SOME council tenants could face rises of up to 64 per cent in their energy bills under proposed new plans.
Flintshire Council will today run the rule over proposed changes to heating charges for council tenants living in communal properties.
In figures drawn up by community services director Neil Ayling, weekly heating charges would rise by between 25 and 64 per cent. The changes will affect communal properties in which payments are collected from tenants in addition to their weekly rent under the council’s communal heating scheme.
Two options will be put forward for councillors to consider – a full increase to be introduced in October or a phased increase over two years where tenants pay 75 per cent of the increase in the first year.
The phasing in over two years would mean tenants incurring an additional charge in the second year to cover inflation.
With the full increase, current average weekly charges of between £6 and £9.82 would rise to as much as £13.50.
A phased rise would mean top average weekly bills of £12.33 from October to March, 2014.
Residents living in Panton Place, Holywell, could see their average heating bill rise by 64 per cent, from £6.54 to £10.77 if the increase goes ahead in full in the first year, while people living in Acacia Court, Mold, would see average weekly bills rise by 52 per cent from £8.85 to £13.50.
If the two year phased increase option is rubber stamped, average total bills would rise to £9.72 in Panton Place and £12.33 in Acacia Court.
In total 20 areas of communal council accommodation fall under the price rise plan, including Castle Heights in Flint, Glan y Morfa Court in Buckley and Chapel Court in Connah’s Quay.
The lowest increase would take place in Bolingbroke Heights, Flint, where the current average weekly charge of £6.91 would rise 32 per cent to £9.18 – if the increase comes in in full.
If agreed, the higher changes would take effect from October.
Mr Ayling’s report said a £110,000 surplus in the council’s communal heating scheme account in the 2012/13 financial year allowed the authority to freeze heating prices for communal tenants. The move meant bills last year were £165 a year less than their actual heating costs.
Mr Ayling said despite the increases, people living in council communal properties would still be paying less for their heating than private tenants.