What is a “master connection” for condo utilities?

RR writes:

Hi Paul! We are a bungalow condo complex. Our declaration states that the Corporation is responsible for the “master” connections of all utilities such as hydro, gas, cable, sewer, etc. Are the “master” connections considered to be the connections to each unit or the connections to the complex which in turn go to each unit? Recently a resident’s hydro box was coming off the homes outside wall and the Corporation paid for its’ repair.

Paul replies:

RR: Normally a “master” connection is the link between the utility company and the multi-unit complex. The condo corporation could proceed in two ways. Under one method, it could receive one invoice for the service coming into the development and then portion out the usage cost for the entire complex, evenly among all owners or in accordance with each owner’s percentage ownership. This is unlikely since it would not necessarily be fair to the owners. One owner using less electricity than her neighbour would be subsidizing the other owners who use more. Your utility costs would then be added to your monthly condo fees. The second method would include a hydrometer for each unit. In this instance, the hydro company owns the meter and bills the individual owners in accordance with each unit’s actual usage.

From your description, I would assume that the condo corporation is responsible for the connection (the link) to each unit meter. This could explain why a resident’s hydro box (meter) was reattached by the corporation, but the corporation, in my opinion, does not own the meter itself. This would be similar to your water & sewer lines. If the city owns the water & sewer infrastructure, then the corporation would be responsible for the line that connects your unit to the city’s mainline. I am not an engineer but did contact a former hydro engineer and we believe this describes your situation. “Master connections” appears to describe the link from the utility to each unit. While there can be various scenarios given the variety of condo projects, this explanation seems to fit your situation best.   

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