Information for the building occupants
For almost 30 years, Metrona Polska has been offering the installation of metering instruments and calculating and billing the costs resulting from the individual consumption of utilities in multi-flat buildings. The billing company is not a heat supplier, but only prepares calculations for billing individual building occupants based on the data provided by the building administrator and readings from the metering instruments.
We operate based on signed contracts that stipulate the billing period (usually twelve months), and thus the schedule for the installation, readings from the installed allocators and the cost calculations and billing.
All overpayments or underpayments are settled by the building occupants as part of the rent payments. Complaints or notifications of the need to reinstall the allocators (as a result of the radiators’ replacement) should be reported through the building administrator – our business partner.
FAQ - Information for the building occupant
The heating cost allocator is a equipment that continuously records the temperature of the radiator surface and the surroundings. Units are counted when::
- there are differences between the temperature of the radiator and the room temperature,
- the rate of temperature changes is characteristic of a radiator emitting heat during the heating season.
The allocator does not calculate the consumption units in the summer season. External heat sources also do not affect the correct recording of units.
Heating cost allocators do not measure physical units of heat consumption (GJ, kWh), so they are not subject to verification.
Heating cost allocators (regardless of the type of construction and type) are not metering instruments within the meaning of the Act of 11 May 2001 – Law on Measurements (Journal of Laws of 2013, Item 1069, of 2015, Item 978 and of 2016, Item 542). According to the provisions of Art. 4, Point 5 of this Act, a metering instrument is a piece of equipment, a system or a component intended to perform metering alone or in combination with one or more additional equipment. Heating cost allocators are not metering equipment, because they do not measure any physical value (including heat). In most cases, the increase in their indications (expressed in non-dimensional scale intervals) depends on the temperature of the radiator surface at the place of installation of the allocator and the time of heat transfer by the radiator. Therefore, heating cost allocators are not subject to legal metrological control (type approval and verification), so it is not required to submit any evidence of such control. (source: Central Office of Measures).
The location of mounting the centre of the allocator (according to PN-EN 834) is 75% of the height of the radiator, measured from the bottom. The place of installation is, with some approximation, representative of the average temperature of the radiator and ensures repeatability of the measurement on all radiators in the measured building. The mounting point is in the horizontal centre of the radiator, provided there is an even number of the radiator’s sections. With an odd number of sections, the allocator should be installed at a point closest to the middle section, towards the thermostat. The point of the horizontal installation of the allocator is not as important as the height of its installation. This is due to the fact that the temperature of a radiator equipped with a thermostat differs depending on its height. We understand your concern. After all, at that high point of the allocator installation the temperature is higher. It might seem that it would be more advantageous to install the allocator lower, where the radiator is cooler. This is not true, though. After all, your individual costs of heating are determined by the reading of the heat meter in the heat substation (on the basis of which the building’s heating costs are determined) and the total number of read units on the allocators in the entire building. If there are more consumption units (the cost allocators are installed in all flats according to the same installation rules), then the cost of one unit is lower. The lower cost of one unit compensates for a larger number of units, and so the lower cost of one unit ensures greater accuracy in the division of heating costs (greater resolution of the cost division).
The basic information on the display appears as a sequence of data, each 8 seconds long.
- Equipment number
The equipment number guarantees an unequivocal assignment of the TELMETRIC allocator to a given radiator and identifies the allocator in the reading equipment.
- Consumption units recorded at the end of the last billing period
For the first billing period (new allocators), a “0” will be displayed. After the end of the first billing period, the “0” will change to the number of units recorded in the first billing period. This number will be included in your first billing. After the end of the second and each subsequent billing period, the recorded amount of consumption units for the last billing period will be displayed in the field marked →I. The value in this field will not change until the end of the current billing period.
- The control number
It is used to check the correctness of the reading. This number is calculated once a year, after the end of the billing period, by the microprocessor in the TELMETRIC allocator. The control number, just like other readings of the allocators, is read through reading equipment installed outside the apartment.
- Current readings of the consumption units
The new TELMETRIC heating cost allocator, after installation, shows “0” consumption units in the field marked I→ 0. Depending on the temperature of the radiator and the time of recording, the value in this field will change, as successive units of consumption, informing about the heat emission by the radiator, will be recorded. On the last day of the billing period, the current reading is saved (since then, it will be displayed with the symbol →I), the current counter is reset and the process of counting consumption units for the current (new) billing period starts from the beginning. This procedure is repeated automatically every year.
Allocator damage indication
The electronic measurement systems installed in the TELMETRIC heating cost allocator perform continuous self-monitoring. If, as a result of mechanical damage caused by, for example, tampering attempts, the permissible tolerance of the measuring systems is exceeded, then the allocator automatically switches to the emergency operation mode, during which only the allocator number is permanently displayed.
The heating cost allocator is connected to the radiator through its back wall, which is made of a properly selected metal alloy that has good thermal conductivity. In this way it can effectively collect information about the use of the radiator. Due to the fact that the allocator does not “recognise” the size of the radiator on which it is mounted, there is a need to determine the appropriate evaluation factor. In our billing system, each radiator on which the allocator is installed is recorded and defined based on the radiator catalogue. The type and size of the radiator translate directly to its power. After making an inventory of the radiators based on the recognised technical parameters (e.g. heating power, size, structure), an appropriate radiator evaluation factor is selected for each allocator.
Standard EN 834, Section 4.18 precisely specifies the method of selecting the evaluation factor, which is determined by the following parameters:
- nominal heat output of the radiator (evaluation factor Kq)
- thermal coupling of the sensors (evaluation factor Kc).
The Kc factor takes into account the differential thermal coupling between the temperature sensors and the recorded temperatures on different types of heating surfaces.
The total evaluation factor, K, is the product of the individual evaluation factors.
Each billing company performs, at its own expense, laboratory tests of the compatibility of the allocator with a given radiator. In simple terms, they consist of testing (in a thermal chamber) the dependence of the amount of heat emitted by the radiator to the number of units indicated at that time by the allocator. The test results are entered into a computer system. During the installation of the allocators or during reinstalling due to the replacement of a radiator, an inventory of the current condition of the radiators in the premises is made.
Premises on the ground floor, top floor or located in a vertical corner usually have a higher demand for heat. This fact is taken into account at the design stage of the building, by diversifying the size of radiators in individual flats. In order to eliminate the impact of the location of the flats in the calculation of the individual heating costs, appropriate compensation factors are implemented. In practice, a set of tabular, simplified factors was originally used. Depending on the date of the building’s construction, the following factors were available: 0.7; 0.8; 0.9 and 1.0, which were assigned to individual flats depending on their location (if the coefficient equal to 0.7 is used, only 70% of the value read from the allocator is taken into account for the final billing). Currently, it is increasingly common to use equalisation factors based on the demand for the heat of individual flats, using thermal calculations, taking into account the structure of external partitions in each flat (walls, ceilings, windows, doors, etc.) individually for each building.
Thermostatic valves relieve the users of the task of regulating the heat supply for the radiators. They are equipped with thermostatic heads that control the room temperature and, depending on its value, open or close the hot water supply to the radiator. Setting numbers (usually 1 to 5) are marked on the valve head knob. Each setting corresponds to a specific room temperature, according to which the valve will regulate the heat supply to the radiator. If the room temperature drops below the set temperature, the valve will open and the radiator emits heat. If the set room temperature is reached, the valve will close and so restrict the heat supply to the radiator.
The temperature in the room should be set according to your needs using thermostats. The optimal temperature in the flat should be between 18°C and 22°C. By reducing the temperature setting by 1°C you can reduce the energy needed to heat your flat by several per cent.
The room temperature is maintained regardless of the weather, but the radiator will work with a different frequency depending on the weather (it will be turned on more or less frequently). The task of the flat occupant is limited to setting the valve according to his or her needs.
The temperatures obtained at individual setpoints can be determined using a room thermometer. After selecting the setpoint of the thermostat in line with the personal sense of thermal comfort, the role of the user is finished. Adjustment of the setpoint is only necessary if there is a need to change the internal temperature (e.g. we prefer lower temperature at night, we leave for a longer period, etc.).
Unfortunately, it is often forgotten that the purpose of heating is to determine the expected room temperature, and if it is satisfactory, more heating is not necessary. A cold radiator often causes anxiety, so the thermostats are set in such a way that the radiator works, despite the fact that the thermal conditions in the room do not require it to be working. Of course, this behaviour increases heat consumption.
One should also regularly check that the thermostatic head is properly attached to the valve with the nut. If the nut is loose the valve may open prematurely.
How to economically manage heat and save on heating
General information for using the individual billing system
The introduction of a system of individual calculation of heating costs has the aim of rationalising heat consumption. Heating cost allocators are types of metering equipment that allow determining the individual user’s share in the cost of heat for the building. Thanks to them, you do not incur costs for heating at a flat rate, regardless of the amount of heat used in your flat. The radiator thermostat is a tool that allows the setting of the heating rate according to the current needs and circumstances.
Tips for rational heat management:
- Regular exchange of the air in the apartment is necessary for the proper and healthy functioning of the human organism. Replacement of used air generates costs, therefore the apartment should be ventilated briefly, but intensively – preferably with a draft.
- Before opening the windows, close the thermostats completely, otherwise the valve located near the window will activate the radiator, and all the heat pumped into the radiator will escape from the ventilated room. Such heat losses over the course of the whole year can be significant.
- Long and low-intensity ventilation (e.g. with a vent or by slightly opening a window) with the thermostat open causes HEAT LOSS.
- After closing the windows, the thermostats should be reset to their original position.
- Blocking radiators with furniture, enclosing them, covering them with long and thick curtains or drying towels on them hinder the transfer of heat to the rest of the room. Most of the heated air stays in the immediate vicinity of the radiator, by the window (often leaky). Bringing the entire room to the desired temperature increases heat consumption.
- It is better to use all radiators evenly than to use only some, turned to the maximum setpoint.
- Pulling the curtains (not covering the radiators) and lowering the window blinds after dark reduces the consumption of thermal energy without reducing the thermal comfort of the apartment
- At night, you can lower the temperature in the apartment by turning the thermostat to a lower setpoint.
- When leaving the apartment for a long time, set the valves to the minimum flow and leave the doors open to balance the temperature in all rooms.
- If necessary, radiators should be vented, and thermostats should be screwed firmly to remove the slack.