Frequently asked questions

Here we put together the most significant questions and answers for you. Please check the sections below to see if your question is listed.



 

General

What does ista Nederland do?

ista Nederland B.V. creates your heat and/or water bills on behalf of your property manager. Your home is equipped with a heating system which is connected to a common central heating supply for all residents of the building in which you live. To allocate the total costs of the common central heating installation fairly, meters have been installed to record your heat and/or water consumption as accurately as possible. Your property manager provides us with a statement of the costs incurred, as well as details of the participants.

Some people think that ista is an energy company, however this is not the case. ista is an independent organisation and takes care of installing meters, reading meters, meter maintenance and creating individual household bills. In most instances, your property manager will arrange any settlement of amounts underpaid or overpaid, however your property manager may also have outsourced this process to ista.

Why are there heat cost allocators on the radiators?

Heat cost allocators are placed on the radiators to record heat use. This means that the building’s total energy costs can be allocated fairly (according to use), ensuring that each resident pays for actual energy used.
Heat cost allocators are only used in buildings with a common central heating system and where residents do not have their own central heating boiler and therefore no personal gas meter.

Heat use metering first and foremost results in an equitable recording of the heat consumed. The bill is based on the annually recorded heat use. This means that each resident only pays for the actual amount of heat used.
Heat use metering also promotes more awareness regarding the use of heat, which can result in an average energy (cost) saving of 20% to 25%.

What happens if the meter(s) in my home are not read?

If the meters in your home are not read, your heat consumption will be estimated on the basis of the previous readings.
If you have so called 'continuous calculation’ meters, the estimated use will be deducted from the reading at the time of the next reading.
However, it is imperative that all the meters in the housing complex are read in a timely manner to ensure accurate and correct billing.

I'm moving out. What do I do?

If there are radio readable meters in your home, you won't need to do anything. ista Nederland possesses the information regarding the day readings and will therefore use the correct meter readings to produce an accurate bill both for the departing and the new residents.

If you do not have a radio readable meter, it is wise to arrange a timely interim reading, to ensure both the departing resident and the new resident receive a correct bill. Your property manager will inform you of the arrangements for this.

What should I do if one of the heat cost allocators is defective?

Please contact ista Nederland immediately (telephone 010 2455700) if one of your heat cost allocators becomes defective. In many cases we can process your report quickly and make an appointment with you within 10 working days to carry out the repair.

If we first need a permit from your property manager to execute the work, then ista Nederland will arrange this with the property manager. As soon as we have received this permit, one of our employees will make an appointment with you within 10 working days to carry out the repair.

Whether we can process your report immediately or whether we first need a permit from your property manager will depend on the agreement your property manager has in place with us.

What should I do if the radiator control valve is defective?

Please contact your property manager for issues regarding radiator functioning, as this is not part of ista Nederland’s remit.

What should I do if I want to install/replace/remove a radiator?

If you want to change something regarding your radiators, then please contact ista Nederland directly (telephone 010 2455700). In many instances we can process your request immediately, after which we will make an appointment with you within 10 working days to carry out heat cost allocator(s) installation work.

If we first need a permit from your property manager to execute the work, then ista Nederland will arrange this with the property manager. As soon as we have received this permit, one of our employees will make an appointment with you within 10 working days to carry out the installation.

Whether we can process your report immediately or whether we first need a permit from your property manager will depend on the agreement your property manager has in place with us.

What should I do if my radiator doesn't heat up when it's turned on?

Please contact your property manager for issues regarding radiator functioning, as this is not part of ista Nederland’s remit.

What do I do if my radiator remains warm after I close the valve?

Please contact your property manager for issues regarding radiator functioning, as this is not part of ista Nederland’s remit.

The bill

I have received my bill. When will the difference be settled?

Any settlement of the costs is usually performed by your property manager and not by ista Nederland. If this is the instance, you don’t make your advance payments to ista Nederland but to your property manager. Please contact your property manager if you have any questions regarding your bill.

If you do make your payments to ista Nederland, settlement will take place within two weeks after you have received your annual bill.

Can I use my meter readings to calculate future payments?

No, you cannot calculate your heating costs based on your own meter readings. The metering system uses a so-called ratio system. The meter readings indicate how much heat the residents have used, relative to each other as well as to the total consumed.
The recorded units cannot be converted into a figure for m3 of gas or litres of heating oil used.
In addition, not all the energy costs incurred are spread over the individual meter readings. The reason for this is that not all the heat used is released via the radiators. For example, heat loss via the pipework or in the boiler room needs to be considered and, although not metered, it also needs to be accounted for. To this end, certain calculations and adjustments are performed, which makes it impossible for any individual resident to use the meter readings to calculate the amount of the bill.

How do I get insight into my consumption during the heating season?

Radiographic heat cost allocators are specifically designed to provide you with insight into your heat consumption. The monitoring tool in our ista webportal and the ista app allow you to review your current heat consumption every week. They will show you the total consumption in your home as well as the individual consumption of each radiator. They also allow you to compare your consumption with your average consumption in previous years, or the average consumption in your building. This insight into your heat consumption will lead to more conscious heating behaviour, and in turn, to higher energy savings. 

If you want to start using the monitoring tool and the ista app, please contact your building manager or energy supplier.

How is the price per heat unit determined?

Firstly, the total energy costs are divided into fixed and variable energy costs.
- Fixed energy costs refer to the heat released in the building, not via the radiators, but for example via the central heating pipework or in the boiler room. This heat is not metered, but still needs to be accounted for.
- The variable energy costs relate directly to the use of your radiator. These costs are divided over the total number of units recorded by all meters in the complex.

The price per heat meter unit is calculated by dividing the variable energy costs by the total number of heat meter units recorded in all dwellings. This creates a price per unit.
Your share of the variable costs is created by multiplying your use by this unit price. You can directly influence these costs by using more or less heating.

Why are reductions applied?

Reductions are applied to compensate for differences in heating costs due to an unfavourable location of the dwelling. In dwellings situated on a corner or on the top floor, it is often necessary to use more fuel to achieve comparable room temperatures as in other homes. These homes also often have larger radiators installed.
If reductions apply to certain rooms of your home, then these will be processed in the following way. In the case of evaporation meters, the reduction is processed directly in the scale division: a lower scale is then applied to the meter, making the meter count slower. In the case of electronic meters, the reduction is deducted from the meter reading. These (electronic meters) reductions will be indicated on your bill.

What is a conversion factor?

A conversion factor is used to convert the meter readings of the electronic heat cost allocators. Conversion is necessary because every meter will have the same counting speed, regardless of the size of the radiator. Some radiators are larger than others and will therefore emit more heat. As a result, the meter readings recorded need to be adjusted by a conversion factor. This factor is determined by the capacity of the radiator. Both the meter readings and the conversion factors are set out on the bill.

An example:
The hall radiator shows a reading of 800. The conversion factor is 0.15. The calculated heat consumption here is (0.15 x 800 =) 120.
The living room however has, given its capacity, a conversion factor of 0.95. If a reading of 5600 is recorded, then the calculated heat use (0.95 x 5600 =) is 5320.

I used less (or a similar number of) units than last year, but my bill is higher. Why is this?

Your bill partly includes other heating costs. These other heating costs consist largely of "unmetered" heat losses from the central heating system. This is why a part of the total heating costs of the entire complex is allocated to all residents using a fixed factor. If the total costs increase, the share of the other costs per household also increases. Reasons for rises in total costs can for example be down to changeable weather in autumn or spring, requiring irregular use of the central heating installation, which will in relative terms result in more heat loss. This heat loss is not recorded via your radiator meters, but still needs to be accounted for. It is therefore possible that even if the number of units remains static (or is less), you may still receive a higher bill.

Fluctuating energy prices of course also influence your bill.

Your bill partly includes other heating costs. These other heating costs consist largely of "unmetered" heat losses from the central heating system. This is why a part of the total heating costs of the entire complex is allocated to all residents using a fixed factor. If the total costs increase, the share of the other costs per household also increases. Reasons for rises in total costs can for example be down to changeable weather in autumn or spring, requiring irregular use of the central heating installation, which will in relative terms result in more heat loss. This heat loss is not recorded via your radiator meters, but still needs to be accounted for. It is therefore possible that even if the number of units remains static (or is less), you may still receive a higher bill.

Fluctuating energy prices of course also influence your bill.

Your bill partly includes other heating costs. These other heating costs consist largely of "unmetered" heat losses from the central heating system. This is why a part of the total heating costs of the entire complex is allocated to all residents using a fixed factor. If the total costs increase, the share of the other costs per household also increases. Reasons for rises in total costs can for example be down to changeable weather in autumn or spring, requiring irregular use of the central heating installation, which will in relative terms result in more heat loss. This heat loss is not recorded via your radiator meters, but still needs to be accounted for. It is therefore possible that even if the number of units remains static (or is less), you may still receive a higher bill.

Fluctuating energy prices of course also influence your bill.

The consumption on my bill differs from the total of the settings on my electronic doprimo-meters. Why is this?

The counting speed of the doprimo® meters is not aligned to the size of the radiator. This means that all meters count at an equal rate when heat is emitted from the radiator. However, not all radiators in the building are the same size and therefore do not all emit the same amount of heat. As a result, the meter readings recorded need to be adjusted by a conversion factor. This factor is determined by the capacity (size) of the radiator. The larger the radiator, the larger the conversion factor.

Has my move been taken into account in the bill?

If your move has been taken into account, your bill will indicate this.
At the top right of the bill you will see the billing period which will show you whether the heating costs relate to the period in which you were indeed the resident.

I'm moving out. When will I receive my bill?

The timing of your bill will depend on the agreements your property manager has in place with us. In many cases you will receive an interim bill based on an interim meter reading. Your property manager can inform you of how your energy and/or service costs will be offset against any advance payment.

What happens if the meter(s) in my home are not read?

If the meters in your home are not read, your heat consumption will be estimated on the basis of the previous readings.
If you have so called 'continuous calculation’ meters, the estimated use will be deducted from the reading at the time of the next reading.
However, it is imperative that all the meters in the housing complex are read in a timely manner to ensure accurate and correct billing.

I have a question about my heating bill not mentioned here. What do I do?

If you have any other questions about your heating costs bill, please email us at: info@ista.nl. Your question will be carefully reviewed and answered by email as soon as possible.

Reading the meters

How do I know when my meters have been read?

- If your radiators are equipped with radio readable meters, a visit from the meter reader is not necessary. The meters are read at the ista Nederland office via a modem link.

- A meter reader will visit you if the meters require reading. The proposed visit will be announced well in advance by means of a card through your letter box. The card will indicate the date and time of the proposed visit.

- If you cannot be at home on the indicated date and time, then please rearrange your appointment with the meter reader. If you fail to do this and you are not at home at the arranged time, the meter reader will again leave you a card in your letter box. You will find the meter reader’s name and phone number on this card, which you can use to make a new appointment within five days. If you do not respond within this period, we will need to estimate your energy use.

Who is authorised to read doprimo® radio meters?

The radio readable radiator meters can only be read by ista Nederland B.V.. The software is not available to third parties.

You can of course observe your own meter readings. Pressing the button below the display shows in alternation both your current meter reading (displaying a 2 in front of the use figure) and the use in the previous billing period (displaying an A in front of the use figure).

Does ista Nederland need to visit my home once a year to read the meters?

In a number of cases it is still necessary for ista Nederland to visit your home to read the meters:

- For evaporative meters, as well as reading the meter the meter reader also needs to install a new measuring tube for the next billing period.

- A visit by the meter reader is also necessary in the case of electronic meters without a radio reading facility.

- If doprimo radio readable meters are installed, a visit by the meter reader is no longer required. The meter readings will be read outside your home from a central location in the apartment building or via a modem link at ista Nederland's office.

How are the doprimo radio meter readings protected during transmission?

The meters send the readings to a central data collector. ista Nederland reads the meters in the office via a modem link. All transmitted data is encrypted and can only be decrypted with the ista software. This applies to all ista radio readable meters.

What happens if the meter(s) in my home are not read?

If the meters in your home are not read, your heat consumption will be estimated on the basis of the previous readings.
If you have so called 'continuous calculation’ meters, the estimated use will be deducted from the reading at the time of the next reading.
However, it is imperative that all the meters in the housing complex are read in a timely manner to ensure accurate and correct billing.

Has my move been taken into account in the bill?

If your move has been taken into account, your bill will indicate this.
At the top right of the bill you will see the billing period which will show you whether the heating costs relate to the period in which you were indeed the resident.

I'm moving out. When will I receive my bill?

The timing of your bill will depend on the agreements your property manager has in place with us. In many cases you will receive an interim bill based on an interim meter reading. Your property manager can inform you of how your energy and/or service costs will be offset against any advance payment.

Can I use my meter readings to calculate future payments?

No, you cannot calculate your heating costs based on your own meter readings. The metering system uses a so-called ratio system. The meter readings indicate how much heat the residents have used, relative to each other as well as to the total consumed.
The recorded units cannot be converted into a figure for m3 of gas or litres of heating oil used.
In addition, not all the energy costs incurred are spread over the individual meter readings. The reason for this is that not all the heat used is released via the radiators. For example, heat loss via the pipework or in the boiler room needs to be considered and, although not metered, it also needs to be accounted for. To this end, certain calculations and adjustments are performed, which makes it impossible for any individual resident to use the meter readings to calculate the amount of the bill.

Are the ista Nederland metering systems smart meters?

No, ista Nederland’s metering systems are not smart meters.
The ista meters record the heat and water use over a set period of time. Apart from recording use and any possible malfunction of the meter, no further data can be retrieved from the meter. For example, it is not possible to determine when use occurred. Therefore the residents’ privacy is assured. We would also like to mention (perhaps unnecessarily) that devices such as telephone chargers or computers have no influence whatsoever on the meters’ operation.

However, similar to smart meters, radio readable meters can be read remotely. This means that residents do not have to be home for these meters to be read. This technology also allows residents to view their use during the billing period by using the Monitoring for Residents service on the ista Web portal and via the ista App. It also means residents are able to adjust their usage accordingly if desired.

So when you read or hear about 'smart meters', this does not apply to ista Nederland’s radio readable meters.

Heat cost allocator

Why are there heat cost allocators on the radiators?

Heat cost allocators are placed on the radiators to record heat use. This means that the building’s total energy costs can be allocated fairly (according to use), ensuring that each resident pays for actual energy used.
Heat cost allocators are only used in buildings with a common central heating system and where residents do not have their own central heating boiler and therefore no personal gas meter.

Heat use metering first and foremost results in an equitable recording of the heat consumed. The bill is based on the annually recorded heat use. This means that each resident only pays for the actual amount of heat used.
Heat use metering also promotes more awareness regarding the use of heat, which can result in an average energy (cost) saving of 20% to 25%.

Why are some radiators fitted with two heat cost allocators?

Research has shown that radiators of more than three metres in length require several meters to be able to determine heat use accurately. This is also set out in the European standard EN 835.

The consumption on my bill differs from the total of the settings on my electronic doprimo-meters. Why is this?

The counting speed of the doprimo® meters is not aligned to the size of the radiator. This means that all meters count at an equal rate when heat is emitted from the radiator. However, not all radiators in the building are the same size and therefore do not all emit the same amount of heat. As a result, the meter readings recorded need to be adjusted by a conversion factor. This factor is determined by the capacity (size) of the radiator. The larger the radiator, the larger the conversion factor.

If two heat cost allocators are installed on one radiator, does this lead to overcharging due to the over-recording of units?

No, you will not be overcharged for too many units being recorded. The two heat cost allocators each record half of the heat use. To determine a radiator’s use, the meter readings of the two heat cost allocators are added together.

Have the meters been tested?

The operation of the meters has been extensively tested and checked to comply with the applicable standard (EN 834). Unsuitable meters cannot enter the market and are refused an approval number.

Are the meters calibrated?

Calibrating meters is not possible as this is a metered measuring of use situation and not one which measures absolute values such as gigajoules or m3 of gas. The metering system used by ista is a ratio controlled system. The meter readings indicate how much heat the residents have used relative to each other and to the total consumed. Therefore, the registered units cannot be converted into a figure for m3 of gas or litres of heating oil used.

What should I do if one of the heat cost allocators is defective?

Please contact ista Nederland immediately (telephone 010 2455700) if one of your heat cost allocators becomes defective. In many cases we can process your report quickly and make an appointment with you within 10 working days to carry out the repair.

If we first need a permit from your property manager to execute the work, then ista Nederland will arrange this with the property manager. As soon as we have received this permit, one of our employees will make an appointment with you within 10 working days to carry out the repair.

Whether we can process your report immediately or whether we first need a permit from your property manager will depend on the agreement your property manager has in place with us.

How do I get insight into my consumption during the heating season?

Radiographic heat cost allocators are specifically designed to provide you with insight into your heat consumption. The monitoring tool in our ista webportal and the ista app allow you to review your current heat consumption every week. They will show you the total consumption in your home as well as the individual consumption of each radiator. They also allow you to compare your consumption with your average consumption in previous years, or the average consumption in your building. This insight into your heat consumption will lead to more conscious heating behaviour, and in turn, to higher energy savings. 

If you want to start using the monitoring tool and the ista app, please contact your building manager or energy supplier.

Debicasso

What does the Debicasso service entail?

Debicasso is ista Nederland’s supplementary service, used for settling heat and/or water costs directly with you (the resident/tenant).
You pay your monthly advance payments direct to ista and ista pays the monthly advance payments to your energy supplier. At the end of the billing period, ista will settle any over or under payments directly with you.
Our Debicasso service takes on board the administrative activities on behalf of your property manager. ista Nederland is not an energy company.

How is the amount of the advance payment determined?

In the first year of billing by ista Nederland, your general preferences for heating and/or water use are still unknown. Your advance payment in this first year is therefore the amount your property manager has specified to us.
The same applies to new residents. In this instance for the first year we also charge an advance payment amount specified by your property manager.

When we draw up your annual statement, we can see if the amount of your monthly advance payment has been sufficient, too high or too low. We will then adjust the amount of advance payment accordingly.

When will my advance amount be debited?

Your advance amount will be debited by direct debit around the first of the month.

Can you debit my advance payment amount on a different date?

No, unfortunately when using direct debit it is not possible to debit your advance amount on a different date.

Can I adjust the amount of my advance payment?

Yes, you can adjust the amount of your advance payment.

You can do this by sending an email to debicasso-administratie@ista.nl stating the desired amount of advance payment. You will receive a confirmation.

You can also easily adjust the amount of your advance payment yourself via the residents’ portal. If you have not yet signed up, please send an email to debicasso-administratie@ista.nl, with your address details, requesting access to the residents’ portal. We will send you the login details for your personal access.

If you wish to reduce the amount of your advance payment, please note that you may need to make an additional payment at the end of the next annual statement period. Reducing the amount of your advance payment is possible up to a maximum of 10%.
 

You may ask us to reduce the amount of your advance payment while your property manager has an agreement in place with us not to reduce any proposed advance payment amounts. In the event of this we will contact you directly.

Has my payment arrived?

If you pay by giro transfer the amount has been debited from your account, you can assume that your payment will be received by us within a few days.
Payment by direct debit is the best way to ensure that your monthly advance payment is always received on time.

Can I also pay by direct debit?

Yes. You can do this by completing the authorisation form and sending it to us. The address can be found on the form. The form can be sent by freepost.

Authorisation form

You can also easily provide us with authorisation to make direct debits via the residents’ portal. If you have not yet signed up, please send an email to debicasso-administratie@ista.nl, with your address details, requesting access to the residents’ portal. We will send you the login details for your personal access.

Where can I view my data?

You can view and print your data, such as your invoices and bills, via the residents’ portal. If you have already registered for this, you can log in with your email address and your own password via the following link: https://debicasso.ista.nl

If you would like to register for the residents’ portal, send an email to debicasso-administratie@ista.nl. Please include your name, address and your customer number if known. This customer number can be found on all correspondence with ista Nederland. You will receive an email from us with instructions on how to register.

I do not receive advance invoices for my heating costs, while I have been living at this address for more than 1 month. How can I make sure I'm registered?

Housing associations and managers send us the removals in their buildings, so that we can arrange the advance invoices for the new tenants.

For example, if you rent in the free sector and you are dealing with an owner, the owner must notify us of your move. As a tenant, you cannot register with ista. In this case, you can send ista the owner's information. ista will then contact the owner. Of course you can also ask the owner to contact the Debicasso department.

How are the paid advance amounts settled?

We calculate any amount due for repayment or still outstanding based on your annual statement and your paid monthly advance amounts. These amounts will also be settled by ista Nederland. This means that you will either receive a repayment from us or pay us the amount outstanding.

I've received a reminder from you, but I've already paid. Why is this?

If you have already paid and you think we have erroneously sent you a reminder, please contact us. We will check if the payment and the reminder have inadvertently crossed or if there is some other issue. To ensure you never miss a payment, you can always opt for direct debit.

When will I receive my annual statement?

The following information is required to draw up your annual statement.
 - The participant’s data (provided by ista Nederland)
 - The meter readings (ista Nederland reads these on a weekly basis)
 - The energy company's invoice

When all data is complete, we first ask your administrator for an agreement. If your administrator has given his agreement, we will take care of the cost allocation for your residential complex and for each resident the annual statement within 6 weeks.

 

I am due a repayment. When will I receive this in my account?

Any repayment will be transferred to your account within two weeks provided ista Nederland has your account number. If we do not have your account number or you want to change it, please send an email to debicasso-administratie@ista.nl

 

How can I change my bank account number?

If you wish to change your bank account number, please send us an email with the amended details to debicasso-administratie@ista.nl. You will receive a confirmation.

You can also easily change your bank account number and details yourself via the residents’ portal. If you have not yet signed up, please send an email to debicasso-administratie@ista.nl, with your address details, requesting access to the residents’ portal. We will send you the login details for your personal access.

I'm moving out. When will I receive my bill?

The timing of your bill will depend on the agreements your property manager has in place with us. In many cases you will receive an interim bill based on an interim meter reading. Your property manager can inform you of how your energy and/or service costs will be offset against any advance payment.

I'm moving out. Should I take any action?

If radio-readable meters are placed in your home, you do not have to do anything. ista Nederland always has daily stands and can therefore make a correct settlement, both for the departing and the new resident.

If you do not have radio-readable meters yet, you should have an interim registration carried out in time when moving out. In this way, both the departing resident and the new resident are assured of a correct settlement. Your administrator can inform you how this will be arranged.

Are you going to sell or buy a property where ista Nederland provides the Debicasso  service? Please fill in the mutation form below and send the form to ista, Department of Debicasso. The address details are on the form. In this way we can process your move in on time in our administration.  
 

Mutation form

 

Can I get a payment arrangement?

Yes, it is possible to agree a payment arrangement with us. You can do this by sending an e-mail to debicasso-administratie@ista.nl with a proposal you want. We will contact you as soon as possible.  The easiest way to apply for a payment arrangement is to contact us by phone on 010 245 58 54.

Reporting a death

Reporting a death? We are sorry for the unfortunate circumstances.

We understand that you will have plenty on your mind already, therefore we are keen to lighten your load as far as possible during this difficult period.

Would you like to notify us of a name change?
Do you want to cancel the contract?
Will the partner or another survivor continue to live in the home?

Please let us have the details and we will update our administration. You will also receive a confirmation email to inform you of the current situation. You must of course also inform your property manager of the changes.

Do you have access to the ista residents’ portal? We can arrange this for you if you wish.

We wish you every strength at this difficult time.