The stability of functioning of the domestic water supply industry is under threat because of a poor policy of state bodies, in particular, the energy regulator NCREU. The latter is raising electricity prices through the Rotterdam+ formula to the benefit of particular oligarchs, but forgets about the economic interests of other industries. This was stated by MP Viktoriia Voitsitska from the Samopomich Union faction during a joint briefing with representatives of the Association of water utilities in the Verkhovna Rada.
So, when at the beginning of the year there was an increase in the cost of electricity, there was no simultaneous increase in the cost of electricity in the tariff for water utilities. And this is despite the fact that electricity accounts for more than 40% in the water supply tariff and 50% in the water disposal tariff. NCREU accomplished this only six months later.
As a result of such ill-conceived steps, the water utilities suffered significant losses. For example, a water service company in Zhytomyr has lost UAH 12.8 million over this period. To date, the debts of water utilities for consumed electricity amount to 5 billion hryvnias.
However, these are not all problems, because starting from December, water utilities will have to enter into new agreements with supplying organizations. At the same time, the Cabinet of Ministers has not fully settled all the necessary procedures. Despite this, unless contracts are concluded before December 11, power supply organizations will not be able to supply electricity to water utilities. Moreover, the cost of this electricity will be increased by 20%, which may lead to a significant increase in tariffs as early as in January of the next year.
Therefore, the association of water utilities is putting forward a number of requirements:
1. To the Verkhovna Rada – to postpone for three months the conclusion of contracts on the supply and distribution of electricity for water utilities by amending the legislation.
2. To the NCEU – to equate water utilities and heat supply organizations with the consumers of a generic service, which would mean a fixed tariff and less likelihood of its constant changes and “unexpected” growths. To form such a mechanism of tariffs that would allow automatic correction by water utilities of the share of electricity in it.
3. To the Cabinet of Ministers – to approve the appropriate regulatory framework for the protection of enterprises of critical infrastructure from outages.