An extraordinarily warm September has made it possible to postpone heating homes in Estonia, which has also led to lower heating bills.
Tiiu, who lives in Tallinn's Nõmme district, heats her apartment using a stove and an air source heat pump. So far she has not had to use the former, because the temperature inside the apartment has not fallen below 20 degrees yet.
"I have not used to stove yet, even my windows are still open. It has been a warm fall on the heels of a long summer," Tiiu said. Her stove usually sees use in the second half of September. "It gets damp, not so much cold. But you usually have to fire up the stove to get rid of the dankness."
Many apartment buildings that rely on central heating have not yet switched it on this year.
"When I visited different regions in Estonia yesterday, drove almost 700 kilometers, most apartment associations have not switched on heating yet," said Urmas Mardi, member of the board of the Estonian Union of Cooperative Housing.
Fixing up and properly insulating old buildings is also what has helped postpone the heating season. Apartment associations are making efforts to prevent residents falling out over when to switch on the heat.
"I know that some associations post a list of all the apartments in the building where residents can signal when they believe heating should start to have harmony in the building," Mardi said.
District heating provider Utilitas said that while heating started around mid-September last year, only a few of its customers are heating buildings today.
"Because the heating of buildings is usually tied to outside temperature, warm weather has seen it postponed. This means that heating bills will also be delayed until colder weather lands in October," Utilitas board member Janek Trumsi said.
He said that heating prices have rather fallen compared to last fall, and there are no major price hikes on the horizon.
Editor: Barbara Oja, Marcus Turovski