Basement Suites, Revenue Suites, Income Suites,  Mortgage Helpers

These are some of the main names used to describe suites that we can have as part of our home or property …

They can make a huge difference in the size of home that we can manage to afford, or allow us to generate an additional passive income that we can use for unexpected expenses, retirement savings, or even vacations!

While in the past many who added suites, just assumed the cost of utilities, it is now becoming necessary to have the tenants take responsibility for their own expenses.

The increased cost of utilities creates a delicate balance between having tenants as a  benafit or a loss.  Today, many suite owners are finding that if the tenant is not responsibile for utility costs, then they are more likely to waste the energy… at the expense of the homeowner.


To get around this issue, the homeowner can utilize several options: 

1)  Ignore it and live with it as a cost of having tenants…  not the best option.

2)  Raise the rent to cover the energy costs that are being wasted…  but, in a competitive rental market, the tenants will probably just move on.

3)  Add a power utility approved meter that they will read and bill directly to the tenant…  This is usually the best option if it is done when the suite is being built, but can be added after the fact (although, usually at a considerable expense).

4)  Or,  a very cost effective solution is to purchase and have installed a new registered meter that allows the homeowner to bill for energy usage on a monthly basis, separate to the monthly rent or lease payment.  This option only requires a registered meter to be installed, supplying power to an independant subpanel for the suite.  Then, when the client uses extra power in a month, the homeowner bills accordingly.  Problem solved.

What Clients are saying about suite metering from ER Electric:


Recently, while shopping at our local big box hardware store, I bumped into Glen who offered some free advice, when the employee I was talking to wasn’t sure how I might resolve my issue.From there, he and I talked more about electrical work in general and I found out that he was a local electrical contractor, so, I asked if he might be able to assist me in solving a particular concern of mine.You see, we recently purchased a home that was built with a rental suite, but, the builder had not put in separate metering for the suite so that the tenants would be responsible for their own power consumption.When I explained this to Glen, he had several possible options to help us out.We made arrangements for him to come by to take a closer look, he took the time to ask plenty of questions to understand our needs and our budget and then explained the options available with approximate costs and surprisingly didn’t recommend the more expensive options.  

His recommended solution for our situation was to buy a Registered Electric Meter (with it’s accuracy verified by Canada Weights and Measures) and move the suite’s electrical circuits from the main panel into a new panel meant for the suite only.  He then powered the new suite panel through the new Registered Meter and we can now re-bill the cost of the power used by our tenants based on their exact power consumption as part of their monthly rental bill.

 This option saved several thousand dollars in potential costs compared to having an electrical contractor and BC Hydro install a second separate metered electrical service for the suite, and it accomplishes our goals completely.

Through Glen’s knowledge, and the process he took us through to learn what we needed and wanted, he was able to come up with a solution that was both affordable and functional and lets us legally charge the exact amount of Hydro costs back to our renter.  Problem solved!  They can now use as much power as they want without us ending up paying for it.  (But I’ll bet they suddenly become much more aware of thermostat settings and power hogging lights and appliances now that they will be paying the bill themselves.)

On Glen’s website he states that he offers “Unique Solutions to Difficult Wiring Challenges” and we can honestly say, he lives up to that statement.

Richard and Linda Sims
Nanaimo, BC

If you would like more information on suite metering solutions for your home:


Call 250-741-0618 or click here to contact us

Proud to offer our services in the following areas:

Nanaimo, Cedar, Ladysmith, Lantzville, Nanoose, Parksville, Qualicum, Whiskey Creek and Errington