The UK, alike other nations, are working to reduce the amount of carbon emissions produced, in order to create a more greener and pollutant free environment. One way the government wants us to do this is by getting Londoners to obtain hot water and heat from ‘district heating networks’. The plan is that a central communal heat source will send heat and hot water along underground pipelines eventually leading to people's homes. The energy providers
believe these methods are efficient and suitable, however some residents have complained that this type of heating is simply to expensive for them. E.on runs a mini power station outside the ‘myatt’s field north oval quarter estate’, being installed as part of a redevelopment. The mini power station has simply been a burden to the residents. Uzoamaka Okafor is the chair of residents association and explained that the power station was causing extreme amounts of distress for the residents, especially for the less capable, such as the elderly. “It’s been riddled with issues, from intermittent hot water and heating, a number of outages, to concerns around high estimates bills, customer service and technical faults..."There are lots of residents that do not put their heating on at all; they go to bed early. I've bought one resident blankets, because she's so distressed about bills she doesn't want to put the heating on”. Smart meters had been placed in each home, but were incorrectly providing the wrong heating usage and increase bills unexpectedly. The bills of some residents were so high that they had to choose between warmth or food, two basic necessities.
In order to determine what went wrong, the report was constructed by Stuart Hodkinson who is part of the (University of Leeds) and Ruth London from the ‘Fuel poverty action’, they believe heat outages had happened on 48 separate occasions. Edward Connell, suffered from dementia and was elderly, he was struggling to cope with the cost of the bills, as they were too high. In October he died from a heart failure and to shock there was no food in his flat. E.on responded to Mr Connell’s death with "This is clearly a very sad case, but we have no insight into the wider circumstances of his death and the factors which may have led to it”. Jeremy Bungey, is head of the company's heat division, he sent a letter of apology to the residents but did claim that he had urged anyone with problems to contact them previously.
An estimated £320 million has been funded into encourage more heat networks to be built through the UK, as only 200,00 people are dependant on ‘district heating’. The department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, heat networks; "have the potential to reduce heating costs, in some cases by more than 30%". Many customers have claimed that there has been no price decrease and in fact a traditional boiler has been found to be cheaper. The government hopes that 18-20% of the population will be using these new heat networks by 2020.