I think the recharged cost of the installation of heat meters will be wrapped up in the cost of the upgrade of the whole communal heating system, with depending on personal usage a saving on the service charge. Anyone had this happen and in the long term is there a saving? I wish to follow this discussion as this will be happening to me on Tybalds Estate, Holborn.
I read of negative affects on charges at the Kiln Estate regarding Heat Meters. I am wary of charges for one thing wrapped up in another project as there are ways of merging responsibility for costs. I am also wary when one project is rolled out across the borough as it smacks of one firm taking the same approach to really different estates.
Re. Kiln Place and heat meters. It’s a messy issue. The heat meters weren’t the significant problem, it was the heating solution that was chosen at the same time – they installed radiators but didn’t replace the central boiler. This means that when our old central boiler fails (as it does half a dozen times a year) it affects the entire estate.
Back to heating meters: we were a pilot project and the valves on the heat meters were a duff batch, so they didn’t shut off when the hot water stopped. This can be easily checked by switching off all heat for 6 hours and seeing if the meter/clock moves. Camden were really bad at getting to the bottom of this and lots of people were overcharged – the valves have now been replaced but obviously if you’ve over-payed you won’t be happy. I think there’s also a different type of meter now in use that you can pay online (we can’t with our – they have to be pre-paid at a local convenience shop, which isn’t convenient if they are shut).
The last bill-shock came as people who had been paying a flat fee suddenly had to pay for what they were using. As low users had been subsidising heavy users (e.g. people with heating on all the time and windows open), I find heating meters generally less hard to disagree with. They are also now required by law, which is why Camden are going through and moving people over to meet the new regulations.