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A condominium cuts the heating in the face of the explosion of its gas bill

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They simply decided to turn off the tap. To avoid individual and monthly gas bills sometimes exceeding 1,000 euros, around a hundred Nice co-owners from a rather well-to-do district chose Tuesday to cut off their central heating, some “simply not having the means to pay”.

Between the Valrose university campus and the residential hill of Cimiez, Parc Lubonis, a former housing estate for teachers built in the 1950s, is a neat complex of around a hundred apartments and five villas. In these apartments, some with terraces and sea views, life flowed peacefully… until the energy crisis.

The buildings of the Lubonis park, in white, make up a set with a few individual villas. -Google Maps

Last year, from October to May, with the Russian energy supplier Gazprom, the gas bill for the condominium rose to 89,100 euros. But the quotes exploded for this year. They reach 684,000 euros for SEFE Energy (former German subsidiary of Gazprom) and up to one million euros for TotalEnergies, just to operate the central underfloor heating over these eight months of 2022-2023.

At least until January

“Last year I paid 150 euros per month for heating, this year I would have had to pay more than 1,000 euros per month, it’s simply impossible”, confided Philippe Lorenzi, 70, engineer at the retirement, who occupies a T6 with his wife: “The only solution was to turn off the heating”. And it is this proposal, the 95 or so co-owners voted for it, Tuesday evening, in a general meeting. They more exactly decided not to light it on October 15, as initially planned, and this until January and a next general assembly.

“We will then have new quotes and information on the tariff shield to which we are entitled”, adds Philippe Lorenzi. Greeted by applause, this decision is “a relief”, according to another co-owner. “Accepting such high quotes would have endangered the condominium, too many people simply did not have the means to pay”, explained the latter at the end of the meeting.

“Temporarily relieved”, Arthur, in his thirties, remains “worried”, because his partner is expecting their first baby in December: “Even if we have bought some extra electric heaters, I hope it won’t be too cold” . It’s time for “system D”. “A few months without heating, we will survive well, slips another retired co-owner. There are far more serious things, people on the streets and the threat of nuclear war. »

“Energy strainer”

If the gas bill is soaring, it is also, explains Camille Daubeze, head of Forimmo, the condominium trustee, because the underfloor heating system is old and the residence is “an energy sieve”. “Between the central boiler and the apartments, heat loss reaches 40%,” she explains. We could consider installing a heat pump or solar panels, but the cost is high, despite the aid, and it will take time”.

The town hall of Nice indicated that the services of the metropolis in charge of the energy renovation counter “contacted the condominium in September”.

In a letter to Elisabeth Borne, Eric Ciotti denounced the exclusion of certain condominiums from the tariff shield. In response to this letter, the Prime Minister “confirmed [qu’il] would apply to condominiums but that the application of the device was pending the publication of a decree”, assured the deputy LR from Nice in a press release sent to 20 minutes.

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