East London Energy


Hi All,

I thought this would be a better place than Facebook for people to discussion East London Energy. As you may know, we previously wrote a letter to them, which can be found at: http://www.E20.org/ELE.

The initial response was very much a line by line answer to the points - nothing particularly new or interesting. Following this I followed up to request an in-person meeting, and was given a positive response. The first attempt got cancelled, but a new meeting is in the diary for 9am on the 1st October. Myself (Ian King), Jess Shankleman and Rob Vesty will be going as residents, and on behalf of others. ELE will be represented by their CEO, Julius Brinkworth, and their Head of Billing, Donna Crossan.

I see this as a first meeting, so very much relationship building and fact finding. Rob, Jess and I are still to agree the points of focus, but clearly they will revolve around the cost of heating and the excessive temperatures in the building.

I will also be pushing for a town hall type meeting, and for resident education on the use of both the heating system in our homes, and our flats in general. It’s important to realise that these flats are very well built, at least in terms of insulation. Not many people in East Village will have lived in such property (if any), and we need to help in using these modern buildings, which will react differently to old leaky properties. An example of this is that it is probably reasonable to expect a different profile for our heating bills. In a leaky building you would expect the winter bill to be much higher than the summer. In these building I would think that the change should be much smaller, so that the difference between summer and winter won’t be so big. I know last winter some people did not find this, but that was before people really got to grips with the heating controls in the properties. We need help with this, so we are not using lots of heat unnecessarily at any point during the year.

The Government publish data, known at NEED (National Energy Efficiency Data) annually (link at the bottom). Using the dataset known at ‘gas and electricity consumption multiple attributes’ (link below) it is possible to look at the mean and median gas uses for London purpose built flats, and houses, post-1999. The mean and median are different ways of calculating the average, with mean being the value people usually mean when they say the word average. However, the median is typically more representative of the data. This is the most comparable dataset to our properties, even if it not a perfect match. This shows, for example, a one bedroom flat has a mean of 7,800kWh of gas use, and a median of 7,000kWh. Some of this will be cooking, but I believe heating is only around 2% of gas use (ref to follow), which would mean the values change to 7,644kWh, and 6,860kWh. kWh stands for kiloWatt hour, and it is a measure of the energy we use.

For ELE we pay £0.06728 / kWh for heat. If we used the median gas use (6,860kWh) for our heat we would be paying £461.54 for our heat, plus standing charge (12 x £17.48) of £209.76, plus CHAC (guessing at 12 x £13) of £156. This would result in an annual bill of around £827.30 annually. This would compare unfavourable to a London gas average (not clear if mean or median) of £762 using the Government data set of ‘average annual domestic gas bills by home and non-supplier (QEP 2.3.1)’ (link below).

However, before you panic, the likelihood is that we should be using less energy in our wonderful highly energy efficient flats (B-rated), if we use them properly.

We must also remember that our standing charge covers the maintenance cost of the boiler, so if we assume (very roughly) this equates to £9/month, or £108/year.

If we factor these two things in we would be looking at a bill that would be lower, ON AVERAGE, than the average.

However, there is still a long way to go to get to that point. I have seen some bills for the winter which were quite unbelievable, and that scared me quite frankly. So, I think this is about education on the use of the heating and the properties, as well as better understanding the pricing of the CHAC and the standing charge - the underlying cost of each unit of heat is actually OK.

Sorry if this is a bit long, but I wanted to try and be open about my thinking.

Along with the others, I am doing this out of my own time and am happy to try and answer questions. I will also try and provide a different view point to any arguments put forward, rather than always simply agreeing.

While I am happy to take this forward, I’m very keen this doesn’t become a big long list of moans. I want this to be about being positive how we can all work together as a community and with ELE, to get a better outcome for us all - I really think this is possible.

Ian (refs below)

NEED data 2014: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-energy-efficiency-data-framework-need-report-summary-of-analysis-2014

Gas and electricity consumption multiple attributes (same link as NEED data): https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-energy-efficiency-data-framework-need-report-summary-of-analysis-2014

Average annual domestic gas bills by home and non-supplier (QEP 2.3.1): https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/annual-domestic-energy-price-statistics

East London Energy meeting with EVRA Thursday, 22 January 2015
ELE Update


Thanks for taking the time and using your expertise to help everyone out with this issue. I hope the meeting is productive and turns out to be a step in the right direction.

I appreciate the time you are putting into this.



Are you able to share the response to the letter we sent or did they not wish you to do that? Thanks for all your effort.


reply from ELE July 25 2014.pdf (857.8 KB)


Now attached


Fantastic, thank you for this Dr King, much appreciated.


Thanks fir the update, as you said they don’t really give that much new info. Interesting that they don’t seem to have any influence over how hot the corridors despite some rumours on the EV FB group that they have a ‘deal’ with GLL/Triahtlon to keep the corridors hot.


I’d say that was poo! Yes some of the buildings need heat to avoid mould for example but the in cahoots with is daft. Even if they were we’re not meant to be paying for heating in shared areas as individuals anyway. Service charge is an entirely different matter but do note that GLL tenants don’t pay such a charge it’s all part of the single rent fee. Lots of guess work on the EVR group based on not much until proved otherwise as you’ve probably seen.


Thanks so much Ian for being a voice for so many of us. Much appreciated.


@NiK @ian_king @Claire @Admin @eunicelaw1 @Jack90

I just received my new bill for the month of September £39.33… Good or Bad :smile:


I just had mine for a 2 people 3 bed in Karner House. £30.76 incl VAT. And the CHAC is £0.44. They are predicting on overall consumption of £548 for the whole year, which seems pretty reasonable for such a large flat.


Better than mine, though most people’s are. Vesta the vortex always seems to have higher CHAC. Though this month it’s less than a tenner. Our bills are usually £40-45 a month with the heating off. Just got out first electricity bill which works out at around £33/month so our utilities are going to work out at around £90/month (a guess) plus water. I don’t know if that is good or bad to be honest.


I received my bill yesterday, £36, CHAC only £6 this is my lowest bill to date and our usage habits haven’t really changed. Our CHAC has steadily decreased month on month.

Last 3 months average under £37 now, I am pretty happy with this and if I maintain an average of under £40 over winter and a 12 month period then I think this is reasonable in my opinion.

My first 2 months bills were high due to my own mistake, I left my heating on full blast inadvertently and thats why my flat used to be so hot, once I got that under control thanks to Ian, John and Claire’s guidance my bills have fallen every month.

Looking forward to hearing from Ian regarding the ELE meeting in due course, but I also think this is an education issue, a lot of residents need to learn how to use their heating effectively to avoid higher bills, as in my case, I was under the impression that my heating off but in reality it wasn’t. Whilst I was away at work it was on full blast, but turned off before I returned so I never realised.


Hey there - just received our ELE bill as well. £57. Our bill went up £20.
I think it seems high and our heat is not on. Do I need instruction? @Claire @ian_king @NiK ANY TAKERS?? I am pretty sure I am missing something here.

Thanks neighbors,



Hi @JDWhite, that does seem pretty high. Are you able to check your bill and see what attributed to the increase? is it the CHAC or has your physical consumption gone up.


Hi @JDWhite — as reference, our bill was £51 last month and this month it dropped to £45 — I still don’t get why it goes up and down as we are having more less the same consumption.


I don’t know why it goes up and down @frankdasilva either!

Ours is £3 cheaper this month but heating & elec is still over £70 per month which is more than we were paying in a 10 year old flat. Bizarre.


@Nik @frankdasilva @Lizzie Sorry CHAC is not an acronym I am familiar with. Can you elaborate for me? ELE is for heating and hot water only, correct? Thanks for your guidance in this. I want to be sure I understand and manage to the best of our abilities especially with the upcoming winter months.



From what I understand, there are three components to our bill

  1. A Fixed charge just under £18, so our bills no matter what will always be atleast £18,
  2. A consumption based charge of £0.06728 / kWh (you pay for what you consume)
  3. The CHAC which is the major bone of contention as there seems to be no logic to its fluctuations

@JDWhite more information about the CHAC can be found here It is in essence an charge in relation to the heat loss from your building block’s heating system from where it connects to ELE’s district heating system to where it connects to your apartment.

I would be interested to understand the CHAC and the Fixed or Standing Charge better because these account for the majority of our bill regardless of consumption, so even if we left our flat empty for a month with heating off and no hot water use, we would still be charged for those and that doesn’t sit right with me.

With these being said, is it safe to assume that everyone is OK with the “consumption” charge portion of their bill?

You should probably take what I say with a pinch of salt though as the reason why I seem to be happy about my bill is because I have no reference point.
At my old place in Canary Wharf we didn’t have to pay water bills or heating and we had a quarterly electricity bill from NPower only. My heating and electric bill is also around £70 per month here but I don’t know if that is good or bad, because despite all these additional bills, my total fixed outgoings (mortage, rent, service charge, council tax, bills) is still significantly less than what I was paying in rent previously so I am still saving money by moving here.



Thanks Aniket. For reference my heating & elec here for my 1 bed cost the same as your 3 bed. And I am signed up with Ovo for greener, cheaper electricity. And we have the heating set at 5c and both of us are in and out at various points in the month.