Residents sign petition demanding heating and hot water bill reduction

A woman washes her hands in a kitchen sink. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 14, 2020. Photo c

Residents at Curtis and Wyatt Houses say people there are struggling with heating and hot water bills - Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Residents at a development near Poplar have signed a petition demanding their heating and hot water bills are reduced.

The petition, signed by more than 80 people living at Curtis House and Wyatt House in the Goodluck Hope development, says some people living at the blocks are struggling to keep up with heating bills from pay-as-you-go meters.

It has been sent to Notting Hill Genesis, the housing association which manages the homes, as well as Ballymore and Communal Energy Partners, who run the heat network.

The residents are demanding a review of the current tariff and a reduction to a "more affordable" rate.

The petition claims several families are paying up to £400 a month just for heating and hot water.

Notting Hill Genesis said it cannot enforce any cost reductions and does not have any control over the heat network and the prices.

But it confirmed it was offering residents at Curtis and Wyatt Houses the chance to apply to transfer to homes with lower energy prices.

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The petition said if the current billing system remains, many families may be unable to pay rent and could end up homeless.

It added: "People are choosing heating over food to stay warm.

"Many families are relying on foods from food banks or support from their neighbours and/or relatives."

A Notting Hill Genesis spokesperson said: “We are acutely aware of the difficulties faced by many of our residents because of recent cost of living increases and have a comprehensive package of support and advice options for those who are struggling.

"Our housing team are working with residents at Curtis and Wyatt Houses to ensure they have access to those."

Ballymore, which said it is the freeholder of Goodluck Hope, said it empathises with residents dealing with increasing energy costs.

"We regularly retender our energy requirements to ensure residents benefit from the most competitive energy services," a spokesperson said.

"We will continue to seek third-party providers who are able to maximise cost efficiencies and keep bills as low as possible for our residents."

Communal Energy Partners did not respond to a request for comment.