PEOPLE living on a new estate are angry after getting surprisingly high heating bills.
At a meeting of the Pembroke Park Residents’ Association (PPRA) last week, A2Dominion housing association tenants were furious at how much they have been charged for the first few months of their tenancy.
A Mr Paris, who declined to give his first name and who lives in Coleridge Drive on the estate in Eastcote, received a bill of almost £600 for the months of November and December 2010, and January 2011, despite having no heating for the entire month of January because of a fault.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Paris said: “A2Dominion realised that people were paying too much for their bills so they lowered the tariff, but they should have done that from the start.
“In the beginning, we had no communication with them at all and we had no idea about the high rates until the bills came through to us.
“I send letters, but A2Dominion never reply. It has been almost two years since we moved in and nothing has been done about it.”
According to the PPRA, when developer Taylor Wimpey built Pembroke Park Estate, houses were put on the highest tariff for their heating.
When the estate was passed into the hands of A2Dominion, the tariff was not changed.
The new housing association tenants were charged high prices, with no idea of the rate of payment they were on, or how to control it.
Now A2Dominion says it will install smart meters to help people measure their energy use and costs, but the tenants with high bills have been told the costs will carry over to the smart meters. However, the tenants are not willing to pay.
Doreen Wright, A2Dominion’s group development director, said those living in Pembroke Park Estate will still have to pay the full cost of their heating bills charged at the higher rates, but affordable payment plans will be set up.
“We understand that a small number of residents are disputing the cost of the energy bills they were sent when they first moved into their properties,” she said.
“When A2Dominion began managing homes at the scheme, we renegotiated the energy tariff to a lower rate, for the benefit of our residents.
“However, they are still responsible for paying for the heating and hot water they used when they first moved in, at the rate that was agreed at that time.”