22 January 2019

Termoelectrica and the representatives of the housing sector in Chisinau met on September 12th in a public debate to discuss solutions to overcome the debts by homeowners associations. While S.A. "Thermoelectric" invests in energy efficiency projects, housing fund managers remain swallowed by debts and obligations to public service providers.

"Heat tariffs have not been adjusted from 2001 to 2007, and in 2008 there was the first increase in tariffs and immediately compensations were introduced for the cold season. From 2011 to 2015, the heat tariffs were adjusted by ANRE four times, and during this time, there was a problem of recovering money from consumers who did not have the ability to pay the invoices at the increased rates. And in 2015, when Termoelectrica was created, new problems arose - the old issues related to the debts accumulated by Termocom remained unresolved and the situation became more strained between the heat supplier and the housing fund manager", said Victor Parlicov, an energy expert at IDIS "Viitorul".

Thus, over 26 years, the debts to S.A. "Termoelectrica" have grown, and the residential fund is an absolute leader in this chapter, accounting for 98% of total historical debts.

"Debts are formed because of defaulted consumers and then the HOA manager is in a bad situation. Out of the three thousand controlled apartments this year (out of 26 thousand), we identified 117 cases of theft: de facto the consumer was connected to the centralized heating and de jure used the autonomous boiler. There is still a problem of the housing stock management. We would be very pleased to contact the consumers directly, but they will have to respect some obligations”, believes the director of S.A "Termoelectrica”, Veaceslav Eni.

In turn, housing fund managers claim that they are sued despite paying bills in advance and not understanding where the debt arises.

According to Victor Cojocaru, president of the housing cooperative no.185, S.A. "Termoelectrica" provider tries to put the historical debts on the consumer's shoulders. "Every three years, the provider attacks the CCL in court, asking us to pay various fees, and the bailiff's services, blocks the bank account without accepting the rescheduling of debt for a period of time determined by both parties".

"Debts are formed not only from heating, but also from water. Counters that have recently been checked do not work properly. As managers, we are intermediaries and we buy gcal and sell it to tenants. It turns out we work for Termoelectrica for free, but the institution applies penalties", believes Alla Poltavcenco, manager of APLP 51/173.

Energy expert, Sergiu Tofilat explains how the debt is accumulating and what solutions would be appropriate: "Legislation provides that the difference from the common hot water meter and the individual meters is shared between the consumer, but often this difference is paid by those who indicate the real consumption. The "Apa-Canal Chisinau" collects these debts from IMFGL, and the Termoelectrica does not allow this because of the payment of gas to Moldovagaz. Or, the methodology is crooked and we have to address the Government or the problem of managing the housing sector, and in this respect, the local government needs to get acquainted with Termolectrica to take on these debts".

Also, at the time of the tenants 'decision to reorganize as co-owners' associations, Termoelectrica forces the managers of the associations to recognize these debts and take them through concession to his management.

The debts previously invoiced to the tenants are not a problem because there are the invoices sent to the tenants and the collection of the necessary funds to pay off the debt. While unvarnished debts have a limited prescription, so forced enforcement of these debts is virtually impossible. But at the same time, the tenants refuse to continue the registration process if, as a result of this reorganization, they will have to pay several hundred thousand extra lei. Thus, these debts become an important barrier to reorganizing the old residential blocks into the condominium association.

"We are attending different meetings trying to explain to people what APLP or condominium means, but we do not have the majority of 2/3 needed for reorganization. We are helping the HOAs managers with legal support, but unfortunately, in 17 years, only ten tenant associations have been reorganized because they fear the burden of debs”, says Sergiu Negru from the Chisinau Town Hall.

Among the solutions recommended in the case of the debate for diminishing this situation, we can mention the conclusion of a tripartite contract between the consumer, the manager of the housing stock and S.A. "Termoelectrica", the modification of the normative acts regarding the allocation of the hot water consumption.

Find more in the Conclusions and recommendations of the public debate.

The event was held within the initiative 'Improving energy efficiency program for low-income families in Moldova", implemented by the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) "Viitorul" with the financial support of World Jewish Relief Foundation. It aims to raise the standard of living of low-income tenant families by improving energy efficiency measures that significantly reduce the heating costs and consumption.

For more information, please contact Ana – Maria Veverita on ana.veverita@viitorul.org or (0 22) 221844.

22 January 2019

Termoelectrica's S.A. specialists and representatives of the housing sector in Chisinau met on January 25th in a public debate to discuss the rescheduling of historical debt for heating and the modernization of district heating services for the residential sector. While S.A. "Termoelectrica" invests in energy efficiency projects, housing fund managers remain swallowed by debts and obligations to public service providers.

"More than 80% of residential blocks in Chisinau work in obsolete legal forms. The reorganization process is blocked by the fact that those who initiate the reorganization process are required to take over the historical debts of the block, which were previously not billed and unknown. In this case, the historical debts of the housing sector to S.A. "Termocom" must be frozen in order not to block the reorganization of the legal entities that are currently managing the housing sector in condominium owners associations”, believes Victor Parlicov, an energy expert at IDIS "Viitorul".

Thus, over 26 years, the debts to S.A. "Termoelectrica" have grown, and the residential fund is an absolute leader in this chapter, accounting for 98% of total historical debts. Also, by the end of 2017, the thermal energy provider "Termoelectrica" had debts of about three billion lei to the gas supplier "Moldovagaz".

"Administrators see solving the problem by debiting the debts, but they do not see the solution for collecting these debts, which, in fact, is their duty. Everyone tries to hide behind certain rights, but no one wants to recognize their contractual obligations and according to the statutes. We have contracts expressing who consumers are and what is the billing procedure. There are associates who pay directly to Termoelectrica. We support HOAs administrators and we have a total openness", says Commercial Manager of SA" Termoelectrica", Victor Puiu.

In turn, HOAs managers do not understand where the debt comes from.

According to Victor Cojocaru, president of the housing cooperative no.185, the debts are endless and continue for years. "Because of the low incomes of the population, we require payment for heating to be made by 1 October. Unfortunately, now the sums paid in summer are not taken into account. We have to end these problems and calculate the debts of the last three years. But the state should think about the citizens who have poor pensions of 620 lei".

"We have to ask who those debts are. What is the real duty? While the tenants are the final consumers, they should pay them and not the tenants' associations because we have no liability to Termoelectrica. Let us collaborate to eliminate these debts once and for all", suggests Alla Poltavcenco, manager of APLP 51/173.

One of the solutions proposed in the debate is the horizontal distribution of heat, which will reduce the cost of heat. The solution allows for individual consumption control and offers the possibility to count each apartment individually. "The housing blocks with such a system have bill savings of over 30%, compared to the average cost of heat in the town. For example, in the 2016-2017 season, the cost difference between the block on Pandurilor street and the other blocks in the capital was 51.75%. There are 28 apartments in this block, and the average expenses for each tenant were 1,000 euro", says Nicolae Glingean, development director at SA" Termoelectrica". According to the company, from the installation of the horizontal distribution now benefits the block from Gradinilor Street,  following the example of the 52 block Pandurilor Street - the first block in the capital that passed last year from the old distribution system to the new one.

Energy efficiency works can only be made entirely at the level of the building and not for each apartment. Respectively, even if all the administrative and legal problems were solved, the economic problem would remain - the vulnerable social population would have no sources to pay for their contribution to these energy efficiency works. "If we admit that about 10% of the apartments in each block are inhabited by socially vulnerable consumers, then the 60 million lei allocated for compensators could mobilize up to 600 million lei for investments in the energy efficiency of the buildings", says Victor Parlicov.

At the same time, the energy expert Sergiu Ungureanu proposes the liberalization of the energy market and the direct contracting "We have to take into consideration the direct contracting, attract investors and change the legislative framework. We need to liberalize the supply market and find other sources of energy production. Termoelectrica also has to raise its defense shield and work with consumers".

The "Termoelectrica" company provides with the thermal agent, in the cold period of the year, over 186 thousand apartments in Chisinau.

The event was held within the initiative 'Improving energy efficiency program for low-income families in Moldova", implemented by the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) "Viitorul" with the financial support of World Jewish Relief Foundation. It aims to raise the standard of living of low-income tenant families by improving energy efficiency measures that significantly reduce the heating costs and consumption.

For more information, please contact Ana – Maria Veverita on ana.veverita@viitorul.org or (0 22) 221844.

22 January 2019

"No blockbuilding in Chisinau was without scandal. But everything has gone all the way, "says an official from the City Hall with resignation. Massive blocks appear in all corners of the capital - a sign that the city grows and grows. However, the emergence of blocks is not always linked to optimistic demographic forecasts, and many of the constructions violate elementary rules and rules. For example, access to natural light, social infrastructure such as kindergartens, polyclinics and other public services is restricted. Moreover, many of the buildings do not fit into a general vision of both functional and aesthetic development, and disturb the inhabitants.

Officials blame former advisers who voted for land issues; and the counselors blame the lack of vision and will of the officials. Responsibility also goes to investors who do not care about the social function of a residential building, but only profit and architects - who do what the client says.

After all, most buildings have set authorizations and confirmations from the authorities, respectively, if residents claim certain rights in the court, as a rule, the investor wins.

Citizens indignate, but without constant and coordinated action. However, they are inhabitants who start the seeming battle with windmills. From their experience, we identify a few steps to stop at least temporarily some constructions and complete with some recommendations for other angry citizens. As one activist said: "If at least 5% of the inhabitants were involved, many of the construction would be no more".


This is how most of the conflicts surrounding the building of blocks that are increasingly disturbing the inhabitants begin. At first there is a fence, then the builders come, a foundation is laid and a block is put into operation. Even if legislation provides for more rules to be followed, including population consultation, they are rarely followed. I've been looking for activists who, in the wake of the fence, took their fate into their hands. Just as David, a poor shepherd son, dared to throw a stone and kill giant Goliath - so we identified a few citizens who dared to start fighting for their rights in a tortured system where everyone blames the others. Each of them has different successes and activities. However, we identified three important elements characteristic of any civic action against construction: the unity of the inhabitants, hiring a lawyer and contacting all local elected representatives.

1. Contacting the authorities: Alba-Iulia Street 30

On 30 Alba Iulia street, at the end of trolleybus 22, a nine-storey building was planned. As in many cases, there is authorization. Even though the new block limits the sunlight and the access of the inhabitants, the neighbors have not been very involved in stopping the construction. Vadim Vieru, a resident of the block and a lawyer, during electoral debates during the 2015 electoral campaign, asked the future mayor, Dorin Chirtoaca, to find out what it is with that block. As a result, the newly-elected mayor withdrew the building permit, initiated a service investigation against the CMC secretary and asked the construction company to stop the works. Things that did not happen right away. Respectively, the yard was blocked by three old trolleybuses installed at Chirtoaca's initiative. For two years, nobody built anything. However, the company won the right to build the Supreme Court of Justice, and the local authorities shrugged and said they had nothing to do. Today, the three trolleybuses are a block. "It is a well-established scheme. If people were making a noise, going to court, going in the legal way referring to neighborhood standards, urban norms, SNIPs 2, neighborhood rights, neighbors' permission, construction could be stopped, Vadim Vieru said.

However, this case shows that by simply contacting the mayor they managed to stop construction for two years.

2. Jurists and Local Elected: Andrei Doga 30/2

In the winter of 2016, a protective fence emerged around a Soviet sports stadium. "There was no obvious risk, nor did we expect. The problem is not under construction, but in place, "says Vladislav Tatarciuc, one of the inhabitants who has been involved in stopping the construction.

The townsfolk went door-to-door and collected signatures from over 200 apartments. Most have signed against the construction. Help PSRM counselors and MPs and activists from "My dear city," they held talks between tenants and representatives of the construction company, including the fence. Shortly after, the CMC stopped the construction permit.

Vladislav Tatarciuc says he initially involved 10 hours a day, including guarding the space of the construction company. Then, less and less. In the last year, he only went to court hearings. He also says that if initially 50-100 people came to the assemblies, today there are about 15-20 of them who are interested. Most believe the problem is resolved, but it is not.

The investor decided to meet the inhabitants and exchange on another land offered by the authorities. For two years, however, nothing has happened, except for the fact that the investor has earned the right to build in all courts. Respectively, whenever there is a risk of occurrence of the block.

Tatarciuc says that people are indifferent in Moldova. But most do not agree with the new constructions that change their lifestyle. "If there were 5% non-indifferent, any construction could be stopped," he says.

Even if for two years the residents keep the stadium once again, the lack of involvement of the authorities, leaves them vulnerable to the court's decision.

3. Jurists, elected local and community: Casa Românească, Alba-Iulia Street

There is even a successful story! Today, on the land where a commercial center, then a nine storey block, was to be built, it is a playground. On summer days, it is crowded with children in neighboring buildings. Dumitru Zvezdenco was one of the inhabitants who revolted from the very beginning and constantly discussed with the authorities. He said that the inhabitants mobilized and wrote to the City Hall as soon as the fence appeared. So they found out that the land's destination had changed and followed a nine-storey block.

Help with an unpaid lawyer, constantly communicate with local public authorities, and have had three meetings with them. As a result, the mayor canceled the building permit. The inhabitants took out the fence and covered the pit itself created by the builders. Today, the neighbors enjoy a playground. "With a lot of work I stopped the construction. People need to be united to defend the territory. Do not be indifferent. We knew each other, that's why it was easier for us. "

By involving the majority of residents, with the help of a lawyer and the permanent contact with local public authorities, citizens have managed to stop a construction.

Cases where people defend their rights are few. There are many scandals that appear sporadically, then disappear and blocks appear instead. At the same time, we identified three cases where the inhabitants took their fate in their hands. Only one is a guaranteed success. Often, success depends on context, namely: contacts in NGOs or local government; the period of the action, for example, before the election campaign or the potential of the investor. However, when, for years, representatives of local and central government have blamed the institution for another and for 20 years, while the city suffocates from construction, residents can or must act.


When we look at the stars we know that their light has been created years ago, but only now it comes to us. This is also the case for newly created blocks: many of them are the result of decisions voted by the municipal councilors in their previous mandates, the effects we are seeing only now. At least that's what our current officials are doing. Chief Architect of Chişinău, Sergiu Borozan, said in an interview for PRIMĂRIAMEA that most of these types of constructions arose following the votes of the Municipal Council from 1998-2007. He also said that lately, in the case of construction, all norms are taken into account.

The construction issue has been previously analyzed 5 more by PRIMARYUMA, but we recall and complete some of the causes that lead to the chaos in construction:

1. Outdated legislation and regulations

a) The need for an updated Urban Planning Plan (PUG) has already been discussed for four years. The previous one, adopted in 2007, is already out of date: many of the forecasts have not come true and the targets set have not been reached.

b) There are contradictions between the General Urban Plan and the Local Urban Plan, which gives the actors involved the possibility not to fully respect the rules that would make the city's life comfortable.

2. Lack of responsible structures and operating regulations within the local public administration (LPA)

Even though building control has been sent to the LPA by the Technical Supervision Agency (former State Building Inspectorate) to the LPA, and Fault Finders have emerged, yet a new regulation is needed after which inspectors oversee the construction and a separate structure in the City Hall to supervise both legal and illegal constructions and abusive land 6. At the same time, even if the local government issues the necessary building permits, it does not have the capacity to supervise the way the works are done or whether or not the project is respected initially, moreover, it was excluded from the building reception process.

3. Corruption in the system - from the non-transparent vote in the previous Municipal Councils to deviations throughout the process, from obtaining the authorization to the reception of the buildings. Although there is little evidence or investigation to prove this. For now there is a report of the National Anti-Corruption Center on unauthorized constructions 7 which mentions the actions of the Technical Supervision Agency "that can be categorized as corrupt risks", namely: the application of the minimum sanctions, the cancellation of the contravention process by not presenting the finding agent ) and avoiding the demolition of illegal construction (these do not exclusively refer to residential blocks). Unfortunately, the institution did not respond to our request to submit updated reports on the construction of the capital, and the latest reports published on the official website are from 2014.

4. Lack of a long-term vision, resulting from the collaboration of local public authorities (both CMC and City Hall) and central, with the involvement of residents and investors.

These are just a few of the identified causes that lead to the emergence of chaotic blocks, failure to comply with technical standards and dissatisfaction with citizens. However, citizens who start a struggle against a construction, speak less of the system, authorities and legislation, but mentions more that people must be united in the face of wrongdoing, then there will be fewer.


There is no guide how to stop construction, it is certain that in the last decades, the inhabitants of the world's cities have been forced to fight for their right to sunlight, public space and social infrastructure. Each situation requires a separate set of actions, but there are some basic steps that citizens can follow.

1. Documenting the situation. In many cases, land owners have building permits with other destinations. For example, it may be C4 - which allows the construction of shopping centers, not R6 or R7, which allows the construction of multi-storey blocks. The combination of letters and numbers that does not mean anything to ordinary people, accompanied by many other technical details and authorities' orders or decisions, are the preference for officials and investors or builders who do not plan to consult the population. That's why a citizen who juggles with these terms is already stronger. The functional zoning of the city is described in detail in the Local Urbanism Regulation 8. This information can be found by requesting information to the General Directorate of Urbanism and Land Relationship Architecture, and the Mayor may be added to the copy. According to the law on access to information, any citizen can request information and the institution concerned is obliged to provide a response within 15 working days 9.

2. Regulations, plans, decisions. Citizens need to understand which are the documents governing the land they want to protect, namely:

- The General Urban Plan 10 is the document setting out the general rules for the development and development of the territory, including the transport scheme, the network system, the protected areas, the delimitation of the central area, the functional areas, and the construction scheme comprising: alignments, height regime, control pointers, occupancy rate, and land use coefficient. As mentioned above, the 2007 PUG is already outdated, however, it does not contain technical provisions, and officials more often refer to previous SNIPs in the Soviet period.

3. Mobilizing the population.

4. Contacting all local elected representatives, ie 51 councilors and the general mayor. Local councilors are the ones who organize and ensure the functioning of the local public administration. At the same time, they can ask questions and interpellations, municipalities and municipalities, and they are obliged to respond, according to the legislation. 14. In order to avoid certain speculation, it is recommended to contact all the counselors.

5. Hiring a lawyer. Residents can identify a person with legal studies among them or persuade a lawyer to provide free services. In other cases, with small contributions from all residents, a professional is recommended to hire. He can document the case in detail and represent the case in court. There are few cases when residents hire an expert - a step that would significantly increase the chances of temporary or permanent cessation of construction.

6. Communication with the media. At each stage of the action, activists are encouraged to send press releases to the media to inform them about updates. Their contacts can be downloaded from their web pages.

7. Continuous monitoring. The struggle with authorized but uncomfortable blocks does not end with a promise by the authorities, not even with a final decision. There is always the risk of continuing the construction, either in spite of the formal suspension or permission of the court. Residents and the media must be kept informed about updates.

8. Public actions. To show investors, authorities and the media, and more apathetic neighbors, about the extent of resistance, public activities are recommended. This may be a public discussion or peaceful protest at the City Hall or in front of the yard.


Given the scale of scandal related to block building, we presented some causes of the chaotic blocks in the capital and we analyzed three cases where residents tried or failed to build. Based on interviews with them, as well as discussions with lawyers and civil servants, I recommended eight mandatory steps for citizens who want to protect the natural light in the apartments, free access to the block, green spaces, playgrounds or the view.

Rome was not built one day. What may mean that no block is built overnight, but more importantly, fighting the system takes time and effort.

Author: Vlada Ciobanu

The research is part of a series of analyzes developed by PRIMĂRIAMEA within the project "Monitoring of Chisinau Municipal Council". The analyzes are based on the priorities of citizens of Chisinau municipality and will be published monthly between August 2017 and May 2018.

SOURCE: David versus Goliat sau putem stopa construcțiile care ne încurcă?

22 January 2019

Residents of the first apartment building in the capital, who decided to upgrade the internal distribution system and installation of the Individual Heating Station, right in the basement of the building, today rejoice at the first results. Tenants registered savings of about 30% in accounts, and tenants of 3 apartments in which individual boilers were installed earlier, refused to autonomous heating in favor of a centralized one.

And that is because they can switch on / off and adjust the temperature as needed, have non-stop hot water at lower prices, have their own meter and contract with Termoelectrica S.A., being also independent of the association of tenants or neighbors, and most importantly they have eliminated the risk of explosion and poisoning by harmful substances that can be caused by gas boilers.

According to the CEO of Termoelectrica SA, Veaceslav Eni, in consequence of the comparative financial analysis, in January, residents of the house with the old distribution system paid 28.94 lei for heating 1 m², while tenants who upgraded the internal system paid 15.02 lei For 1 m². Thus, we see savings of at least 30%.

Together, residential buildings of the capital, can get a more efficient heating system at the best price. We want this practice to be successfully transferred, gradually, to all associations of tenants and managers of apartment houses in the capital, so that each consumer will receive better services,“added Veaceslav Eni.

The works are carried out within the framework of the partnership agreement signed by the administration of Termoelectrica and the Association of co-owners in the condominium ACO 51/417. Thus, Termoelectrica took responsibility for the development of a technical project, the design, installation and commissioning of 5 individual heating stations for heating and hot water supply (DHW) in 5 apartment buildings, as well as the installation of meters of thermal energy consumption, and the association of tenants is responsible for the restoration of the internal system by installation of horizontal distribution in the apartments and installation of hot water meters. In the remaining 4 houses the activities will begin this spring.

Source: Au renunțat la încălzirea autonomă și s-au reconectat la sistemul centralizat. Facturile sunt cu cca 30% mai mici

See here more information:





QUESTION: How can I benefit from heating compensation?

ANSWER: Socially disadvantaged people in Chisinau can benefit from compensations for the payment of energy resources. Individuals will be compensated for the payment of energy resources, whose average monthly income in the calendar year does not exceed 3000 lei / person. The amount of the aid is 40% of the cost of the heating bill.

In this sense, you can apply to Municipal Enterprise Housing Management Enterprises (IMMFL) from October 15 of each year in which you will declare on their own responsibility that the average monthly average income per member of the family does not exceed 3000 ROL.

You can access the application layout and model here.

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QUESTION: What are the consequences of non-compliance with the invoice payment deadline?

ANSWER: Non-payment in due time of the debt for consumption puts the supplier in a position to provide legal support to the Housing Fund Manager to call the courts and to collect the accumulated debts for the services rendered, the costs to be borne by you

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QUESTION: I have installed an alternative heating source in the apartment. Why do I have to pay 10% for the heat consumed?

ANSWER: Considering the existence of normative thermal energy losses in technical rooms (technical floors and basements) that maintain the engineering systems of water supply and sewerage in the cold period, the necessity of heating the common use places and the impossibility of disconnecting the heating columns the consumer will pay the heating payment in the amount of: 10% - for the area of the disconnected rooms.

Annex no. 7, point 8, Government Decision no. 191 of 19.02.2002 regarding the approval of the Regulation on the provision and payment of housing, communal and non-communal services for the housing stock, the counting of the apartments and the conditions for their disconnection from / reconnection to the heating and water supply systems.

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