Sofia Heating Utility Ready to Enter Winter Mode
As October has brought unusually cold and damp weather, the heating utility in Bulgaria's capital Sofia announced it is ready to start providing heat to customers.
This heating season, the company is mandated to provide heating to its customers from October 1, 2013 to April 30, 2014.
The heating in Sofia will be turned on as soon as there are three consecutive days when the average temperatures stay below 12C and there is a forecast for persisting cold weather, issued by the National Institute for Meteorology and Psychology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, BAS.
This is mandated by legal regulation.
"Toplofikatsiya" has reminded daycare directors, school principals and the management of hospitals that they need to apply in writing with the utility if they wish to have central heating turned on in advance of the regular schedule.
For tenants and residents of apartment buildings, if they wish to have the heat on earlier, they need to also apply in writing and the application must have signatures from all households there.
This is done in order to prevent turning on the heat on individual requests without the knowledge and the agreement of other people in the same building.
"Toplofikatsiya Sofia" clients traditionally welcome the start of the winter season with mixed feelings as every year they have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for the comfort of having a warm and cozy home.
The company, which has been in the news for years after it was found drained to the brink of bankruptcy, provides heating to about 400 000 households in the capital Sofia.
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Yep, you don't understand how it works here ;)
Many older apartment buildings here don't have independent heating systems for the apartments or even the blocks themselves and get their heating communally from Toplofikatsia (sometimes called the Heating Mafia!) The heating is turned on for all the 400,000 "customers" at the same time and then off again in the Spring. If you choose not to use this heating in a block which has it you are still liable to pay, since it's usually not possible to turn off just your radiators/hot water and likewise there's no way of telling if, or how much, you've used.
Of course, this is also dependent on whether Vlad is bullying some other country and turning off their gas supply, which then impacts ours. Toplofikatsia is also well-known for having crap infrastructure, often demonstrated by clouds of steam coming out of the ground in the winter where pipes are fractured but this is a life-saver for the homeless dogs and street-street people who congregate there for some heat in the snow. It's also good for those of us who aren't too keen on the street-people lighting big bonfires of scrap wood and rubbish in the middle of the city but who appreciate that they have to keep warm somehow.......if they were Syrian illegals rather than Bulgarian vagrants they'd have somewhere more cosy, of course, and probably wouldn't keep bleating about their "rights" to have more comfort than our own people and to infiltrate other, more prosperous EU countries.