June 17, 2015 - 16:20 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) decided, at its meeting on Wednesday, June 17 to raise the electricity tariff for the population by 6.93 drams per kilowatt-hour. The decision comes into force as from August 1, 2015, ARKA reports.
The regulator discussed today the bid of the Electric Networks of Armenia of May 8 on the tariff increase, but passed a decision to increase the tariffs for the population by 6.93 drams only, as compared to 17.08 drams requested in the company’s bid.
This means that the new daytime tariff will be 48.78 drams per kilowatt-hour (including VAT) and the nighttime one will be 38.78 drams per kilowatt-hour (including VAT).
The head of PSRC Robert Nazaryan said the commission tried to minimize the increase as much as possible. The staff of the commission has done the required analysis, he said.
Nazaryan also said that was the first case of the commission holding a meeting on tariff increase with no representative from the bidder.
Earlier, the general director of the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) Yevgeniy Bibin sent a letter to the regulator saying he would not be able to come and asking to consider his yesterday’s letter to the head of the commission Robert Nazaryan as a basis for judgment.
Head of tariff policies at PSRC Garegin Baghramyan said national currency fluctuations were one of the reasons for the tariff increase.
The PSRC meeting was attended by political parties and non-governmental organizations who protested against any increase in the electricity tariffs for the population. The speakers said it was poor management at Electric Networks of Armenia company that led to the increase.
The regulator’s meeting has been interrupted several times due to heated disputes and competing accusations by representatives of NGOs and extra-parliamentary parties in particular.
Dozens of activists gathered outside the PSRC’s building to protest against the electricity tariff increase. The police had to exercise restraint, several protesters were detained.
The intention of the Electric Networks of Armenia to increase the electricity tariffs gave rise to major public discontent in the country, among the population, in the parliament and mass media. The company’s top management has been blamed for inefficient use of funds and corruption.
An earlier statement by the head of PSRC Robert Nazaryan said there were certain management problems in the distributing company. In particular, expensive product and service costs (luxury car and house rentals) were incorporated in the bid.
“No single penny of costs from poor management or presumably slapdash work will be included in the electricity tariff,” the head of the regulatory commission said.
The Electric Networks of Armenia is a 100% subsidiary of Russian INTER RAO UES.