Please see below some more information you may find useful.
Is district heating ‘greener’ than conventional systems?
Yes. Developers of new homes are required by government planning policies to cut carbon emissions by using technology like this district heating scheme, rather than traditional systems using boilers in individual homes with miles of gas pipe work. Our carbon emissions are a fraction of what they’d have been if a conventional heating system had been installed.
What are the advantages of district heating?
The district heating system has many advantages, in addition to its environmental strengths – it is expected to be more price stable than electricity or gas utilities, is highly resilient – not just being reliant on a gas supply, and it is safer, because there are no boilers and gas pipes within apartment blocks to maintain and check for leaks.
Is District Energy subject to the same outside factors as buying gas for a traditional system?
Any price change (one a year will be the norm) must reflect three main criteria: the wholesale price of gas, inflation, and the cost changes of labour and materials via an index known as BEAMA. We expect this to provide East Village residents with a stable pricing structure that will protect customers against outside factors that have led bills from traditional suppliers to rise sharply or be higher – for instance, fluctuating company profit margins and subsidies for green energy that are required by the government.
In fact, the latest 12 monthly price review using this criteria has just been carried out and the overall effect on a typical annual bill for residential customers is actually neutral, which is good news for customers. This begins to demonstrate that the pricing model is favourable and stable, particularly when compared to recent increases imposed by other utility companies.
What is the involvement of the ODA in the scheme?
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) was responsible for the construction of venues and infrastructure for London 2012, including securing energy and heating for the former Athletes’ Village, now East Village, and all future commercial and residential developments to be built within the Olympic Park.
The ODA undertook a competitive tendering process and Engie (operating in East Village as East London Energy Ltd), was awarded a 40 year contract after providing the best bid and lowest pricing model, which forms the basis for how charges are set out and calculated.
Since the district heating system became operational, the ODA has been monitoring ELE to ensure it follows the pricing model and its contract, and will continue its limited supervisory role until later this year when this responsibility will transfer to the London Legacy Development Corporation.
How are my billing charges levied ?
A bill consists of three elements. A standing charge, a common heat availability charge (CHAC) and a cost per unit of heat. Changes each year to prices are controlled by three main criteria: the wholesale price of gas, inflation, and the cost changes of labour and materials via an index known as BEAMA.
In the case of the district heating system, the ODA undertook a competitive tendering process and Cofely (now operating in East Village as ELE), was awarded a 40 year contract after providing the best bid and lowest pricing model, which forms the basis for how charges are set out and calculated.
How are residents made aware of charges related to the district heating system?
Charges relating to the district heating system are explained fully within the Residential Services Agreement between ELE and our customers. This document must be signed up to before moving into East Village.
What is a common heat availability charge (CHAC)?
The common heat availability charge is a delivery charge for getting heating and hot water from the building plot boundary to the apartments – it’s a common feature in energy distribution but is often included in unit charges.
Further details of CHAC here
I think that my bills are higher than they should be?
Across East Village, average winter bills so far for heating and hot water are in the region of £70 per month. We believe these stand comparison with what many consumers will be used to for previous homes, where they won’t have had all the advantages of this system and living in the area.
East Village has one of the lowest-cost district heating schemes in the country.
When compared to two other similar London based schemes
- London Scheme 1: East London Energy unit prices are about 10% lower and the East London Energy standing charge is approximately 50% of that charged by Scheme One .
- London Scheme Two: East London Energy unit prices are more than 60% lower and the East London Energy standing charge is approximately the same.
Why is my billing different to a traditional energy providers bill?
The ODA requires that ELE is transparent in our billing and show standing charges, consumption, and a common heat availability charge (CHAC) separately. Despite this transparency, bills should be judged overall, rather than singling out component parts.
Find out more information about reading your bill here
Can I spread payment of my bills equally?
Yes, ELE can arrange for residents of East Village to have fixed monthly payment schedules, enabling them to spread bills equally over all 12 months of the year. To take advantage of this method, please contact ELE directly.
Is East London Energy regulated in a similar way to traditional energy suppliers?
While district heating schemes are not regulated by OFGEM, unlike electricity and gas, the Supervising Body (presently the ODA) monitors ELE to ensure it follows the pricing model and its contract, and the plan is that this responsibility will transfer from the ODA to the London Legacy Development Corporation later this year.
What can I do if I am unhappy with the service I receive?
ELE has a clearly outlined complaints procedure which allows residents to talk to us about levels of service and the detail of their bills. This process broadly follows the principles used by other utilities. Outside of this, customers have recourse to the Energy Ombudsman just as they would for electricity and gas, if they believe that ELE is not operating in accordance with the terms of their agreement. We understand that this is unique to this district heating scheme.
Why is there only a single provider of heating and hot water at East Village?
One company has provided the investment for the Energy Centres and heat network. This same company operates and maintains this infrastructure. This is a normal model to follow for what is a relatively small energy system compared to the electricity and gas infrastructure in the UK. A system of this sort is only viable if there is a single provider. To mitigate this position the provider has to abide by a price control formula which is monitored by the Supervising Body. However residents remain free to choose their own electricity supplier.