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Old 12.11.2008, 17:45
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Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

Hi,

We're living in Vevey, VD and paying around 200 CHF a month in heating bills. I thought this was quite expensive so I got quite a shock when we received a bill for another 1800 CHF because of the increased cost of heating!

So what's the story here:
- Has everyone been hit with a similar bill if the costs of heating has increased (due to the increased cost of the fuel).
- Do we have to pay the increase if we feel it is unreasonable, or is there some way to challenge the bill?

Thanks in advance,
Mark.
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Old 12.11.2008, 17:53
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

We always pay extra but about CHF500 or so.The agency actually sends us a form to adjust our nebenkosten so that we dont have to pay a huge bill at the end of the financial year.I dont know how you go about challenge it though maybe ask your agency for clarification of the costs.
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Old 13.11.2008, 15:21
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

Dear Mark,
We lived in Carouge (Geneva) for many years, and usually got something back from our monthly payments. However, this was before the recent fuel crisis.
The monthly "charges" normally cover several things to do with the running of the building; heating, hot water, the Conciergerie, general maintenance etc. What many people assume is just for heating is actually this "charge", so check.
The Regie calculates the monthly rate based on the number of rooms in the appartment and (often) the number of occupants. At the end of the financial year the bills are added up and divided between the appartments using this ratio.
I'd suggest asking someone in a similar-sized appartment if they've been charged extra, and also ask the Regie/Agents to give you a break-down of the out-goings. They are obliged by law to supply you with one if requested.
Your Bail/contract should detail exactly what the monthly charges cover, as well as the procedure for paying any outstanding amount owing.
Unfortunately this year a lot of people are going to get nasty surprises like this one, but if you really think that you're being ripped-off, then ASLOCA might be able to help, especially if you find out that other, similar appartments are being asked to pay less.
Anjela
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Old 23.12.2009, 13:08
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

Hi All

I have been in my apt for nearly 3 months, 1 bedroom, just me, im told we pay only for the water we use which is good.

Now my questions.

1. Water heating meter has gone up 1200 units in 3 months, is this normal ??

2. I have NO heating on ( its under floor ) even have windows open to let air in, just dont feel the cold too much, ok if its -10 i do

3. I shower once a day, every 7-10 days do one full load wash on eco wash.

4. Wash up daily in sink, no need for dishwasher..

5. I was away in UK for 3 days and reading went up nearly 100 Units, how when no water used???

So im hardly using much water and no heating so why have my units gone up 1200 in just under 3months..

I asked agents for a UNIT price to get an idea on charges, but they say its very complicated.

Im just worried at end of year i will get a huge bill, im paying 50 CHF month for water heating.

In UK we know what are Unit charges are..

Happy Xmas

Cheers

Rob
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Old 23.12.2009, 13:57
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

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Hi All

2. I have NO heating on ( its under floor ) even have windows open to let air in, just dont feel the cold too much, ok if its -10 i do
Just to be clear - are you able to switch of your underfloor heating? Otherwise, your bill is going to astronomical if you leave your windows open in winter...

Sorry if I'm stating the obvious, it is just that in some parts of our flat (namely bathroom and shower room) we have underfloor heating over which we have no control. So if it is the same for you, you might be in for a followed by ...

Can you compare the change in units to a neighbour or someone living in the same appartment block? The meters in our building are in the cellar, so you can easily see your own use vs. anothers.

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The Regie calculates the monthly rate based on the number of rooms in the appartment and (often) the number of occupants. At the end of the financial year the bills are added up and divided between the appartments using this ratio.
We have a little meter on each radiator with a link to a central counting system, so we get a very precise bill of usage. Hard to argue with that. I always assumed it was the same throughout CH... clearly not.
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Old 23.12.2009, 14:25
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

HI Carlos

Thanks for reply

NO heating is on as stated before, window is open as i like fresh air, im on 4th floor so get all heat from below apts..

I have 3 underfloor heating controls ( front room, bed room, bathroom ), all are set to ' 0 ' - i have an open plan kitchen/living room, then bathroom and bedroom...

The bathroom floor is always hot but agents said its because pipes run under flooring to unit inset in wall.

I have a meter reader in the wall and all pipes go to it, so i can see the reading rise etc etc

I have seen the meter cupboard in basement but have no access and im pretty sure its for electric and i get a seperate bill for that.

No heating is same in Switzerland, some complexes share the bill, crazy if ur a single person and next door have 5 people, doesnt make sense.

I just pay for what i use..

So im asking is 1200 units normal for 3 months heated water usage..

Cheers

Rob
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Old 23.12.2009, 14:47
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

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The bathroom floor is always hot but agents said its because pipes run under flooring to unit inset in wall.

I have a meter reader in the wall and all pipes go to it, so i can see the reading rise etc etc
Be Careful!! We loved our toasty bathroom floors, had all our other thermostats set to 0 and then received our heating bill for over 900 CHF. We thought we had no control over it, but turns out there was an adjustment that could be made. I finally called the rental agency. Now our bathroom floors are freezing but I'm hoping for less of a shock when they balance out the heating costs next year.

If you have all your other thermostats set to zero, then the heat is being used in the bathrooms. I would call again to see if there is any way to adjust it since you are obviously not using the water anywhere else.
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Old 23.12.2009, 14:59
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

It happens quite regularly, and your usage of the heat is not necessarily in cause.
The fact is that many landlords minimize the "charges" because they know people lump them with the rent when they evaluate what apartment to chose.
The concept of pro-rata cost sharing has its fault, but I don't find it illogical. It is usually done using square meters (not much with number of ppl), and I find it normal. It also has the advantage to cover fairly the usage of the public areas of the building, and to acknowledge that if you choose not to heat, you are in the facts still using the heat from your neighbours to temper.

What one should always do at the moment of deciding upon a rental, is to ask for the record of energy consumption for the past years, so to see if the charges are truly in line or are under-evaluated.
What you can do? request these records now, and also ask about how the costs are calculated. You may be stuck but at least you'll know for the future.

If there is really something fishy going on - contact Asloca (http://www.asloca.ch/), Association Suisse des Locataires, who is usually very happy to explain and if required to intervene.
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Old 23.12.2009, 15:19
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

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We always pay extra but about CHF500 or so.The agency actually sends us a form to adjust our nebenkosten so that we dont have to pay a huge bill at the end of the financial year.I dont know how you go about challenge it though maybe ask your agency for clarification of the costs.
We just moved and now the landlord is withholding the deposit until he gets the final heating and nebenkosten sorted out as he thinks we will have to pay more and so he wants to hold on to the deposit as security. We think something fishy is going on so we have asked him for full clarification of the bills he plans to send us. If not happy we will go to the tenant protection ageny in the area to discuss and if needed, sort it out in arbitration/court.
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Old 23.12.2009, 15:21
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

For all those turning off the bathroom heating - the reason why most appartments do no have this adjustable with thermostatic controls is that a bit of heat is needed to keep the walls and floor warm to prevent mould due to dampness.





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  #11  
Old 23.12.2009, 15:30
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

That, plus in some buildings (e.g. my office) which have water-radiator type of heating, it is forbidden to turn off the heating completely; this is to prevent rupture of tubes by freezing.
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Old 23.12.2009, 18:37
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

Ok, no one has answered my main question...

I have my own water meter, i dont share costs with anyone...

In 3 months my hot water meter has risen 1200 Units... is this normal in Zurich.

so over a year my approx readings will be 5000 untits used... ??

I have had NO heating on, i have 3 controls in open plan 1 bed apt.

1. By front door

2. Next to bathroom door

3. In Bedroom

All are set to ' 0 '

My bathroom floor is HOT, agents said its due to pipes leading to pump thats inset in bathroom wall... Im not convinced..

I have no need for a bathroom to be hot 24x7, crazy, its in middle of apt
so doesnt get cold..

I was away for 3 days and meter went up nearly 100 Units...

I cant ask neighbours as none speak English...
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Old 23.12.2009, 19:07
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

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Ok, no one has answered my main question...

I have my own water meter, i dont share costs with anyone...

In 3 months my hot water meter has risen 1200 Units... is this normal in Zurich.
How much is a unit? You're still using hot water for showering and dish washing.

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so over a year my approx readings will be 5000 untits used... ??

I have had NO heating on, i have 3 controls in open plan 1 bed apt.

1. By front door

2. Next to bathroom door

3. In Bedroom

All are set to ' 0 '
Ours are set the same way. Only the bathrooms are on (and the kitchen).

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My bathroom floor is HOT, agents said its due to pipes leading to pump thats inset in bathroom wall... Im not convinced..

I have no need for a bathroom to be hot 24x7, crazy, its in middle of apt
so doesnt get cold..
To prevent mould?

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I was away for 3 days and meter went up nearly 100 Units...
The bathroom heating?
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Old 23.12.2009, 19:20
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

If i knew the Unit price i would not be asking..

No mould in bathroom as it has no outsde walls, hence NO need for underfloor heating 24x7, also control is set to ' 0 '

If my bathroom control is set to ' 0 ' how can flor be hot ?? or are you saying there is no control of underfloor heating in bathroom, now that would be crazy...
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Old 23.12.2009, 21:01
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

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I have had NO heating on, i have 3 controls in open plan 1 bed apt.

1. By front door

2. Next to bathroom door

3. In Bedroom

All are set to ' 0 '

.
1. Inside or outside the appartment?

2. Inside or outside the bathroom?

Units mean nothing. It's not a set amount metered by, the water company for example. The landlord will probably work it out:

Cost per unit = Bill total /Total number of units used for all flats

We really can't help you with this any more than we have. You need to get someone to speak to your landlord on your behalf.
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Old 23.12.2009, 21:37
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

Hi

Of course the Units matter, thats how im billed, when i moved in a reading was taken, once again im billed for my usuage ONLY.

Controls are inside apt, what the hell would they be doing outside... duh...

Agent said it to complicated to work out, i just thought someone else might monitor there water usuage and advise if 1200 is good or bad after 3 months, but saldly not, i guess people here just pay and dont ask question...something us Brits dont do, dont like beijng ripped off.

Merry Xmas
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Old 23.12.2009, 21:59
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

I think it's just that 1200 units is probably not universal.

I got a very nice bill with everything detailed out. The most relevant to you is that my Waermemessung from 01.07.2008 to 30.06.2008 was , stand alt, 4.804 und stand neu, 9.125 (MWh). I don't know if this is going to help you much. The total rechnung is two pages long. 30% of the charges are for general heating (hallway, etc.) and 70% for our own usage.
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Old 23.12.2009, 22:27
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

we recently got hit with a bill of 5k for the adjustment over 2 years... since the bill the send is an actual estimate not the actual usage, it is usually easier to pay 50chf so that the company can send their own folk to take readings at home so that they calculate their adjustments accordingly.

also one way to lower ur bills is simply to use high energy consumption items, like dryer, or dishwasher during off peak hours
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Old 23.12.2009, 23:02
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

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we recently got hit with a bill of 5k for the adjustment over 2 years... since the bill the send is an actual estimate not the actual usage, it is usually easier to pay 50chf so that the company can send their own folk to take readings at home so that they calculate their adjustments accordingly.

also one way to lower ur bills is simply to use high energy consumption items, like dryer, or dishwasher during off peak hours
that's for electricity then...we are talking about heating costs here
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Old 23.12.2009, 23:14
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Re: Heating costs - monthly and 'catchup'

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Hi



Agent said it to complicated to work out, i just thought someone else might monitor there water usuage and advise if 1200 is good or bad after 3 months, but saldly not, i guess people here just pay and dont ask question...something us Brits dont do, dont like beijng ripped off.

Merry Xmas
Insist - that's what us Brits do.
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