Rental utility usage data now available on city website

Monday, June 30, 2014 | 7:12 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Residents can now look up electric and water usage and cost history for rental units served by Columbia Water and Light on the city's website.

The newly added section on the city website will help better inform prospective renters, Sustainability Manager Barbara Buffaloe said.

The website doesn't release the name of a property's tenants or owner.

Buffaloe said it will also help landlords evaluate how their properties perform in comparison to similar properties and inspire them to provide more energy-efficient housing.

Columbia Water and Light utility usage data had previously been available upon request.

The new feature allows the public to access electric and water usage data after office hours, and in turn, reduces the workload of city staff, Buffaloe said.

A city of Columbia news release reminded residents that utility usage varies from person to person and suggested that residents look at data from similar units in the same complex when making rental decisions.

The Columbia City Council voted unanimously on April 21 to make utility data for rental properties available on the city's website, according to previous Missourian reporting.

Usage data can be searched by address or found on a map.

Supervising editor is Samuel Hardiman.

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