NCSREU acknowledged that it was wrong to demand advance prepayments for electricity from condominiums

Together with condominiums and the National Commission for State Regulation in Energy and Utilities (NCSREU) we are overcoming the difficulties of power supply to apartment buildings

Terms of use of electricity by condominiums:

✅ No mandatory prepayments;

✅ Regional power distribution companies should develop a special commercial offer for apartment buildings, which condominiums will agree with by entering into a public contract;

✅ Using domestic metres, we pay exclusively for technical purposes;

✅ Regional power distribution companies that do not adhere to these requirements will be held accountable.

This is the content of the official letter of NCSREU in response to my request.

Reacting to the numerous appeals of condominiums from all over the country, I have recently sent a request to NCSREU asking to clarify for all of us and for regional power distribution companies, in particular, the issues that seem to be ambiguous to some suppliers and that significantly affect the expenses of apartment building residents.

What questions did we raise in this request?

First of all, a clear definition of condominiums’ status as a form of management of an apartment building and, accordingly, its recognition as a household consumer of electrical energy with all the consequences arising from this status (in particular, regarding the inadmissibility of prepayments, the requirements of forecast consumption volumes, the accrual of fines and penalties, etc.)

Secondly, a recognition that the cost of electricity for all the joint needs of co-owners of apartment buildings (for lighting common areas, the work of elevators, pumps, etc.) cannot exceed the cost of electricity for residential consumers;

Thirdly, a clear recognition that co-owners of apartment buildings pay exclusively the cost of electricity consumed for their joint needs, namely, for lighting common areas, the work of elevators, pumps, etc. (i.e. no power loss, no reactive electric energy, etc.).

I have received a response from NCSREU the other day.

I cannot say that this is a complete victory, but, in my opinion, some steps towards co-owners of apartment buildings have been taken.

First of all, NCSREU acknowledged that it was wrong to demand advance payments for electricity from condominiums. Therefore, those regional power distribution companies which require advance payments on the basis of a commercial offer for residential consumers, act incorrectly. NCSREU requires universal service providers (regional power distribution companies) to develop a separate commercial proposal for organizations “maintained at the expense of public funds”. On the basis of such a proposal, in particular, condominiums should join the public contract for the supply of electricity and pay for the actually consumed electricity at the beginning of the period following the accounting period. In such a proposal, we will no longer see a section on expected consumption volumes.

Secondly, the Regulator states that representatives of the co-owners of apartment buildings pay in accordance with the indications of commercial metering devices specifically for electricity for technical purposes. As we see, no losses in networks or reactive electricity is mentioned. This should also be taken into account in the new offers of the universal service providers.

Thirdly, NCSREU makes it quite clear for universal service providers that in case of non-compliance with the requirements for the development of special commercial offers for apartment buildings, such actions will be considered violations with all the ensuing consequences. That is, the checks which, if necessary, will be followed by penalties against power companies.

The Regulator drew special attention of the regional divisions of NCSREU in Kharkiv and Mykolaiv regions to the need to bring universal service providers’ actions in these regions in line with the current legislation. After all, condominiums of precisely these regions filed complaints about particularly arrogant violations on the part of regional power companies.

I would like to thank the Regulator for constructive dialogue about the status of apartment buildings as consumers of electricity. I would like to hope that in the future this dialogue will be even more productive. Many more issues in the relationship between power companies and consumers should be yet settled.

A particularly relevant issue is to clearly define condominiums and other entities (representing the interests of co-owners of apartment buildings) as residential consumers. After all, co-owners use electricity exclusively for their own domestic needs. This is a crucial point; this is what we will continue fighting for.

I believe that people should not overpay or be pressured by the monopoly of power companies only because of ambiguities in the bylaws.

I thank condominiums for our joint work!

Together we will overcome all difficulties!

Viktoriya Vojtsitska
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