It amazes me that Utility Companies treat us with contempt again and again and get away with it again and again. Today’s CAG newsletter “Npower ordered to give energy away for free” or E.On fined £7.75m
Sorry, as a newbe I can't post links but everything can be found easily on google
District Heat systems only affect a few hundred thousand of us at the moment but that number is expected to grow in to the millions over the next few years.
District Heat – a block of flats has one boiler making hot water for all the flats. In theory cleaner and more efficient (cheaper). That hot water is passes through a “heat exchange” in each flat generating hot water for heating and washing
Given the utilities companies history it is amazing but the government prefer to leave the companies to self-regulate on the basis that…… actually I have no idea why anyone would think that is a good idea
So they have. There is an organisation called "The Heat Trust" which is managed by the, ironically named, Heat Customer Protection Ltd. They have come up with this wicked wheeze known as the “Heat Cost Comparator” upon which prices appear to based, it includes
1. How much it would cost if it were gas
2. How much the standing charge would be if you had a different supply
3. How much it would cost to service your gas boiler
4. How much it would cost to replace your gas boiler
Add them together and that is how much you should pay for your heat
Maybe it is me but I think
1. The price should be based on how much it costs to produce the heat not on how much gas costs
2. Our standing charge should be based on our costs not someone else’s
3. We don’t have a boiler and our heat exchanger is very low maintenance
4. The heat exchanger is expected to last a lot longer than a gas boiler and then be cheaper to replace
This system has been, according to The Heat Trust, “reviewed and approved” by Which? and the Citizens Advice Bureau. I asked Which? and the CAB and they both refused to confirm or deny if they had “reviewed and approved”….. ummmmmm I smell a fish
ARUP wrote a very interesting report which says that if this is the correct method then we are only being charged twice as much as we should be, page 8 says a 2 bedroom flat which should be about £350 a year is actually closer to £700 in the East London scheme
In the Which? report Turning Up The Heat – Getting a Fair Deal for District Heating Users. March 2015. It was written “the lack of consumer protection had left many feeling vulnerable: It seems to be done with a certain amount of protectionism towards the companies and nothing for the consumer”
The report goes on about how much it should cost.
To give you an idea I moved in to my 3 bedroom flat on the 1st Dec 2014. By the end of June my Heat Bill has been £832, annualise that is £1,250.
I keep writing to my MP Matthew Pennycook – that does me no good at all
On the upside I have got the ASA to investigate E.On for their claim that District Heat is no more expensive than Gas. On the 7th July I received a letter from the ASA apologising for the delay “We have received a response from E.On, which we have assessed. We may need to go back to them for some further clarification” – yea I can’t get a straight answer from them either
And I do have the Financial Ombudsman investigating them as well because the maintenance, repair and replacement is an assurance policy which should be regulated. E.On have bundled it in to the standing charge so it is not regulated. If E.On pull out of the market I lose my premiums.
OFGEM will not look into it because their remit is Gas and Electricity and I am buying HEAT
Maddest one yet, the Ombudsman for Energy will not look in to it because E.On have not signed up for their services. Ahhhhh????
So, the million dollar question. Why don’t I change provider? I can’t E.On have a monopoly!
This is going to happen to loads more people. write to your MP. We need regulation NOW