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Shmyhal says there is no reason for rise in prices for heat, hot water for households

KYIV. Sept 14 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal says that there is no reason to increase heat and hot water tariffs for heating companies in view of the actions taken by the government on the debts of heating companies and the gas price fixed for them.

"The government has taken all measures to prevent this from happening. We are fulfilling our obligations under the memorandum, we are giving over UAH 30 billion to heating companies in order to put things in order there, and we also made the price of gas excluding VAT UAH 6.18 per cubic meter, which is less for many cities than is fixed in heat tariffs," the prime minister said at a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.

At the same time, he clarified that some heating companies hold the heat tariff at the level of UAH 4.5-5, noting that in such cases "it will be necessary to look for mechanisms to compensate for the difference from local budgets and, possibly, from the state."

At the same time, Shmyhal said that today he is not aware of the desire of any local authorities, the powers of which now cover the setting of tariffs for heating companies, to increase these tariffs. "So far, I do not see mayors who want to raise tariffs. There is absolutely good will to keep tariffs at last year’s level. If someone does this [raise tariffs], we will conduct a dialogue," the prime minister said, promising that "the state is ready to lend a shoulder" in this matter, including at the expense of the state budget, if local budgets fail.

As reported, according to the law on measures aimed at overcoming the crisis and ensuring financial stability in the natural gas market (No. 3508-d), adopted by the parliament on July 29, 2021, heat suppliers will be able to restructure more than UAH 50 billion for consumed gas for a period of five years. At the same time, UAH 10 billion of fines and financial sanctions accrued on these debts of NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy will be written off.

The state also compensates heating companies for about UAH 30 billion of the difference in tariffs for thermal energy, which arose as a result of the establishment of economically unjustified tariffs for thermal energy by the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission (NEURC).

The document also envisages the abolition of penalties for gas supplier and the unblocking of frozen accounts of heating companies.