unit (and the office on premises shall also be considered an individual dwelling unit for this purpose) is divided by the total number of square feet contained in the building, to determine that dwelling unit’s percentage of usage (the “Unit Percentage”). The total heating fuel usage for the apartment community as indicated on the monthly meter reading is then multiplied by the applicable Unit Percentage for each dwelling unit to determine the allocated amount for heating fuel usage for each dwelling unit for the month.
RUBs for Heating Fuel for Hot Water: King & Queen Apartments has a single meter for heating fuel for hot water. The meter is read at the beginning of each month and the charges are allocated to each unit based upon the individual unit’s percentage of the total number of occupants living in the apartment community (“Unit Occupancy”). The total heating fuel for hot water usage for the apartment community is indicated on the monthly meter reading is then divided by the applicable Unit Occupancy for each dwelling unit to determine the allocated amount for heating fuel for hot water usage for each dwelling unit for the month.
Electricity: Each dwelling unit at King & Queen Apartments has an individual sub-meter to calculate the electric usage of that apartment. Each sub-meter is read at the beginning of each month and each dwelling unit is charged for that dwelling unit’s electricity usage for the month. The bill is calculated by multiplying the price per kWh by the total number of kWh used.
Heat: The apartment community has a main, hot water heating system. The heating system is typically turned on in mid-October. The hot water for the heat of the heating system circulates through heating pipes that run through the walls between dwelling units and to the coils of the individual heating air handlers. Each dwelling unit has an individual thermostat that controls the temperature in the dwelling unit. The heat bills are calculated by using the “RUBs” (Ratio Utility Billing) by Unit Percentage calculation method which is based on the square footage of the dwelling unit.
When the heat is turned on, the heating pipes may keep an apartment at a steady, warm temperature, and the heating unit may not need to be turned on. Thus the reason the RUBs heat billing is used. Many dwelling units stay warm with just the hot water of the main heating system circulating through the walls without actually turning the heat on in the dwelling unit.
Hot Water: Each dwelling unit has “instant” hot water which means if hot water is turned on from any faucet, the faucet will produce hot water within a few seconds. Fuel for hot water usage is calculated by using RUBs by Unit Occupancy and taking the amount of fuel used to heat domestic hot water (hot water that is used in the kitchen and bathroom) and dividing it by the number of occupants in the apartment community. The bills are based upon the number of occupants in a dwelling unit.
Some easy ways to reduce your monthly utility costs are:
- Turn off lights when not at home or when you are not using them.
- Don’t run your stove or oven longer than needed.
- In the colder months:
- Set the thermostat between at 68 degrees or, if comfortable, set it a bit lower.
- If you notice a small draft under your front door, roll up a towel and put it along the bottom of the door to reduce heat and cooling loss.
- Small gaps around and in window air-conditioners may allow warm air to leak outside. Please be cognizant of this.
- If you have a (or even 2) window air-conditioner (even one the plastic vents installed for a portable air conditioner) in your window, there is a chance that you could experience higher than normal heating bills due to draft/heat loss.
- Be sure to check your windows to make sure they are fully closed. The best way to do this is to close the upper and lower sash and to lock them together.
For more information, go to the Energy Conservation Tips post.
Tenants are responsible for paying for electricity and heating fuel usage (for heat and hot water) in their apartment.
Utility bills are sent to each tenant by a utility billing service between the 11th and 15th of the month and are due by the 1st of the following month. The utilities are accrued by each apartment either individually, or collectively on a single meter, paid by the owner and then billed back to the tenants by actual usage, “RUBS” or a combination of the two. The bills currently include electric, fuel for hot water and heat charges, as well as, a monthly billing fee, a one-time set-up fee for new tenants and a late fee if the bill is not paid by the 1st of the month.
National Exemption Service (NES), a Utility Billing Service serves as the heating and electrical-metering, and utility billing agent. Tenants do not need to contact NES to set up their utilities or to set up utility billing. NES will be notified with the name(s), contact information of each Tenant and Lease Commencement Date. Tenants will be billed for utilities starting at the Commencement Date of the lease.
NES will send the detailed monthly bill electronically unless Tenant chooses to “opt-out” of electronic billing. If Tenant chooses to “opt-out” and receive the monthly utility bills by US Mail, Tenant shall be responsible for any fees that NES charges for sending bills via US Mail.
A monthly processing fee in the amount of $5.00 is charged to each apartment for receiving, accounting and collection duties by the NES. This processing fee is subject to change.
Utility charges will be added as additional rent owed for the following month. The charges will show up in the tenant portal. A late fee of $5.00, per utility payment, will be assessed to all utility payments received after the due date. A one-time $10 set-up charge is assessed by the billing agent, NES, at Lease Commencement.
All utility bills, for which Tenant is responsible, are considered additional rent, as noted in the Lease Agreement.
A $25 transaction fee may be charged to Tenant for any disruption of or change in billing services during the leasing period.