The meeting of the National Council of Reforms on Energy Efficiency was held under the chairmanship of President Petro Poroshenko. The Head of State emphasized that Ukraine had managed to reduce gas imports significantly. Its volume is much smaller than that of the reverse supply ensured due to an efficient cooperation with the EU. Last year the share of gas imports from Russia was 1.7 times smaller than the volume of gas imports from Europe.
“The introduction of energy efficiency measures can significantly reduce bills of households that are now actively discussed by politicians,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
The Head of State noted that the given reform would allow to reduce gas imports by 1-1.5 billion cubic meters per year in the course of 5 years, as well as decrease government spending on subsidies by 3-5 billion hryvnias per years.
Petro Poroshenko noted that changes would not only be restricted to bringing tariffs to the market level. The state must ensure an efficient energy supply infrastructure, introduction of modern energy saving technologies, decrease in the proportion of energy-intensive industries in the economic structure and introduction of stimuli for energy efficiency measures.
“First of all, Ukrainians should feel an improved service, decent attitude to themselves, as to real owners of buildings, transparency of bills - they have a right and opportunity to regulate the volume of services themselves. Actually, this is the purpose of reforms,” the President noted.
The President emphasized: “The strategic steps aimed at energy efficiency measures that will be considered today, will allow not only to achieve significant decrease in consumption and gas substitution, but also to open new markets with broad investment opportunities”. This will also help create new jobs.
“One of the efficient instruments of enhancing energy security is the increase in energy efficiency of national economy,” the Head of State stressed. According to the official data of the International Energy Agency, the energy intensity of GDP in Ukraine is more than 2.5 times higher than in OECD countries. In Ukraine, the specific energy consumption per square meter of housing is 60-70% higher than the average in the EU, and the use of gas for heating is 2-2.5 times higher per square meter.
According to the President, this reform will provide an opportunity to create about 50 thousand jobs and ensure about UAH 5 billion of tax revenues.
The President believes such reform can be achieved only with proper funding. Thus, the creation of the State Fund for Energy Efficiency and the introduction of a comprehensive state program for energy modernization of residential and public buildings are the top priorities.
According to the Head of State, Ukraine received 92% of gas from Russia in 2013. This figure was reduced to 74% in 2014. In 2015, it was 37%. This year, the figure is zero.
The President says that the elimination of corruption, return of state enterprises and struggle against monopolies are being continued. The key enterprises of the energy industry have increased total revenues by UAH 10 billion. The Head of State reminded that with a view to diversify sources for nuclear power plants, agreements with alternative suppliers of nuclear fuel, particularly Westinghouse, have been signed.
“In 2014, the deficit of Naftogaz was UAH 110 billion. I hope that we will have a zero deficit this year. We can confidently say that we are breaking even this year,” the President noted.