Rēzekne city center has hot water cut off for summer

The town of Rēzekne currently has the highest heating tariff in Latvia, at EUR 198 per megawatt-hour. To save on costs and citizens' bills, the municipality has decided to switch off hot water for the city center. Understandably, it has caused dissatisfaction and shock for residents, not only due to the fact but also communication about the fact, Latvian Radio reported May 6.

The hot water in the center of Rēzekne was disconnected on April 30, contrary to what had been the official information – May 1. According to current estimates, it would not be connected until October 1. Rēzekne heating network operator said that some house managers had simply rushed ahead, causing even more frustration among residents.

"Nobody has said anything, not even a not on the door. I have no time, strength or desire to go fight with them. I have to deal with how to wash my grandchild. But there are ill people, and not everyone can go out to wash somewhere else. I can't digest the situation, but it has to be fought somehow!" said a resident.

The other people addressed by Latvian Radio are equally frustrated.

“I have a small child and another child goes to school, it's hard without hot water. For the time being, we heated water in a kettle, we went to our parents – they have a boiler,” said another resident. She thinks the decision is wrong – the hot water supply should have been left in place even if it is expensive. People would have the opportunity to economize water.

Residents are also worried about the heating season if the tariff is so expensive.

“I am afraid to imagine what will happen if the government does help, people will be left homeless because there is no way to pay, I have a pension of €317,” said a resident.

Boiler houses are heated with chips and pellets in other neighborhoods of the city. There, the hot water is in place, but it is unknown what it would cost either to residents or the heating network manager.

Representative of Rēzekne's thermal networks board member Aldis Mežals said that 'perhaps hot water could be connected faster than the beginning of the heating season' if gas tariffs get lower. When asked why the residents were not given the choice of whether they wanted hot water at the expensive tariff or not, Mežals replied that it was the company's decision to consider various considerations.

"We considered the solvency of our citizens at tariff EUR 198, the percentage of solvent citizens, and the public's debt to the company would be very much increased. Secondly, the company's commitments would also grow. Thirdly, the City Council had issued a survey where people were asked what they wanted, and most voted to shut down hot water,” Mežals said.

According to Latvian Radio's information, a small number of people participated in the survey, and a little over a thousand of them indicated that the hot water district had to be shut down. If the situation remains as it is now, the center neighborhood residents would not have hot water until October 1.

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