Communal heating charges
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet has approved changes to the current heating charges at council house properties with communal heating schemes.
Across Flintshire, there are nine communal heating schemes. The Council negotiates fuel costs in advance and tenants benefit from the Council’s Industrial and Commercial Contract rate. The Council initially pays for the fuel, and then collects it back from tenants, with the aim of breaking even at the end of each financial year. Heating charges for fuel consumption are based on the previous year’s usage.
When Cabinet agreed communal heating charges last year for both 2018/19 and 2019/20, it was agreed that a revised proposal would be brought to Cabinet if prices or usage increased.
The cost of gas increased significantly in April 2019 – by an average of 18%, so there is a need to increase the weekly heating charge in seven of the nine communal heating schemes. Tenants are charged a basic flat rate for the energy consumed within each block, irrespective of individual usage. The method of applying tenants heating charges is to apply uplifts or decreases to tenants each year, based on previous year’s usage plus energy rate costs.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Dave Hughes, said:
“Our energy efficiency work is helping to keep any necessary increases, which are out of our control, to a minimum. Heating charge increases are being phased in incrementally, recognising the financial pressures households already face.”
All changes will take effect from 1 August 2019 to help spread the increased cost to tenants over a longer period.