Unfair heating costs and missed meter readings

38 posts in this topic

That sounds strange, gas prices have actually come down, if compared to 2009.

 

post-24869-12987260589679.jpg

 

Maybe it's different in Salzgitter.

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The more I look at these bills, the less I understand them. According to something I found online, the units are not actually actual usage or anything, they use them only to calculate one apartments percentage of heating to the next. First they take the amount it costs to heat the whole building. Then they split it 30/70 into base costs and usage costs. The base costs are split based on size of apt. as a percentage of the building. The usage costs are split as to your units as a percentage of total units. All seems very clear but according to the bills, I used 8770 units in 2009 and 9015 in 2010 but the whole building used 88000 units in 2009 and 41600 in 2010. My share in 2009 is therefore around 10% but last year it's 21.6% If the whole building used so little heat in 2010, half of what they used in 2009, the bill for heating should also be half as small but the total heating bill is actually a bit higher and that is where I am lost.

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You have to keep in mind that the units are arbitrary. 1 unit on the new meters could correspond to 2 units on the old ones...or 0.1 or 10. Comparing the number of units from different years (and therefore different meters) gets you nowhere. Given that the overall bill for 2010 is similar to the one from 2009, the whole building probably used a similar amount of energy.

 

The question is, why did your share increase so much, and what's your share of the building in terms of size? Does your apartment face North perhaps, and did you use to have evaporation meters? Mine faces South and my share of the heating costs went down when they switched to the new electronic meters. I used to pay too much with the evap meters because my place is very warm in summer, so there were always a few units on two radiators that I never turned on. As a consequence I was subsidizing the heating bills of the North-facing apartments in the building.

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They used all kinds of correction factors on the 2009 bill for the units. They multiplied the living room meter readings by 3.9, the bedroom and kitchen by 1.95 and bathroom by 1.3 to get the total units but ironically, the numbers they ended up with are very similar to the units I got for 2010 with the new meters.

 

My apartment is 54 sq metres and it is 12.9% of the building. I have the whole upper end of the building so I have a north wall, south wall and a west wall. The west wall is always cold, especially in the north facing bedroom. I have a closet standing up against it now and you can actually feel the cold coming out when you open it. It's kind of like opening the fridge. The windows are also a bit drafty.

 

The landlady said that her bill hadn't changed but her apartment is in the middle between mine and the next building so she only has north and south. She advised me to keep the radiator settings at 2 or 3 at all times to save on heat and I said, erm.. well, that is what I have been doing. She said that there is something in the basement that automatically turns the heat down at night. I have never noticed that.

 

In December, I replaced two of the radiator valves with programmable ones and I think that actually helps comparing the meter readings in those rooms as they stand now to the two rooms where I still have normal radiator valves. However, I can't change the other two the way they are located so I guess I will have to make do.

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They used all kinds of correction factors on the 2009 bill for the units. They multiplied the living room meter readings by 3.9, the bedroom and kitchen by 1.95 and bathroom by 1.3 to get the total units but ironically, the numbers they ended up with are very similar to the units I got for 2010 with the new meters.

That'd be the surface area of the radiators in those rooms. The meters can only measure temperature, so you need a surface area multiplier to calculate how much heat is being transferred.

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You mean the old meters then? With the new ones, they just use the count on them the way it is. That is unless they have it automatically included in the programming.

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They definitely measured the radiators when they installed the new Techem meters at my place, but I don't remember whether the multipliers appeared on the bill or whether the meters now do the calculation internally and spit out a corrected figure.

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This thread does not really belong in finance, as that word is understood in the USA.

 

It is closer to economics because that involves buying and selling among citizens. But even that would be too abstract.

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Oh gawd.

 

A person's finances ARE heating bills, gas bills, hospital bills, utilities, etc.... and how they are calculated are financial questions.

 

Stop embarassing people from the US.

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...

Stop embarassing people from the US.

 

Two corrections:

 

1. "embarassing" should be embarrassing

2. the whole sentence should read "Stop embarrassing uneducated people from the US."

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Hi i got a similar problem too...

1st of all we hardly have the heating on and we trust when the meters was read it was accurate and we thought people are honest about thing ..anyway we have to move out due my husband job ..we hardly use the heating because we like the place to be cool and when we moved out about 8 months later ok we went to see the rental association people and they say the nebonkosten is ok ..ok we did not question much about it althought we hardly use any ..then recently we are not living at the property just pop over the summer to claen the balcony and packing our things...they said we live there and ask us to pay for the time we are not there ...and there say the meters was estimates of course we not there and we do not use anything ..still ask us to pay ...? 150 euro not 10 euro i might accept it ..anyone with good suggestion? apparently we paid the previous bill without question them and despite make appointment to see the rental association people.

 

Any good suggestions?

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..then recently we are not living at the property just pop over the summer to claen the balcony and packing our things...they said we live there and ask us to pay for the time we are not there ...and there say the meters was estimates of course we not there and we do not use anything

 

If you were still renting the apartment, you are liable for nebenkosten on it, whether you were staying there or not. At the end of the year, they will figure out the heating costs as well as other nebenkosten for the whole building and how much your share is. At that point, you will get money back if you have paid too much or have to pay if you paid too little.

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we paid all the nebonkosten already despite we not there ...they still want us to pay extra heating cost .

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Two corrections:

 

1. "embarassing" should be embarrassing

2. the whole sentence should read "Stop embarrassing uneducated people from the US."

 

1. Actually it is spelled both ways.

 

2. This made me laugh out loud. Thanks. Yes, please DO stop embarassing uneducated people from the US also.

 

3. Still laughing at this and your totally retro twattiness (how's my spelling there?) :lol:

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We received our bill for 2012 (yes, they're a year late). We moved in at the start of November. It looks like the Hausverwaltung have calculated our proportion of the heating bill by assuming we used the same heating rate as the previous tenants and that the heating costs follow a standard fraction for each month (more in winter). They've implied we're responsible for around 28% of the bill. However, meter readings were taken when we moved in and they didn't use them in the calculation. Using the readings and the end of year value, I calculate we're responsible for 20% of the heating bill and 17% of the hot water. The actual final bill is a rather complex calculation based on these numbers, fixed other fractions, insurance and so on. Am I right in trying to get them to calculate this properly. It's probably less than 50 Euros difference, but I don't want to spend money I don't really owe.

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They are not late in providing the bills - they have until the end of 2013 to provide the roll-up for 2012.

They should have used the meter readings for water and heating from when you moved in, assuming these were reported to the company that analyses the costs (most Verwaltungen sub-contract this effort). All other costs (insurance, maintenance, etc) should be proportional to your time there. If they have not used the correct readings on the changeover you can appeal, but of course that will affect everyone elses bills too, so there may be some resistance to recalculate everything from scratch, despite it potentially being your legal right. Maybe you can contact them to reach a compromise. You might also like to check your rental contract - there may be a clause that you agreed that for such a short time remaining in the year you agreed to a proportional division of the costs based on the previous tenant.

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Also be aware that between 30 - 70% of heating costs are calculated independent of actual usage according to the proportional share of the area you rented (as compared to the total area of the property). Maybe that explains the difference?

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I got mine too. Apparently they think I used 1400e heating an apartment for 5 months, and 1 room accounts for over 700e of that. Surely that can't be right, particularly when the heating was only on for 6 weeks! (It specifies it is the radiators and which rooms they are in.)

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