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Eco Heating Systems - Rip Off Britain

(5 Posts)
Eloethan Tue 17-Sep-13 23:57:36

I don't know if anyone saw Rip Off Britain this morning. The programme was mainly about a Swedish eco heating system that has been installed in a number of housing association estates across the UK. Several of the people living in these houses had been told that their heating bills could be as low as around £500 a year. In fact, some had received bills for over £1,000 for only a few months.

The company disputes that their product is faulty and says that the systems have been incorrectly installed or "misused" (whatever that means).

It was upsetting to see people, many with young childre and on limited incomes, close to breaking point because they couldn't afford to heat their homes. Some housing associations have said they will replace the systems and try and recover the money through legal action.

It made me wonder who is responsible for purchasing these products and whether they carry out proper research.

Out of interest, I did a search on the internet to see if there was anything else about this. There were several entries, including an article in the Daily Mail highlighting these problems over a year ago - and some of these housing association tenants have had to put up this situation for over three years. Presumably if the media hadn't become involved these tenants would still be being fobbed off and seeing no action taken.

Anne58 Wed 18-Sep-13 00:07:24

I did hear that a recent development (well, in the last 3 to 4 years) very near to us had these systems fitted and, well, let's just say that they weren't all they were cracked up to be.

Jendurham Wed 18-Sep-13 00:15:15

I am sure I have seen this before, last year, I think.
Was it an estate in St Neots in Cambridgeshire? I would have thought they would have had an update on it by now.

FlicketyB Wed 18-Sep-13 15:17:02

This read like a throwback to the 1950/1960s when all those multi-story blocks of council flats were being thrown up. Most of them were built with underfloor or ceiling based electrical heating systems that were without proper controls and in flats that were uninsulated and drafty and often many storeys up. Within months tenants were getting unaffordable heating bills. Once again they were blamed for misusing the systems or overusing them. Most switched them off and bought paraffin heaters which caused condensation problems, so once again the tenants were blamed.

Councils, then and Housing Associations now install these systems because they are usually cheaper to install than more conventional systems, and when they go wrong it is always the poor (in every sense)b***dy tenant who gets the blame!

Jendurham Wed 18-Sep-13 17:01:14

In the 70s and 80s we lived on an estate which was heated by a district heating system. It cost much less than the house we'd moved from which had electric warm air heating.
I understand that now the district heating system was replaced with individual boilers, because of the cost of repairing the underground piping.
Shame really, because it was a good system. You always knew if there were any leaks in winter because the ground steamed.