“Greener” boilers generating huge bills claim Hackney Downs residents
PUBLISHED: 21:05 12 March 2013 | UPDATED: 21:05 12 March 2013
Residents claim they are paying thousands of pounds in fuel bills due to “greener” boilers in their homes.
»Residents claim they are paying thousands of pounds in fuel bills due to “greener” boilers in their homes.
Swedish NIBE boilers were installed two years ago at Elba House, in Andre Street, to provide heating and hot water, but tenants say they are costing up to five times what was expected.
Pauline Lindsay, 48, who has lived in the block named after Hollywood actor Idris Elba for two years, said: “When I moved in I was told by housing association A2 Dominion that bills would be £500 per year. However I’m paying nearly £3,000 instead.
“I turn down the heating as much as I can and send my two children to stay with relatives as much as I can. I can’t afford to pay the bills.
“Food is a luxury that’s gone out of the window.”
Charlene Morgan, 32, said: “My final bill for 2012 was £3,936, Every quarter, it’s approximately £994. I can’t afford it. I just pay what I can.
“I’m not going to do without when I’ve got two children. I’ve also got other bills to pay. I’ve had to cut down dramatically on food shopping. Something needs to be done.”
Doreen Wright, A2 Dominion’s programme and quality development director, said: “When operated correctly, this system produces considerable efficiencies in terms of heat energy and carbon dioxide emissions. As this is a new type of energy system, we have provided residents with comprehensive information, advice and support on how to use it correctly to ensure maximum energy-efficiency. Despite this, we are aware of a small number of households where the system has not been used as intended. Where the recommended settings have not been selected, residents have used more energy in their homes, resulting in higher bills.
“Where we have seen above-average energy usage in a particular home, we have visited the resident in person to provide further help in using the energy system. We will continue to monitor energy usage at Elba House and provide as much support as we can.”
A spokeswoman from NIBE said: “We’ve had no correspondence from either residents or the housing association to indicate any problems. We urge any consumer with issues to call our helpline on 0845 095 1200 so we can arrange a free inspection visit to see how the system has been installed and set up.
“NIBE can’t and shouldn’t be blamed for this as we did not handle either the design or installation.
“We’re always ready to help associations and their tenants rectify any issues and operate their systems as efficiently as possible.”
The boilers were featured in BBC One’s programme Rip Off Britain last September because hundreds of families on housing estates across the UK were paying more than anticipated.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.