Sergiev Posad Residents Get Growing Utility Bills Instead of Heat

Sergiev Posad Residents Get Growing Utility Bills Instead of Heat


Piercing cold in the apartments in winter is the main problem of Sergiev Posad, a township in the Moscow region. Thousands of citizens, including children, suffer from negligent officials and workers of housing and utility services who give empty promises. The omnipotent Gazprom will enter the city heating market from the new year. has figured out that it will bring nothing good except higher tariffs for most city dwellers. They will be still freezing as usual.

Here are some official statistics. Over the past week, the Integrated dispatcher service of the Moscow region received 149 complaints over utility services from residents of the Sergiev Posad urban district. They were mostly concerned with the loss or improper quality of heat and hot water.

There is real pain and suffering of a large number of citizens behind these figures. In this sense, Sergiev Posad is a bewitched place. Officials come and go as do heat suppliers but it is still terribly cold in residential buildings.

A few days ago, posted a story about residents of the Moskovsky neighbourhood located in Sergiev Posad at Moskovskoye Shosse 7, Building 2 and 3. A typical situation occurred there. The managers of local boiler house IK ES from Ivanovo refuse to deliver the heating medium to the houses at standard temperature. The “underheating” reaches 30 degrees. For example, overnight to December 10, 2021, it was minus 22 degrees Celsius in the city. Sensors showed that the heating medium temperature at the entrance to the residential complex was only 49 degrees while the norm was 80 degrees.

Nobody can get a handle on the utility. Communication with it is nearly impossible.

Officials only make promises on paper. Recently, Moskovsky neighbourhood tenants appealed, through the Status management company, to the Ministry of Housing and Utility Services of the Moscow region. The officials’ reaction was truly “amazing.”

“Following the Regulations on the Ministry of Housing and Utility Services of the Moscow region, approved by the Government of the Moscow region on 03.10.2013 № 787/44, these issues do not fall within the competence of the department,” wrote head of the regional agency Anton Velikhovsky.

Incidentally, Velikhovsky forwarded this appeal to another ministry.

Another public official Sergei Anfilov, deputy head of the administration of the Sergiev Posad municipal district, said in an official response that he was aware of the situation and had already asked the prosecutor's office to “take measures.” However, it is not clear what measures might be taken. Still, it’s better than nothing because most of the complaints are usually shelved.

But the administration knows how to throw dust in the eyes. Officials have recently made much publicity about an event in Sergiev Posad that was presented as a panacea for all woes.

The district's boiler plants and heating networks will be managed by the regional organization Gazpromteploenergo for 25 years. This decision was “secured” with a highly orchestrated ceremony where the Moscow Region, Gazpromteploenergo, and the municipality signed a trilateral concession agreement. According to the document, the investor received 68 boiler plants, 13 of which run on liquid fuel and coal. The company pledged to invest in repairs and installation of new equipment.

“A separate division of the company will be responsible for a particular area. Accordingly, we will organize communication with both residents and management companies. We will inform them about our plans, about the periods when design and survey work will be carried out, when construction and modernization of facilities will start, and when the networks will be relined,” Gazpromteploenergo CEO Vyacheslav Vasin reported.

If you think that the mighty Gazprom will solve the heating problems in Sergiev Posad you are mistaken. Let's take a closer look.

First, under the concession agreement, Gazprom will only manage the boiler plants in municipal ownership. Most of them are quite modern and operate without any major failures or complaints. What can be done about the faulty boiler plants that number about 40?

Second, before the concession of boiler plants, Gazpromteploenergo managed to lobby for increasing the rates for heating and hot water supply in the region from 10% to 40% depending on the type of boiler plant, starting January 1, 2022. The increase in the cost of services applies to everyone. In other words, the tenants of the houses that are provided with heat by such unscrupulous suppliers as IK ES will also have to pay more.

It turns out that residents of Sergiev Posad won’t see any major changes. People will still be freezing.

P.S. While this material was being prepared for publication, local deputy Andrei Mardasov initiated a meeting between Moskovsky neighbourhood tenants and representatives of the administration, prosecutor's office, and management companies.

The main question was the quality of services of two boiler houses leased by IK ES. The first speaker was IK ES head Dmitry Marinin who said that he was not afraid of inspections as all heat supply parameters met the requirements. The company was not planning to leave the market, as the lease agreement had been prolonged till 2024. After his speech, he left without listening to anyone, showing complete disrespect.

It was decided to once again contact the local prosecutor's office and create a commission with the participation of Rostekhnadzor, the State Housing Inspection, administration officials, deputies, prosecutors, employees of municipal heating networks, utility companies, and residents of problem buildings. The boiler plants and heating networks will be checked in the near future. An unbiased inspection report is expected to provide recommendations on rectifying the situation. This weekend, residents of Moskovsky residential complex plan to appeal to Moscow region governor Andrey Vorobiev to take the scandalous situation under his personal control.

In the meantime, residents are terrified of the coming cold spell with temperatures dropping to -25 °C.

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