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Interesting concept, not sure I agree in totality.

China has designated an invisible line near 33 deg N as the line they must provide heat to their residents. This is even though it is common to experience 23 deg F temperatures below that line designation.

Russia, when USSR dissolved, many of its buildings were not set up for independent meter readings based on use, as the heating plants actually encompassed blocks (not even buildings.) Their fix? Mathematically figure out what each tenant owed and bill them. If one tenant in the building refused to pay, they would shut off heat to whole building, post the offenders bill on the common bulletin board resulting in several situations: person was shamed into paying their fair share, the building tenants paid the bill, or violence to coerce payment of the bill.

What is interesting is in many urban cities such as NYC, many buildings to use centralized steam heating systems, and thus plans were developed to keep the heat on. Where it becomes difficult is single dwelling residences. Charities are indeed trying to help out, especially with elderly on fixed incomes, but to many fall under the radar. It does lead me to believe we need to better our social safety net to data mine for information so existing programs can kick in.

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