A different approach saves over £5,000 a year.
On MLPL taking over from another managing agent, one block of four flats was found to have very high heating costs of £7,200 per annum for gas.
Some of this was due to penalty rates being in force because no gas contract had been put in place for several years. Once this was rectified the annual cost reduced to £3,800 but this still seemed high to MLPL. In addition maintenance was costing on average over £3,000 per year.
The flats shared a communal boiler system that was over ten years old and MLPL identified that the controls were malfunctioning and the boilers were very inefficient. In addition the heating could not be controlled in the flats apart from radiator thermostats – so the heating was on all day even for those people out at work.
Instead of taking the easy option and simply replacing like with like, MLPL tendered the work to a large number of contractors who were encouraged to quote for the project using new technologies such as heat exchangers, heat pumps, solar etc.
The most cost effective solution was to remove the communal system and replace it with four small, individual boilers with room thermostats and timers – this had the added advantage that residents now pay only for the gas they use via secondary metering.
Over the last 12 months the total gas bill for the four flats has been reduced to £2,343 and maintenance is £360 – an overall saving of £4,097 or 60%.