Who's paying for the heat?
November 6, 2010 3:23 PM Subscribe
Help me figure out whether the landlord is really paying for my heat.
I moved into my current apartment last spring, when heating was not necessary. As it gets colder, I examined my heating apparatuses more closely and realized that they are all electric (baseboard-type) heaters (I'm used to central air, so no, this wasn't immediately obvious to me). My lease states that the landlord will pay for heat, but that I pay for electricity.
Given that I have electric heaters, is this possible? Are apartments ever wired so that just the heaters are on a separate meter?
Is there a way to assess whether I am paying for heat other than seeing how much steeper my electric bill is at the end of the month? I know the easiest answer seems to be "ask your landlord", and I am pursuing an answer that way, but communication is a bit slow as it's through a large company rather than a single person. And anyway, I'd like a way to test their claim if they state that I'm not paying for the heat.
More info: two of the heaters are controlled by dials right on the unit, but the two main units must have a switch on the wall (not on the unit) flipped to "heat" as well as a dial on the wall (not on the unit) turned to the required temperature. The wall switch has three settings (heat, off, and AC); the AC setting controls electrical power to a window AC unit plugged into a special outlet. Since I know that I pay for the AC power toggled by this switch, is it possible that the electricity for the heater routed through this same switch is on a separate meter?