Variants Of Calculations On House-Wide Meters For Heating

Residents of apartment buildings often wonder how beneficial it is to have a district heating meter, the installation of which has recently been mandatory in all regions of Russia.

It is difficult to answer this question unequivocally, since there are several options for calculating the monthly fee for such a service. Let us take a closer look at the existing charging procedures, taking into account all the various nuances.

Article Content:

  • Necessity of installation of house-wide meters
  • Variants of house-wide heat meters
    • Option #1: tachometric
    • Option #2: electromagnetic
    • Option #3: vortex
    • Option #4: Ultrasonic
  • Before installing a flow meter, know
    • External negative factors
    • Ways to save money in the house
  • Calculating operations on a common house meter
    • Heating in the house with a UUT (without individual meters)
    • If it is impossible to install a UUT
    • No UUT when possible Installation of AVCs
    • Heat calculation with AVC and individual meters
  • Benefit of metering
  • Calculation of heat tariffs
  • The process of approval of tariffs and tariffs
  • Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Need to install collective heat meters

In the Russian Federal Law of 23 November 2009 No. 261-FZ. 11.09 ¹261-ФЗ \"On Energy Saving of Energy Resources and on Use of Devices for Metering of Energy Resources Used in Settlements\" states importance of installation of collective meters designed to monitor heat consumption.

Variants of calculations on house-wide meters for heating

According to Law 261 managing companies may install heat meters without agreement with residents of apartment buildings and receive payments based on received data

The Regulation obliges to install such devices in all apartment buildings, except for emergency buildings. In addition, it is considered inexpedient to equip buildings with these devices if the amount of payment for the purchase and installation of a flow meter exceeds the amount of payments for heating received within six months.

Lawmakers believe that this Regulation will contribute to the following objectives:

  • Fair distribution of payments for heating energy supplied to homes. Homeowners who care about reducing heat loss (e.g. by insulating the apartment or facade) should pay less than those who constantly leak heat through gaps or open windows.
  • Motivating tenants to treat both residential and communal spaces with care. They should know that the heating bill will automatically increase if the door is open or the windows are broken, not only in the apartment, but also in the entranceway.

In addition, the law no. 261 officially transfers the responsibility for the communal property to the tenants. According to this legal act, utilities are no longer responsible for the condition of entrances, basements and attics. All works in common areas must be carried out at the expense of the owners of apartments located in the same building.

Variants of communal heat meters

There are various devices for heat control, which can differ in the way they work, the specific design, the specifics of maintenance and installation.

Variants of calculations on house-wide meters for heating

Analogous to any measuring device, the house-wide meter is subject to mandatory calibration, which is generally carried out once every 3-4 years. Not only the service life depends on this procedure, but also the correctness of the readings of the device

The decision to install a particular model can be made by the specialists of the organization dealing with installation and maintenance of such devices in the city (region). They will tell about the peculiarities of the devices and recommend the variants that are best suited for the local conditions.

They will also give advice about the accessories (isolation valves, filters, etc.) that should be additionally purchased and will give advice about the guarantee promises of the supplier.

Four different kinds of water meters are used most often in the Utilities sector:

  • tachometric (mechanical);
  • vortex;
  • electromagnetic;
  • ultrasonic.

Let us look at the above mentioned meters in details.

Option #1: tachometer

Those devices, whose system includes mechanical rotor or vane devices and heat calculators, are considered the cheapest option, because their cost is much lower than that of the other types.

However, in addition to the standard equipment, an additional magnetic-mechanical filter is required to protect both the device and the whole system from dirt.

Variants of calculations on house-wide meters for heating

The tachometer meters are powered by a battery that lasts 5-6 years. As no sensitive electronics are involved, the device can function reliably in unfavourable conditions (e.g. high humidity)

The main drawback of this category of models is that they cannot be used with low quality thermal fluids (high hardness, high percentage of impurities). In this case, the filter quickly becomes clogged, causing a reduction in the head of the coolant. Because of this particularity, tachometer meters are normally only used in the private sector.

Option #2: electromagnetic

These devices are based on a well-known property of liquids - the generation of electric current when magnetic fields are passed through. By measuring water volume and incoming/outgoing temperatures, even very small currents can be captured.

Variants of calculations on house-wide meters for heating

Electromagnetic meters are recommended to be placed in houses located in regions with good water quality. Such appliances also require high quality maintenance

Electromagnetic meters are highly accurate but require proper installation and regular maintenance by qualified personnel.

If not cleaned in time, the devices begin to overestimate the readings. A high iron content in the liquid and bad wiring also contribute to high reading errors.

Option #3: vortex

When a liquid flow meets an obstacle in the water, vortices are created. This is the principle on which this type of mechanism operates. They can be installed in both horizontal and vertical pipelines, as long as the device is positioned in a straight pipe run.

Variants of calculations on house-wide meters for heating

A great advantage of swirl meters is the radio interface, thanks to which service organizations can remotely take readings and obtain information on faults

The low power consumption (one lithium-ion battery lasts approx. 5 years). The vortex meters are sensitive to differential pressure as well as to big impurities, that is why they require additional filters.

But metal salt impurities in the water, as well as sediment in the pipes, do not affect the meters readings.

Option #4: ultrasonic

The readings of this type are based on the passage of an ultrasonic signal through the water flow. The higher the speed of the latter, the longer the wait for a response.

Variants of calculations on house-wide meters for heating

Ultrasonic meters are very sensitive to welding currents. They are also not very durable when the water used in the system is of poor quality

Meters of this type perform well in new houses with no deposits in the pipes. However, impurities, pressure differences in the heating system, air bubbles in the water can greatly increase the readings of this type of meter.

When installing the flow meter one must know

The cost of purchasing, installing and maintaining the meter is paid by the residents.

Variants of calculations on house-wide meters for heating

When choosing a company to install the heating meter you must find out if the company has permits, authorizations and certificates and a state registration certificate

The choice of the company that will undertake the installation of the device requires special attention. It is desirable that the same company also takes care of meter maintenance, including timely cleaning of filters, routine repairs, and regular checks of the instrument.

External disturbances

It is also important to note that many external factors affect the correct operation of the flow meters.

Most of these are the following:

  • Mineral deposits form in the pipes, causing the internal diameter to decrease. This causes an increase in flow. As the meters are sized for a certain element size, a reduction of this will result in incorrect calculations, and the result will be greater than the actual value.
  • Any impurities in the water. Mechanical impurities and air bubbles cause significant inaccuracies of up to 10%. To purify the liquid it is recommended to additionally equip the instruments with filters to trap foreign particles.
  • Sediment on the parts of the flowmeter. With mechanical designs this process reduces the readings, whereas with other types of instruments it causes significant (sometimes many times) exceeding of the actual values.
  • Unfavorable microclimate of the room where the measuring device is installed. Humidity, temperature differences especially affect instruments with electronic mechanisms.
  • Lack of earthing and bad electric circuits, which may cause electric potentials in the pipe system.
  • Uneven pressure in the system affects the correctness of the measurements. The same can be said about a negligent installation of the meter, which can also distort the data.
  • Temperature of the heating medium. Hot water that exceeds the permitted temperature can damage the meter elements.

To avoid incorrect readings and prolong the life of the meter, it is important to regularly perform qualified maintenance and meter checks.

Ways to save money

There are several proven ways to reduce the heating bills generated through the use of building meters.

Variants of calculations on house-wide meters for heating

Warming the facade of the house with mineral wool, foam or other materials will reduce the heat loss to the environment and therefore reduce heat consumption

The following combined measures will help reduce the figures:

  • quality insulation of the building;
  • full glazing of the entryway, replacing conventional frames with stronger and more insulating metal-plastic products.

Although such measures will require a one-time investment by the tenants, they are beneficial in the long term.

Calculating operations on the house-wide meter

It was not long ago that the Russian Government adopted Decree No 603 of 29.06.2016, which details the updated rules for heating calculation on the house-wide meter.

According to this legislative act, the price of heat energy depends on the following factors:

  • heat supply from a heating plant or a small boiler serving a house (group of buildings);
  • the presence or absence of a building-wide heat meter;
  • equipping apartments with individual flow meters or their absence.

According to item 42.1 of \"Settlement Rules\" No. 354, depending on the decision of the local municipality, the payment for the heat provided can be made only during the heating season or evenly distributed on a monthly basis throughout the year. The adopted legislative act considers several options.

Heat supplied to a building with a UHP (without individual meters)

If heat is supplied to a building equipped with a building-wide flow meter and the apartments do not have individual heat meters, then the calculation is made according to the formula in case the heat is paid for during the heating season:

P = V x (S/Sob) x T, where

V is the total amount of heat that is supplied to the building based on the readings of the building-wide meter (in gigacalories);

  • S is the total area of an individual apartment (in square meters);
  • Sob - total floor area of apartments in the building, m2;
  • T - tariff per gigacalorie provided (set by local administration upon agreement with the service providers), rub/Gcal.

If the heat fee is charged evenly throughout the year, a recalculation factor K is added to the formula. It is calculated by dividing the number of months of the heating season (7-8) by 12 (number of months in the year). If the houses have a heating period of seven months, K=0,58.

Depending on the calculation scheme, the total amount paid during the year will be approximately the same.

If it is impossible to install a UUT

In this case the calculation of heat charges for residents in old buildings, where the installation of collective meters is not possible due to the technological features of the networks. In this case the payments are calculated according to the standard heat consumption.

Variants of calculations on house-wide meters for heating

Household meters in themselves do not reduce heat consumption, but their introduction motivates the residents to treat this resource consciously

In calculating payments only during the heating months the formula is used:

P = S x N x T, where

  • S - total living space, m2;
  • N - normative heat consumption rate measured in gigacalories per square meter;
  • T - the rate per Gcal established by local administration and agreed with the service provider, rubles. /Gcal.

If the heat charges are split for all months of the year, then a recalculation factor K = 0.58 should be added to the formula (as in the previous case it is calculated by dividing 7 months of the heating season by 12 months).

P = S x (N x K) x T

As in the previously mentioned case, the annual payments will be identical.

If there is no district heating meter but it is technically possible to install one

If the building does not have one, but it is technically possible to install one, the following formula for the heating season is applied:

P = S x N × Kp × T, where

  • S - area of the given building (in sqm) m);
  • N - norm of heat consumption (Gcal/sq.m);
  • Kpov - multiplying factor, the value of which varies. In 2016 this figure was 1.4, and since January 1, 2017 it increased to 1.5;
  • T - heat tariff set in the region (rub/Gcal).

In the case of monthly payment for heat throughout the year, the resulting number is multiplied by the already known K=0.58 factor (for the seven-month heating season).

Calculation of heat with UUT and individual meters

A similar option is often found in newly commissioned houses. In this case, the calculation is made according to the formula:

P = (Vi + Vo x S/Sob ) x T, where

Vi is the amount of heat consumed over the billing period according to individual meter readings (Gcal);

Vo - volume of heat in gigacalories supplied to the building's tenants according to the joint meter, excluding the consumed quantity, which is determined by the formula:

Pi = (Vin + Viodk × Si/Sob) × Tt, where

  • Vn - the amount of heat consumed during the billing period, is the amount of heat consumed during the heating season (Gcal), determined according to the readings of the building's appliances;
  • Si - floor area of the dwelling equipped with an individual meter (sq.m.)m);
  • Vodk - amount of electricity according to individual meters installed in the apartments;
  • Sob - total floor area of the residential and office premises in the building (square metres);
  • Тt - the district heat tariff in the area.

In this case you only pay during the heating season.

Benefits of using meters

Household meters allow significant savings on heating costs. The price for heat calculated according to actual readings is on average 30% lower than the norms.

Variants of calculations on house-wide meters for heating

The high cost of the heat meter is compensated within three years of installation as it allows a reduction of heat charges by almost a third

In addition the payment according to the fixed tariffs does not take into account the beginning or the end of the heating period: regardless of the specific date the charge is made for the whole month.

But an all-household meter does not solve all the problems with the payment for heating, because in this case one has to pay according to averaged data for all apartment owners, regardless of the amount of heat consumed.

Variants of calculations on house-wide meters for heating

While the cost of an individual heat meter is high, it quickly pays off, especially if one takes measures to save heat

In this case the residents can be helped by an individual heat meter, which also allows the heat output of the radiators to be controlled.

Calculation of heating norms

The following is taken into account when calculating the heating norms:

  • The total heat consumption needed to heat all rooms during the heating season.
  • The total area of heated space in the building and of the buildings connected to the heating system.
  • The duration of the heating season (this also includes the partial calendar months during which measurements are taken).
  • In addition, the calculations must take into account the average daily temperatures of the heated air inside the premises and the cold air outside (measurements are taken during the heating season).

In the first case, the indicators specified in the normative documents on the provision of public services to the population are taken as the basis. In the second, the statistical average for the five preceding heating periods is taken into account (data are provided by the regional hydrometeorological service).

The average maximum temperature, which is calculated from measurements of the five frostiest winter days that follow each other, is also an important parameter.

Variants of calculations on house-wide meters for heating

Homeowners must be careful with the appliance supplied as they not only pay for its installation but also for its maintenance and repair

In a temperate zone, district heating services are generally supplied for 7-8 months from September/October to April/May; the first and last months may be charged at a reduced consumption rate.

The process of approval of norms and tariffs

All calculations are prepared by specialists and employees of heat supply organizations. They are then mandatorily approved by energy commissions operating within a particular locality, region or territory.

Representatives of local authorities and public organizations, as well as deputies of different levels are also invited to the meeting where the planned rates for heat energy are considered.

The calculation of tariffs is made in accordance with legislative acts of the Russian Government that set consumption standards for the housing and utilities sector, including the amount of heat energy. Heating organizations need to document and justify the proposed prices for heating services.

Since the actual outdoor temperatures during the heating season may not coincide with the calculated standards, once a year the housing and utilities services recalculate.

Under severe cold weather consumers have to pay some extra amount, while under mild winters overpayment is possible, which is set off against future payments. The same procedure is performed once a year in homes that do not have flow meters.

Conclusions and useful video on the subject

This video presents an expert opinion on the benefits offered by house heat meters.

The house heat meter is a useful device that can significantly reduce very high heating costs. Despite its high cost, the funds for its installation are quickly enough repaid, especially with the conscious interaction of residents taking joint measures to reduce heat consumption.

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