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Charles Montlake

District Heat - The Utility Companies Have Found a New Way to Take Our Money

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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

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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.

 

So this is just for hot water and heating, yes. ?


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Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Yes - we cook electric and can buy our electricity from whoever we want - but our Heat we can only buy from E.On

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From what I am reading, this is a long term investment for the companies, because it is supposed to be cheaper!!

 

I understand that this type of heating is used in a lot of the tower blocks.


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Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

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1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

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2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

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BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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I agree it is a long term investment - we are locked in to a 20 year contract with E.On. They claim it is no more expensive than gas and yet who pays £1,250 a year for a 3 bedroom flat (A.S.A. are investigating the claim)?

 

Plus it is mean to be a Biomass Boiler, when I asked around BGI Ltd said they would supply and fit for free if they received the Renewable Heat Incentive and a 20 year contract to supply fuel. They estimated 5.5p/kW Heat. We pay 7.571p/kW Heat plus £33.12 a month standing charge (normal standing charge is about 25p a day tops)

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It certainly seems to be expensive and if you don't have a choice of supplier that is very unfair.


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Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Thank you - also I can't appeal to anyone, E.On have not appointed an Ombudsman and the Government have not appointed a regulator - while the numbers are small this is an incredible mess, what will happen when the numbers grow I wonder

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Good morning all,

 

Just so you know this isn't something Malc and I deal with, the HEAT accounts are looked after by a specialist team, we can't see these accounts on the systems we have.

 

We do have a HEAT facebook page if this helps https://www.facebook.com/eonukheat

 

We also have a page on the website if you need it https://www.eonenergy.com/for-your-home/your-account/heat

 

I'm sorry we can't help here and hope it's ok to pop the links on, just this once.

 

Thank you

 

Helena

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Thank you for responding Helena, I think in this instance the links can stay. :)


Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Hi Helena, thanks for the links. The specialist team is headed up by Barry Shade. He is a very nice and helpful guy but that does not detract from the fact that our heat is between 2 and 4 times more expensive than alternate methods

 

I checked the E.On website. The Tabs for "Products and Services" along with the tab for "Your Account" and "Saving Energy" all gave the same message. "We're sorry but we're having a few technical issues with our site at the moment, we're working on getting it fixed as soon as possible. " It is not helpful to point people to a website plagued by technical issues

 

The facebook page (unfortunately I can't plug mine facebook.com/groups/districtheat/) there are only 2 comments not written by E.On.

 

Lauralea Smith is the warm home discount for gas and electric or just one? - posted 19 Novemeb 14 there is no response

 

Jo Twiggy Twigg Have been trying to get a response ..appalling customer service - posted 22 May there is no response

 

Again not particularly helpful if E.On are not keeping an eye on it

 

Helena I understand you and Malc cannot help but maybe you could introduce someone who can

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Oh dear. Posting up the FB page was maybe not the best idea as there are so many complaints on there that I may just pop a link in there for the users to come here.

Helena, hope you are not too busy at the moment. :-)


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Thanks,

 

I'm sorry the website is down at the moment, it should be back up soon. I didn't know this at the time of posting.

 

The facebook page is there to see, we don't have control of this unfortunately.

 

I just wanted to give you the information I have, as we can't deal with these accounts.

 

Helena

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Never mind, I would hope that spreading this issue around a bit more the team that deals with this can get their fingers out and start dealing rather than ignoring the complaints (in my opinion)


If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Is there any reason why all the flat owners cannot get together to buy the heating system and to register it in a company name. Then to shop around for the best deal for the supply.

 

What happens in the US, where they have such community heating schemes ? Perhaps look into it and see what can legally be done in the UK.


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I love that idea Uncle, but it won't work, there are over 1,000 apartments in this complex, many are owned as investments or by people overseas, we will not be able to get enough people together.

 

But I think it is a good idea that, should the authorities ever decide to stop E.On etc fleecing us, this should be put in as an option on all sites.

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Not everyone leaseholder would have to buy. Do you not have a residents/owners association , with an internet site for newsletters etc.

 

Presumably someone has the contact details for everyone . E.g management company. If an association was set up, perhaps the management company could advise people of contact details, the next time they write out to people.

 

If there is a management company, do they not have any responsibility for this issue ?


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Uncle - no there is no association although we are trying to form one now. However I am not sure E.On will sell even if we wanted to buy. Why should they, at the moment their profit is super sized and they have a monopoly and utility companies are not famous for putting their customers needs first

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Uncle - no there is no association although we are trying to form one now. However I am not sure E.On will sell even if we wanted to buy. Why should they, at the moment their profit is super sized and they have a monopoly and utility companies are not famous for putting their customers needs first

 

Pretty sure there is a legal way to resolve. If they are involved in a scheme that is unfair to leaseholders, there must be a way of cancelling the current contract. Once the residents association is set up, perhaps strength in numbers might help you.


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 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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