President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy chaired the meeting on heating tariffs for the population and implementation of the energy efficiency program in the housing stock.
The meeting involved Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharuk, heads of relevant ministries, Chairman of the Board of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine Andriy Kobolyev, Chairman of the National Commission for State Regulation in the Fields of Energy and Utilities Valeriy Tarasyuk, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Bohdan and his deputies.
The Head of State reminded that the issue of heating tariffs, as well as the implementation of the energy efficiency measures that would help reduce public spending on utilities had been discussed at a meeting of the Community and Territorial Development Council in December 2019.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy heard information about the steps taken to decrease the cost of services and reduce energy consumption over the given period.
“We all fought for it. As for the results. I want to know what the bill was in December, comparison with January, and what people should expect in February,” the President said.
The Head of State noted that, according to his information, many consumers do state a reduction in the price for utility services. At the same time, there are reports of minimum tariff reduction or complete lack of reduction.
Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk noted that the government, for its part, had done everything possible to fulfill the President's commission so that Ukrainians pay less for heating this winter. According to him, consumers were charged 5-35% less in December, depending on the city and region.
“A total of 143 enterprises in 120 cities made the decision to reduce the tariff, and a very big percentage of people in the country got a real reduction in price in December. We continue to work with regional state administrations, and we expect more enterprises to be able to join this process in January,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister stressed that there were fewer opportunities to reduce heating tariffs in the cities where they had been previously more economically viable than in the regions where they had been overestimated. Oleksiy Honcharuk also added that the cost of heating in each region was influenced by the technical condition of the heating enterprises, their equipment, consumption volume and heat loss.
Regarding the split of gas payments into two, Chairman of the National Commission for State Regulation in the Fields of Energy and Utilities Valeriy Tarasyuk noted that earlier, citizens had paid for both gas itself and its delivery in one bill, while at the moment they had to pay separately for gas and its transportation. According to Valeriy Tarasyuk, this is necessary for the Ukrainian consumers to be able to change their gas supplier freely in the future.
The participants of the meeting agreed that the main reserve for reducing the cost of heating for the population was not in reducing gas prices, but in carrying out efficient thermal modernization of buildings and implementing energy efficiency measures in the housing stock.
According to the Prime Minister, 31 cities have already applied for participation in the thermal modernization program.
At the same time, Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine Aliona Babak raised the issue of complex readiness of cities for the implementation of thermal modernization programs. In this context, the participants of the meeting agreed on the need to support cities and communities, provide them with professional assistance in developing energy efficiency programs, which is one of the conditions for participation in the state program.