Flat tenants of Reinoutlaan Geldrop see energy bill tripled

Photo credit: Studio040

Residents of the apartment complex on the Reinoutlaan in Geldrop may see  their energy bill tripled from February. the Housing corporation has announced a rise. “I can’t pay for this with my pension and AOW.”

Mart Beks (77) who lives in the terrace flat with communal heating can tell you all about it. His advance will increase considerably after February 1. “I now pay 143 euros, but that goes to up to 475 euros and then there is also 50 euros for the lighting in the halls and other service costs, which is no longer affordable for people with a small pension and an AOW. A rent of 1100 euros makes that impossible.”

“If you add fixed costs life becomes a lot more difficult. Even those who can still afford it must cut back. A vacation may well become too much of a luxury.”

Much unclear

The way in which this decision has been communicated also upsets Mart and other residents of the terrace flat. “Above all, it is very unclear. Woonbedrijf does not want to tell us how this new advance has been calculated, who the gas supplier is and what the gas price is. We simply do not know where we stand.”

“We can see what we use, but we do not know what we pay for it. We received a letter that the rate is 20 cents above the price ceiling, but Woonbedrijf does not show us any amounts,” says Jaap Buitelaar to Studio040.

Pay for other people’s consumption

In the apartments on the Reinoutlaan, the hot water consumption cannot be measured, because there are no metres. “What we pay for water consumption is part of the advance and that is an amount that we cough up with all residents. I shower for five minutes every other day, as the government prescribes, but someone else can just as well shower every day, let the bath fill up or leave the tap on, then we all pay for it,” says Buitelaar.

“It is very crooked that I pay for someone else’s consumption. It is not just  for showers, it is also the consumption of hot water in the kitchen. Not everyone is aware of that. We have accepted it all these years, but now it is only becoming a problem,” adds Beks.

Compensation

In total, the bill for residents of 3000 homes owned by Woonbedrijf will rise sharply. In a response, the corporation says it understands the concerns of residents in Geldrop, but says that residents, like the rest of the Netherlands, are faced with higher energy rates. Woonbedrijf also hopes for compensation from the government, which may also apply to apartment complexes with communal heating, such as those on Reinoutlaan.

Furthermore, Woonbedrijf says it will do everything it can to prevent residents from getting behind on their rent.

Source: Studio040

For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez

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