Adding a meter to an existing subpanel

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  #1  
Old 08-05-12, 04:00 PM
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Adding a meter to an existing subpanel

I have a rental house that has a permitted, existing in-law studio in back. It has an existing sub panel for power. Is there an inexpensive way to add meter before the subpanel or to meter the usage? I have thought of adding an E-Mon, but they're about $300. Can't I just buy an old watthour meter and socket on Ebay for $50 and install them above the subpanel? Suggestions? Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 08-05-12, 05:39 PM
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Can't I just buy an old watthour meter and socket on Ebay for $50 and install them above the subpanel?
Sure, that might work if you can find a socket and meter; I hope they are accurate. I would actually recommend the E-Mon D-Mon option.
 
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Old 08-05-12, 07:31 PM
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The problem comes when you try to charge the tenant for electrical usage. Many utilities specifically prohibit sub-metering when it is used to bill tenants. If the utility doesn't have a problem then more likely than not the governmental agency overseeing landlord-tenant relations will have a problem. It all stems from being absolutely certain the tenant is billed properly and THAT is dependent upon both the meter being read properly AND the accuracy of the meter being without question.
 
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Old 08-06-12, 05:35 PM
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All areas are different, but in my area submetering and billing the tenant isn't a problem as long as the landlord isn't making a profit from it. I recently saw a commercial case very similar to this that was about to go to court, the case was settled just hours before it would have been before a judge, the landlord won. The landlord was using E-Mon D-Mon submetering.
 
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Old 08-06-12, 07:49 PM
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My area is pretty much the same as Joe's. We have installed many sub meters and have never heard of any issues.

We have used both E-mon's and other ones bought online. All have worked well. I would not install a dial type meter though. I see other digital ones available on eBay for almost half the cost but watch out! Some do not include CTs.
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 08-06-12 at 08:22 PM.
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