Latvians receive highest bills so far

Take note – story published 1 year and 5 months ago

The new heating bills that residents receive these days cause a headache even for those who usually don't complain about the cost of living. Heat bills have grown significantly. Rīgas social services' customers who need help to pay their bills, compared with a year earlier, have doubled, Latvian Television reported on January 17.

Rīga residents are starting to get utility bills these days. Their size depends on both the manager and the characteristics of the construction itself and the contract concluded. In Bolderāja, for example, for the inhabitants of an 84-square-meter apartment, the largest bill has come to date.

“We received EUR 980 this month, most of which is electricity,” said Veronika.

Elsewhere in Rīga, residents have also received the largest bills. Contrary to the example of Bolderāja's houses, the most expensive position is heat.

Maija's one-room apartment bill was close to €300, a low rent included. “It's the biggest bill. It wasn't that big in the fall. I'll pay for it, but if it's still going to grow... That's the heating,” Maija said.

When comparing bills, citizens have noticed that even one housing manager has different heating charges for one square meter. For example, at a Ziepniekkalns house, the cost per unit of heating is EUR 3.86. In a similar house in the neighborhood of Teika – EUR 3.13. The heating unit costs EUR 3.10 at the Krasta neighborhood building, while the heating unit cost is EUR 2.77 in the Riga center. All these houses are operated by Rīga house manager (RNP). The company said that the technical state of the buildings and the habits of the population are different. Therefore, the amount of thermal energy consumed per square meter will vary, even for houses that are visually identical.

“There are a lot of factors that make up the price, and also details such as how we ventilate rooms, whether we do this by temporarily opening the windows completely, or we keep the window open for a long time,” explained RNP spokesman Krists Leiškalns.

Meanwhile, big utility bills have doubled the number of housing benefit beneficiaries at the Rīga Social Service. If around 5,000 households received housing benefits at the end of 2021, at the end of last year this number was close to 11,000.

The housing allowance is applicable if, after paying the bills, less than EUR 327 remains for the first member of the household, and less than EUR 228 for each of the next.


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