How electric sub meters reduce costs versus coin and card meters

Infographic on sub meters

Metro Prepaid's sub meters increase efficiency vs. coin, card and check meters

Metro Prepaid now gives Landlords the advantage of installing electric sub meters for tenants which can replace coin, card or check meters. With electric sub meters, each tenant buys their own electricity points instead of the old fashioned coin meters and card meters.

Prepaid metering for electricity has been used in the UK for the best part of a century. Prepay electricity coin meters accepted shilling coins in the early part of the last century. Reports suggest that, at their peak, 1.5 million-coin meters existed in the UK. 

Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) compliant coin meters are available from companies like RDL (Meters) but many older coin meters are not MID compliant. The vulnerability of coin meters to damage (theft of coins) and the administrative burden they place on landlords are drawbacks, but coin meters have for decades offered tenants budgeting flexibility and a tool to optimise usage.

Some landlords address the need to control usage and collect payment for utilities with the use of check or kilowatt-hour “kWh” meters. These are readable meters that typically require the landlord to take a monthly meter reading to check usage and deduct the months kWh usage from that of the prior month to calculate the amount to be recovered from the tenant.

Today’s encrypted token meters and SMART meters boast improved technology, better reporting, convenient token purchase options and emergency credit to make life easier when you forget to top-up. The token meters supplied by Metro Prepaid, effectively combine the benefits of coin, card and check or kilowatt-hour meters into a single meter.

Prepay meters save money for everyone, reduce usage optimisation environmental impacts, and offer a host of convenience benefits to tenants and landlords alike. These are our top 10 benefits:


1. A benefit of electric sub vs coin meter: using fewer kilowatts of electricity.

The “eat all you can” model of bundling electricity costs in with the rental is imperfect.

It effectively penalizes those tenants that conserve electricity - whilst others enjoy a free ride.

Prepay coin, card, token and SMART sub meters allow tenants to manage their costs and offer the choice of when to-top up and the freedom to choose how much to spend on each top-up.

2. Improve your property valuation.

Prepaid electric sub meters typically half the electricity bill, effectively raising a property's net income and once a capitalization rate has been applied, its valuation.

3. Reduce property management costs and share the savings with your tenants.

I find prepay electric sub meters place less of an administrative burden on landlords and help reduce the administrative overhead in managing properties. No need to take monthly check meter readings, raise invoices and reconcile post-paid debtors receipts. Cost savings can be passed on through lower rentals. Time saved can be re-deployed into higher yield property activities like sourcing new deals or optimizing the rent roll on current properties.

4. Eliminate petty-cash with electric sub meters

Metro Prepaid meters remove the overhead associated with supplying coins to feed coin meters, cards required for card meters, monthly reading of check meters and managing petty cash.

5. Simplify accounting vs using coin meters

Comprehensive consolidated reports track monthly top-ups per meter. A single monthly payment simplifies your bank reconciliations and your banking forgets the hassle of coin meter deposits.

6. Convenient top-ups for tenants

Tenants appreciate the opportunity to better manage their usage and the convenience of purchasing electricity tokens online or at any one of almost 30,000 PayPoint outlets.

No unexpected large post-paid bills.

7. More letting enquiries with electric sub meters

My experience is that while tenants find coin meters inconvenient and distrust fixed recoveries and post-use check meters. They prefer properties offering prepay tokens and SMART meters. 

8. Less risk of non-payment with coin meters for landlords.

Prepay meters are exactly that – payment before use. This does away with debtor’s management and the risk of non-payment.

Token encryption and SMART, are more secure than many of the magstripe card meters in use.

9. Prepay electric sub meters aid tenant budgeting

A landlord from the school of “fixed monthly recovery” electricity management, approached me at a loss as to why his tenants were demanding to prepay. He was subsidising their usage and charging a reduced £200 per tenant, monthly recovery. The explanation was simple, with a fixed monthly recovery of £200 the tenants had no budgeting flexibility. For example, should they be travelling for work all month and using no power – the electric would still be £200.

10. Emergency credit

Emergency credit is available if tenants forget to top-up. No need to dash to the grocer at an inconvenient time.

Today’s modern technology pre-pay meters allow you to manage your property more easily from wherever you choose to be.

Imagine yourself living with a view of the beach in Spain. How you will empty your coin meters, vend prepay cards or visit each property to take monthly readings from your check meters?

With modern token encryption or SMART prepay submeters, the beach beckons you!

If you are still using a coin meter, card meter or check meter, click here to purchase your Metro Prepaid electric sub meter online.

Read the reviews on electric sub meters for Landlords here.


Metro Prepaid Support


Metro Prepaid Support