3.5 million households do not have their own natural gas accounting systems. This is despite the fact that, according to the already adopted legislation, by January 1, 2018, the whole country has to switch to the commercial accounting of gas.
The need to adopt an additional law on gas meters that would protect consumers has also arisen due to the fact that there are attempts to organize the transition to commercial gas accounting at the terms that are most favorable for oligarch Dmytro Firtash, who controls more than 70% of the natural gas retail market.
First of all, the installation of communal house meters instead of individual ones is completely unacceptable and illegal. Everyone should pay only for themselves.
Secondly, the regulations on co-financing the installation of meters with people or local communities are unacceptable. Financing must be covered by regional gas distribution companies exclusively. The investment programs which provided for the installation of accounting systems at the expense of gas distribution companies were approved back in 2012.
The National Commission for State Regulation in Energy and Utilities is obliged to conduct a full audit of investment programs in order to find out where the money of people went, which they honestly paid for the services they never received.
Moreover, there is already a decision of an appellate instance – Donetsk Economic Court of Appeal – according to which, the installation of communal house meters violates the prescriptions and principles laid down in the Constitution of Ukraine, the law of Ukraine “On the natural gas market”, the law of Ukraine “On housing and communal services”, the law of Ukraine “On ensuring commercial accounting of natural gas”, and hence – is illegal. This decision will become a precedent for further appeals in similar cases.
The court decision says, “the procedure for sharing the consumption volumes on the basis of communal house meters meter proportionally between consumers, depending on the number of persons registered in an apartment, does not only violate the requirements of the part 3 of the Article 18 of the Law of Ukraine “On the natural gas market”, but is also incompatible with the principle of compliance of payment for housing and communal services to its quantity established in the paragraph 5 of the chapter 1 of the Article 30 of the Law of Ukraine “On housing and communal services”.