Many Rīga residents will have cooler homes this winter

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In the heating season, the Riga House Manager (Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks, RNP) which maintains most multi-apartment buildings in the capital, will reduce heating temperatures by one to two degrees, which according to the operator's estimates, would save costs by 5%-10%, Latvian Television reported on September 16.

RNP's plan to reduce heating temperatures in managed apartments is linked to energy scarcity and high prices. According to the company, although the solution will provide citizens with the possibility to save, it also has its expected shortcomings related to the state of Riga's multi-apartment buildings.

“The main problem most relates to the fact that these heating systems are both morally and technically outdated. The possibility of regulating Soviet time heating systems is not as we now want, not as it is in any normal new building that has been constructed relatively recently,” said RNP spokesman Krists Leiškalns.

The Cabinet regulations currently in force provide that the heating temperature in the apartments must not be less than 18 degrees. The Economy Ministry has drafted amendments to regulations that would set temperatures in apartments across the country to 19 degrees this year. Amendments could be considered by the government next week. 

Valdis Vītoliņš, board member of the heating companies association, said that the heating systems of old buildings will not be able to ensure that all apartments have the same temperature.

“There's a risk that if a house isn't balanced, there may be some apartments where temperatures will fall more. It will be good in one place, and cool in the other,” Vītoliņš said.

The temperature could be increased again if a majority of apartment owners in the house voted to do so.

The RNP spokesman said that before the start of the heating season, it is still possible for housing owners to decide jointly on an individual heat charge splitter, or allocator, as well as on setting up stabilizers to reduce bills. 

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