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Saturday 17.03.2018 | Name days: Ģertrūde, Gerda, Gertrūde

Locis: RNP had tried artificially increasing its actual costs

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAlthough on its website Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks states that the company is motivated to provide quality services, it is because of poor-quality services that the company’s name is often mentioned alongside different scandals and court processes, says member of the National Alliance Dainis Locis in relation to RNP.

He reminds that State Audit’s report in 2015 mentioned that the company had fictively employed 13 people. More than EUR 190,000 was paid in wages to those people. In 2016, Nekā personīga reported the story how a spouse of a deputy of Riga City Council with a criminal past and inadequate education was put in the company’s leading post. A year later, society was shocked to learn how RNP recovered the costs for a court process from the person who sued the company by including the amount in bills.

Residents often complain about unreasonable bills that often charge people for services that were never provided. Other most often complaints mention improperly calculated water consumption differences, which results in Riga residents having to pay unreasonably large amounts of money. In cold months, nearly half of the amount charged for utilities is made up from heating fees. Locis says the high price of services is the result of the company’s inefficient management.

«RNP has secured energy efficiency for only five out of 4,300 of houses under its authority. Residents of non-renovated houses consume too much heat, letting it out through windows, doors, non-insulated roofs and walls. Unfortunately, residents are the ones who have to pay for heat loss,» Locis says.

He says the majority of apartment buildings in Latvia were built after WWII, when heating insulation was not considered much. In renovated buildings, on the other hand, heating costs decline 35% to 57% depending on how cold it was during the winter months.

Although it is clear that one of the most effective ways of reducing heating costs is insulation, use of this method seems to go much slower in the capital than other Latvian cities. EU funds have been used to provide heating insulation to only 46 buildings in Riga – 0.39% of all apartment buildings in the capital. Most of the projects in Riga were realized by associations of apartment owners and cooperatives. RNP has provided heating insulation to a mere 0.11% of its managed buildings, Locis adds.

Compared with other cities, RNP is far behind: 110 buildings have been provided with heating insulation, 60 in Valmiera and 57 in Ventspils. In those cities (unlike Riga) insulation of buildings is performed by the largest building managers. Ventspils nekustamie īpašumi has performed heating insulation in 42 buildings, Valmieras namsaimnieks – 31 buildings and Liepājas namu apsaimniekotājs – 22 buildings. 13.25% of Valmiera’s buildings have been given heating insulation, 6.88% in Ventspils, 6.48% in Cesis, 5.2% in Liepaja. Riga stands with a mere 0.39% of insulated buildings.

«EU funds soon will not be available for building heating projects. But it will be necessary to insulate buildings without external funding. Without heating insulation, buildings will keep becoming less and less energy-efficient. This means growing bills for apartment owners and growing risks of non-renovated buildings falling apart,» says Locis.

Insufficient insulation is not the only problem RNP clients face. In 2017 apartment owners were shocked to find enormous bills for the allegedly provided service of clearing snow off roofs of their buildings. The company’s calculated bill reached EUR 1,250. The explanation given for this amount by RNP was that it was a normal market price of this service. This fact is hard to prove because there is no way to tell how much snow was cleared in the first place, Locis explains.

The price of snow-clearing services in Riga ranges from EUR 0.35 to EUR 2.55. This means for EUR 1,250 it is possible to clear snow from a roof with a size of 3,500 m2. This situation begs the question if RNP is not trying to artificially inflate actual costs to collect more money from residents.

«Latest trends show that prices of services provided by RNP tend to increase. The same can be said of the wage of the head of RNP. Declarations submitted to SRS show that wages of RNP chairman Ivo Lecis and chairman of Rīgas satiksme Leons Bemhems increased by EUR 20,000, exceeding EUR 70,000. Unfortunately, the same can be said about residents’ debts,» Locis says.


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