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Distribution and calculation of heat costs in residential buildings

24/11/2015

A couple decides to leave their home country in December and January and rather spend the winter in the warm climate area. They decide to reduce costs of heating in their home apartment, therefore the husband bravely turns off all radiators thinking that no costs will occur for heating. Not if the couple is from Slovenia.

If it is to believe the official statement made by Ministry for Infrastructure, some users in residential buildings pay more than their neighbours due to the plain reason of heat transition from warmer apartment to another. Therefore the Ministry for Infrastructure decided to eliminate this unexpected anomaly by introducing a solution that seems to be rather unusual and could be subject of the constitutional review in the following months.

Namely, in the beginning of November 2015 the Government adopted the Rules on dividing and billing heat costs in multi-apartment and other buildings with several units (Rules 2015), which provide that heat supply invoice for all units that did not spend more than 40 % of the average energy consumption of that building, shall be invoiced based on the size of living surface while the data received from the heat cost allocators shall be deemed as unavailable.

The mentioned solution is somewhat inadequate since it prejudices the right of users to decide in which way they want to heat their space and especially to what extent heat from radiators shall be used. Furthermore, Rules 2015 indirectly stimulate users to spend more energy, because energy saving of single user will not reflect in the final amount on the monthly invoice. It is reasonable to expect that users will again spend more energy for heat rather than trying to save it, which is opposite to the EU goals related to energy efficiency and energy savings which are to be achieved by 2020 and for which large costs have already incurred.

In 2011, Republic of Slovenia adopted Rules on dividing and billing heat costs in multi-apartment and other buildings with several units (Rules 2011). One of the main goals when introducing the Rules 2011 was to encourage users to save energy used for space heating. As a consequence, heat cost allocators are obligatory on every radiator in Slovenia since 2011, many buildings have been renovated with building insulation and users have begun to use various ways of space heating, such as air conditioning, heat pump or other existing options. According to the provided results, users in Slovenia in 2014 have spent 15 % less energy for space heating comparing to the year 2010.

Autoren

Matevž Klobučar