Electric submeters could be a perfect match for landlords, energy-conscious

Do representatives of Kaua’i businesses like Grove Farm, Kauai Lagoons, Kiahuna Plantation, Kauai Coffee Company, Kilohana and the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club know something you don’t know?

Even if these companies did not install Osaki electrical submetering systems, the answer would probably still be “yes.”

The Kaua’i companies above, and many others, have Osaki systems, which allow companies and individuals to monitor electrical usage down to the individual electrical device, if desired.

Keith G. Sakai, an ‘Oma’o resident, is president and chief executive officer of Osaki System Sales, and after 17 years with the company in Hawai’i has finally decided it is the right time to let the general public know about the product he sells.

Electrical submetering systems are installed on the house or business side of Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative (formerly Kauai Electric) electrical meters, and allow technicians, engineers, landlords, and other building owners and managers to monitor electrical usage by specific departments, units, tenants, and other areas.

A feature of some Osaki systems allows a computer located some distance away to remotely read the submeters and generate bills for tenants and others served by the submeters.

Some 3,000 of the automatic reading and billing systems are in use in the Pacific, and Osaki offers similar systems that handle water and gas usage as well.

Where it may cost a landlord between $2,000 and $3,000 to get a second electric meter installed at a rental unit, for example, an Osaki system can be installed in 45 minutes for around $200. The owner also saves around $20 a month just in KIUC service fees on that second meter, Sakai said.

The benefit is that the landlord knows exactly how much electricity every tenant is using, and therefore can hold tenants accountable for the electricity used, he explained.

That, in turn, will promote energy efficiency on the part of tenants and others, as they’ll know exactly how much electricity they’re using, Sakai said.

The company has installed 11,000 meters in Hawai’i, Guam and Saipan. In Japan, home of the parent company, Osaki systems are installed in 90 percent of Tokyo addresses, and 55 percent of all of the country.

In Hawai’i, no Osaki system has had to be replaced due to mechanical problems, Sakai said.

He sells the systems, and local electrical contractors install them, although Sakai was an electrical contractor on the Mainland and the company does offer installed, turnkey systems if that’s what customers want.

The Osaki submeters, which Sakai sometimes calls “check meters,” carry five-year warranties on the electronic models, and 25-year warranties on electromechanical meters.

For more information, please contact Sakai, 742-7273, fax 742-7058, cell 1-808-478-0349, e-mail osaki@aloha.net, or on the Web at www.planet-hawaii.com/osaki.

Business Editor Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).


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