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Increased electricity tariff will not affect socially vulnerable families

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, July 27
The government will allocate GEL 20 million to cover the difference between the old and new electricity tariffs for vulnerable families, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said at a press conference on July 24.

According to him, the subsidies will apply to 208,000 families in the whole.

"The government is doing its best to ease the burden for socially vulnerable people. At my instruction, the government's economic team elaborated a scheme, under which the state will fully cover the difference between the old and new, increased electricity tariffs for vulnerable families,” the PM stated.

He also said that the increase of electricity tariff in the regions was inevitable and it was influenced by several factors such as the devaluation of lari and economic crises in the region.

According to Gharibashvili, the electric companies would not ensure non-stop power supply if the Regulatory Commission had not increased electricity tariffs in the regions.

As for Tbilisi, the PM predicted that the similar decision is also expected to be made in the capital but he stated that the tariffs in Georgia are still among the lowest in the neighbourhood.

“I want to remind the public that our government, decreased electricity cost by 4 tetris three years ago. No other government has ever done anything like that.

However, today the situation has changed in the country and in the region, which made tariff adjustment inevitable. Despite the increase, we have one of the lowest tariffs in the region after Azerbaijan“, said the PM.

Tbilisi City Hall has also released a statement, saying that if the Regulatory Commission makes a decision to increase the electricity tariff in the capital too, City Hall will cover the difference for vulnerable families, whose rating is less than 70 000.

It should be noted that the JSC "Telasi" Co. electricity provider in Tbilisi, addressed the Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission with regard to a tariff review on 23 July. The company requested a tariff increase, naming the sharp decrease of lari exchange rate, increased electricity cost and electricity transmission tariff growth as a motive.

Another electricity provider company Energo-Pro Georgia has already raised tariff by 3.35 tetri per kWh in the regions and its over one million customers will see increased tariff from August 1, 2015. This decision came after the company filed a request to the Regulatory Commission to increase the tariff due to economic downturn in the region and depreciation of Gel against US dollar.