Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No Early Heat

I saw this at
With the daily lowest temperature barely hovering above freezing point, winter seems come to Beijing earlier this year. Here at Danwei's headquarter, your correspondent has put on a feather jacket to fortify against the biting chill, huddling over the only non-human heat source in the office - a laptop.

According to Beijing Times, responsible authorities in Beijing conferred yesterday and decided that Beijing would not switch heat on before November 5th, citing that the average temperature in the next five days is unlikely to drop below 10°C. The current policy dictates that the heat will be turned on only when the average temperature in five consecutive days drops below 5°C.

I posted about this a few days ago. The policy doesn't make any sense. Instead of the average temperature, they should consider the daily low temperatures. If it was 10°C all the time, then it's bearable. However, there is a fairly large differential between the high/low temperatures and right now it's -1°C in Beijing.

I just talked to my friend in Beijing earlier and she said she is freezing her ass off at night. She said the real issue is that a lot of people, including large SOE (state owned enterprises) and companies, don't pay the central heating bill. This is mentioned in the Chinese article too (10亿供暖费收缴不上来) as ¥1 billion of uncollected fees. Since the system is centralized, there is no way to shut off heat to individual customers and lots of people just don't pay up. By turning on the heat early, all it does is increase costs... who cares about the millions of freezing people.

My friend said that she wanted to write a complaint online and pass it around to her friends. I told her to be careful that she doesn't get in trouble; the CCP don't like petitions. I'm pretty sure there's no heating in police labor camps.

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