The Association of water utilities declares a critical situation that may arise after the state enterprise Ukrinterenergo shuts off electricity supply to a number of water utilities from April 1, 2019 and calls out the National Security and Defense Council and the Cabinet of Ministers to intervene.
Today, the electricity outage (due to debt for the consumed electricity) threatens more than 30 water utilities – Ukrinterenergo customers, who act as the “supplier of last hope”. The most critical is the situation with the public utility Water of Donbas (Donetsk region) and the public utility Aulsky Vodovod (Dnipropetrovsk region), which in total supply water to about 5 million people.
“We demand that the NSDC be convened on this issue as a matter of urgency, and also given the position of the Cabinet of Ministers and the National Regulatory Commission on how the enterprises that now consume electricity from the “supplier of last hope” act”, said O. Babiy.
The Head of the Association recalled that one of the main reasons why enterprises had large amounts of debt, both to the previous supplier and to the supplier of last hope, was the delayed display of electricity prices in the tariffs for their services.
First of all, it is necessary to make changes as a matter of urgency to the Law “On the Electricity Market” regarding the extension of the period during which the “supplier of last hope” has to provide services to customers, as well as the establishment by the National Regulatory Commission for water utilities economically justified tariffs. This decision was expressed by the Vice-President.
A number of water utilities, which were on the supply of electricity from the “supplier of last hope”, temporarily solved the problem with the help of local authorities and prevented the outage from April 1, the Association said. If their tariffs are not revised by the Regulator in the near future, the debt of water utilities to suppliers will increase and the situation will worsen.
It was reported earlier that distribution system operators are obliged to stop the supply of electricity to industrial consumers from April 1. On January 1, 2019, the electricity market reform came into effect in Ukraine. Enterprises, organizations, institutions whose contractual capacity of electrical installations exceeds 150 kW, had to select their electricity supplier by December 11, 2018 and conclude an agreement with it on market conditions. Companies that were left without a supplier in the new market, according to Art.64 of the Law “On the Electricity Market” and the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, automatically become customers of the supplier of the “last hope”.