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Apr 29, 2021
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Will consumers pay for DHW modernization?

Will consumers pay for DHW modernization?

Back in 2011, amendments were made to the federal legislation regulating hot water supply (DHW).

According to the adopted changes, from 01/01/2022 in the homes of Russians, hot water for taps and batteries will have to be supplied separately. The deadline is approaching, now it turns out that the country is not ready to switch to a closed hot water supply (DHW) system.

As experts have already calculated, the transition from an open hot water supply system to a closed one will cost the country 2 trillion rubles.

The State Duma, with the help of relevant departments, intends to develop a targeted state program for financing the transfer of houses from open to closed hot water supply systems. The work will be large-scale: this system will have to be changed in almost 60% of the housing stock. The authorities have not yet figured out where to get the money.

By the way, the decision to switch to a closed system was made back in 2011 – from January 1, 2022, the whole country should switch to it. In all residential buildings, hot water to radiators and taps must come from different sources. So the authorities and officials have come to their senses: is it really possible to change everything in less than a year?

ALWAYS CLEAN AND HOT

It is generally believed that an open water supply system is simpler and cheaper. But the quality of the water is worse. A closed system is more expensive in equipment and maintenance, but the water will be cleaner.

The differences are simple. In an open system, water is heated in a CHPP, GRES, boiler room and goes to our taps from the same pipes from which it enters the batteries. In a closed system, water is already heated at the facility (in the house itself) and is supplied from other pipes.

With an open water supply system, the water cools quickly. Therefore, we usually drain the first water from the tap – we often have to wait until hot water flows. This is bad both economically and ecologically.

The disadvantages of an open system are high fuel and electricity consumption, increased operating costs for boiler houses and heating networks, large heat losses, water cools down in pipes. And also the extra costs for the chemical treatment of water: after all, it is necessary to reduce the hardness, demineralize the cold water before heating it, and at the same time achieve its compliance with the drinking water standards.

And with a closed system, the cycle is closed. Hot water is supplied to houses, and the waste water is used for heating. True, skeptics believe that with a closed system, an entire pumping system will have to be used, and this is also a cost of energy. Another challenge is maintenance. Ordinary plumbers can no longer cope: here it is not easy to tighten the nut, here you will need to understand complex engineering systems.

Dmitry Ionin, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Energy, is convinced that a closed water supply system should finally provide Russians with normal quality hot water, but for now rusty water flows from the taps in many houses, which is not something that is impossible to drink, and the dishes cannot be washed and a shower cannot be taken. Ionin believes that the water supply reform, which was supposed to start in 2011, has failed, and now everyone is nodding at each other: “The relevant ministries say that the regions are to blame, they say that the municipalities are to blame. But you have to be objective: the very idea is to blame that you need to switch to a closed system without clear and understandable sources of funding. “

In Europe, by the way, open hot water systems have long been considered the last century, and Russia still lives on these pipes. The closed system is both more energy efficient and more secure.

REGIONAL EXPERIENCE

A number of Russian cities are already using a closed system. For example, in Tyumen and Chelyabinsk. In Tyumen, the developed principle of multi-stage regulation of the heat carrier flow was used, which helped to ensure reliability in heat distribution. In Chelyabinsk, various heat sources were looped, the process of heat distribution was automated, and a system was created for consumers to regulate the amount of heat they needed. Experts say that in the end it was possible to reduce energy losses by 30%, reduce fuel consumption and the amount of harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

But it is still an expensive pleasure. For example, in Novosibirsk they also tried to transfer the city to a closed system in 2013-2017, but this requires a serious investment of budgetary funds. And private investors are in no hurry to get involved in such a large-scale work.

Now the Russian Ministry of Energy has chosen Yekaterinburg as a pilot site. The transfer of the city to a closed system has already been estimated at 60-80 billion rubles. And again, this is not the first “approach to the projectile.” At first, such work in Yekaterinburg was planned to be carried out until 2015, then until 2018. Now again, new terms. And most likely, the transition to a closed system here will take place only by 2030, and only in stages.

Replacing water supply networks is the most expensive part. On the one hand, this is not bad: it is high time to remove the old rusty pipes through which water flows into the houses, many have long been worn out. Another problem is that narrow modern PVC pipes are not suitable for a closed water supply system. It is necessary to increase the throughput, to install wide pipes. So the work is truly grandiose. And it is clear that the tariffs at which the population pays for water cannot recoup such costs, our money to pay for utility services is not enough even for ordinary repairs.

Many experts worry that the move to a closed system is economically unjustified. Yes, the quality of the tap water will improve, but is it worth the effort? After all, we do not use hot water for drinking, it would rather be important for cold water. But supporters of the transition to a closed system notice that this, on the contrary, will reduce payments for hot water. Indeed, after serious investments in the reorganization of the system and the installation of modern engineering systems, the supply of water and the provision of its heating will be easier and easier, without loss of heat.

But one can hardly expect that after the introduction of a new closed water supply system, the authorities will give people the opportunity to pay less for water. Rather, they will raise tariffs in order to recoup the large-scale costs of network reconstruction.

Marina Lepina.

Photo: AdobeStock

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