East London Energy


#64

Dear Ian,

I hope my message finds you well. A belated Happy New Year to you. I was wondering if you had made any progress with East London Energy following the letter you sent in September last year. I only moved into my flat on the 19th October, and have recently received a bill for £126 covering the period 1st October to 31st December. This seems high to me for a number of reasons;

  1. I wasn’t here for all of that period.
  2. I have nearly all of my showers at the gym at lunchtime so do not use much hot water.
  3. I work full-time so am only really around weekends.
  4. I have the thermostat no higher than 18 degrees. To be honest I
    haven’t fathomed the thermostat properly yet. As a consequence I
    never feel very warm at all in my flat. In fact I am wearing two
    sweat tops, a t-shirt & am wrapped in a blanket as I type.

I appreciate you are probably very busy, but if you do have time to let me know if you received a response from ELE, I’d be very grateful.

Kindest regards,

Roseann.


#65

Hi Roseann,

I’m not an expert on what is normal…I don’t think any of us are as quite yet.

However your first bill will contain a extra standing charge of £18 I think (it’s not a rip off, it does makes sense, but a longish explanation). So, if you subtract the £18, then you have £108 over 3 months, so about £35 a month, with some heating on. This seems pretty reasonable to me tbh, even if you are showering elsewhere. However, if the 18’C isn’t giving you enough heat I’d suggest asking the landlord to come out and look at the system as I would have thought it should be warm enough (again, my thought and based on my understanding rather than anything definitive). I’ve still not had to turn my heating on…however, different people feel heat/cold differently, so it’s very individual!

So, in summary, seems OK [probably] but I’d get your system checked all the same.

Ian


#66

@NiK I am in awe of that amazing graph!

We just got our first bill (moved in end of October but they claimed to have not received our forms and didn’t set up our account until now.) In a one-bed flat and it’s about £33 a month, with the heating at 5C and never turned on. I agree the CHAC is baffling…bills are more than I used to pay for a three-bedroom house!

We might turn the heating on soon because it’s getting colder and see what happens…


#67

Dear all

I have just spoken to Matthew Aylott at Which? magazine. He has taken over the District Heating brief from Louise Strong. He was very interested to hear the situation here re: ELE etc. They are just compiling a report which looks like it might be published in February which details a list of recommendations for the District Heating industry. They intend to launch a campaign alongside it which is likely to lobby the government to give us as much protection as the mainstream energy industry gives their consumers. Which? are very much fighting our (consumer’s) corner. To that end Matthew would be very interested to hear from you. If any of you are happy to send to matthew.aylott@which.co.uk your bills (especially those of you at the higher end) then could you? I think it will help our cause and he has said that this information will be fed into the report. Interestingly, as a consumer watchdog, they are looking at some of the legal issues around ‘mis-selling’. Certainly the idea of District Heating (DH) was sold to us as a cost-saving scheme, when in fact it is blatantly anything but. I will update more soon, but for now please email him with your bills folks.


#68

Thank you for your hard work Robert. I will email him with my bills!


#69

Hello. First time poster here. I’ve had my December bill and seen the same extreme rise in both cost and usage. I rang ELE this morning and was told that they had no explanation and only take readings. They suggested that it was possibly the fault of Triathlon for setting a ‘pre-set’ heated regime. This still wouldn’t account for the rise, if anything it would make it stranger.

Triathlon, naturally, were confused as to why it would have anything to do with them. They admitted that they had had around six calls saying exactly the same thing. I found ELE’s response poor to say the least. To say, as the energy supplier, they have nothing to do with bills or levels or use is poor. It can’t be coincidence that everyone has experienced this at the same time. Constant tales of systems not being set up properly etc. It’s all just unacceptable. Has anyone had similar experiences?


#70

@Phill that’s quite some statement you’re making. If you had a leaking pipe would you expect Thames Water to know, and would you expect them, rather than Triathlon to come and fix it? If you had a dodgy electric wire somewhere that was using electricity up would you expect EDF to know about it, and would you expect them or Triathlon to come and fix it?

@TriathlonHomes have consistently shown they aren’t entirely on the ball with most things on this site. For example, the heat system in my flat clearly hadn’t been checked by their contractors prior to me moving in, and basically was not working.

While I am not saying that ELE have no responsibility, I think it is quite unreasonable that we blame them for everything heat related. They only own a certain part of the system, not all of it. The landlord/owner owns part of it as well. And as none of us are experts I think it’s very easy to jump to conclusions without evidence as seems to consistently be the case around East Village.

Personally I’d prefer an approach where we actually have an informed discussion on all of this. I’ll be going along with Rob on Wednesday morning, and we will be pushing for a lot more information on this, as like you (and everyone else), we are determined to get to the bottom of this. I think this will require ELE and Triathlon/GLL to work together. At the moment the situation is clearly unacceptable, but we really need to know where to point the finger before we point it.


#71

@ian_king sorry if it seemed like I was only blaming ELE. To be honest I’m just annoyed at the situation and slightly tired of the the companies blaming each other. I’d much rather just find an answer that can help everyone.

I think who ever is responsible for the system could maybe provide extra help and perhaps a walk-through guide. It seems to be a bit confusing. I’ve tried to make sense of the booklet but it’s beyond me.


#72

Just so you know our bill went up from the around £45 a month with the heating off to around £55 with it on often. Massive difference in consumption but a fall in CHAC at last which is good as our building has always been bad on that.

I’m putting in a request to get the system looked at as I’m not convinced it’s all on as it should be. The problem being we don’t really know what to expect with it as most of us have never experienced such a system before.


#73

Thanks for letting us know @Claire do you mind me asking who has arranged for that check? I think it may be as simple as that. Lots of people seem to have system or underfloor issues that seem to come down to things not being set up properly.


#74

I do agree that this seems to have come to a point where Triathlon and GLL should send a team out to check all systems are set up properly. Ideally that team is trained by the company who designed it. Surely none of the parties involved can expect the tenants to solve this.


#75

@Phill I haven’t done it yet but I’d do it via our property manager in the first instance.


#76

I agree! Thanks for all the comments. For reference - my bill went from about £45, to £78 and now £98.
I’ve been told many things for the past few months and had at least 3 visits from GLL/ELE, etc… First they said I might had a blockage in the pipes/air or something that was causing some issues with my underfloor heating, ELE told me 2 valves was closed it was wasn’t air in the pipes. No I’ve been told that my thermostat might not been set correctly. Since a few days ago we noticed that some parts of our underfloor heating went on an ice age mode now!?! I’m deeply disappointed and I am not the kind of guy that keep complaining all the time but it is evident something is wrong just by the way people are commenting here and on Facebook. It is a similar problem all across!! Any ideas for an action plan?


#77

Does anyone know if when Triathlon/warranty team come to look at my system, that will include the Honeywell box or is that ELE’s remit? Because the date/time on mine are wrong and I’m no wondering if that’s somehow overriding things but I was always told not to touch it.

It seems like I get passed from pillar to post as to at what exact point in the physical network ELE responsibility switches to landlord/occupier responsibility


#78

Hi guys,

So we just moved in to a 3 bed flat at the start of December and had the joy of having our first bill from ELE. It seems extortionate compared to what I’m used to paying up north and especially considering as far as we are aware our heating is on the magical 5C setting and never used.

For December 5th - 31st we came in at £51.70 (765kWh) with a CHAC of £5.70. Before I get in touch with ELE/GLL to come take a look are you ok to pop over at some point @NiK and check we have things set up right?

Dave


#79

This is almost identical to me. I have gone from the £50-60 region Jan to July then £104.49 in August and it’s been in those figures ever since. And ivs never turned my heating on. It’s always been on 5c


#80

Dear all,

As Robert mentioned I’m Senior Energy Policy Adviser at Consumer Association Which?

We are currently investigating the District Heating market so I’m keen to hear from you regarding your district heating experiences. We’re planning to publish a report on our findings in February and campaign to get stronger protection for consumers.

I’ve been discussing with our legal team what rights you, as district heating customers, currently have. As you will probably know, until we have a change in the law, district heat customers have no access to an ombudsman for escalting complaints, like those on mains gas do. There is a voluntary Independent Heat Customer Protection Scheme being developed which will help protect customers but this is not legally enforceable so it remains to be seen what impact this will have.

According to our legal experts, if estate agents or third parties have been misleading tenants into taking properties on a district heating scheme on the basis of cheap energy bills, those estate agents or third parties may well have breached the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) which govern misleading and unfair commercial practices towards consumers by a business.

The CPRs were recently amended to introduce a new right to redress for consumers who’ve lost out following some breaches of the CPRs, and tenants may be able to use this to seek compensation. However, there are strict conditions as to when the right to redress is available and it’s not clear if they will be satisfied in this case. If the CPRs route to redress is not available, there may be a route to redress under the law of misrepresentation or negligent misstatement.

I hope this information is useful, we’ll be following this up with the government on your behalf so we can help you get a fairer deal.

Regards,

Matthew


#81

Hi Matthew

Good to hear you’re getting involved! A friend of mine works for Ombudsman Services, and has told me that East London Energy are one of their participating companies. A quick look at their websites confirms this: http://www.ombudsman-services.org/memberlists/energy/?letter=E&page=1 & http://www.eastlondonenergy.co.uk/complaints/

So although it might not be formal, legal recourse to an ombudsman there does appear to be a voluntary scheme already in place.


#82

@Missloulou have you queried this with ELE. Over £100 a month is a VERY high bill for any ‘normal’ property in the UK outside of a cold winters month. If you’ve been paying that since August I do hope you’ve been talking to both ELE and your landlord to check your system is working properly.


#83

Today I had another visit from ELE. They sent a nice engineer over, a chap called Danny and he was extremely helpful. He went through everything with me, he did a full system re-set, he explained me exactly how things work, how to set everything in the correct way, etc… (too complex for me to explain here as it is a case by case situation I guess). He also went through my bills and from now on he will be checking remotely how my consumption is progressing based on the new settings and he will update me if something goes wrong. Apparently I should see a reduction on my bill if everything goes according to plan. I suggest, contact ELE again based in your issue and tell them what you need and if necessary, ask them to send someone over… I understand many of you already did, but lets keep pushing things forward until we get to the bottom of this problem. If I get further updates I’ll post here and looking forward to see how everyone is getting on… Thanks for the comments and tips too! :slight_smile: