Since August gas supply companies have been charging the receivers of subsidies who consume gas without meters – these are about 3.3 million families – at the consumption rates three times higher than the social ones. The reason for this is the decision of the Kyiv District Administrative Court of May 30, 2018, which cancelled a number of government decrees, as a result of which, high consumption rates were returned.
At the same time, the gas consumption standards for assigning subsidies remain much lower.
For example, when there are a gas stove and centralized hot water supply, the established rate of gas consumption is 9.8 cubic meters per person per month, and the standard for establishing subsidies is 3.3 cubic meters per person.
That is, due to the lack of funds to settle with gas companies, the recipient of subsidies will accumulate bad debts for the difference between the established consumption rate and the social one. So, apart from accumulating debts, such a consumer may even lose the right to subsidies due to the impossibility to pay in time.
There are three solutions to this problem. First, the regulator should require the gas distribution companies to immediately install gas meters for the recipients of subsidies. The second solution is for local governments to apply Article 34 of the Law on Local Self-Government to approve a separate budget program as an additional social guarantee by establishing gas meters for the subsidy receivers. And the third – the most powerful and one-time one – is the adoption of a separate state program to ensure the social protection of vulnerable groups of the population and ensure energy independence.
In order to protect the consumers of gas receiving subsidies, MP Aliona Babak has filed a deputy request to Prime Minister Hroisman asking to urgently resolve the above-mentioned problem and to consider the possibility of developing the relevant state program.