Civinity Mājas, the largest private building management company in Latvia, has started the heating season. About 45% of the houses managed by the company have been connected to heating so far. Compared to the beginning of last year’s heating season, the heat energy tariff in Riga has increased by 44 %. The company also expects an increase in the number of debtors.
As the cold weather has established earlier, this year the heating season was started a little faster. This week, 45% of homes have already been connected to the supply of heat energy, and over the next week, heating will be connected to all Civinity Mājas customers.
In connection with the beginning of the heating season, the issue of debtors has come up again. Despite the fact that some houses still remain in heating payment debt of the last season, heat energy will be connected to all customers of Civinity Mājas.
The heat energy tariff at the beginning of this season in Riga is 44 % higher than it was at the beginning of the 2020 season. Accordingly, monthly payments of the population for utilities will increase by 22 %, compared to the heating bills of last year. The company also predicts that the number of debts may increase by up to 10 % compared to the heating season of 2020/2021.
“This is one of these times when the issue of direct payments with utilities came up again. We believe that the regulatory framework, which allows citizens to make direct payments to a utility supplier, must be improved and combined with a range of stricter and clearer conditions. It is necessary to define more clearly how service providers should provide customers with this opportunity, and it cannot be financially less favorable, by adjusting expensive billing rates. Direct payments work successfully in other cities of the country, and perhaps it is time to give the residents of the capital this opportunity as well. Direct payments would certainly help many residents not to feel like hostages to the situation every year before the start of the heating season when the heating supply to the whole house is threatened due to debtors”, says Nora Birkena, Head of the Residential Management and Sales Department of Civinity Mājas.
At present, all houses managed by Civinity Mājas are ready for the heating season — they have been put in order technically and all payments of AS “Rīgas siltums” for the previous season have been paid for all of them. Connection of heating to Civinity Mājas customers has not been delayed in recent years.