Protest against the Increase of the Electricity Tariff
18.06.2014
13:00
The civic initiative protesting against the decision of the RA Public Services Regulatory Commission on launching the review process for the electricity tariffs claims that the current tariff cannot be increased, urging the Commission to define the price setting policy.

‘We urge the concerned citizens to attend the rally against the electricity tariff increase to be held on June 23, at 12:30 before the RAPublic Services Regulatory Commission,’ announced Hayk Avetisyan.

Aram Grigoryan, expert and Executive Director of Public Advocacy Union, reflected on the justifications for the electricity tariff increase at the Media Center hosted press conference. The other speakers included programmer Gevorg Sanoyan and engineer Hayk Avetisyan.

The RAPublic Services Regulatory Commission launched the review process of the electricity tariff. According to the primary assessment of the Commission, additional sum of nearly 20 billion AMD is required to ensure the financial stability of the electricity system companies, as well as the reliable and safe provision of electricity to consumers. It is planned to increase tariffs by 3.8/4.3 AMD/Kwt/hour for all consumer groups.

‘One of the reasons for the electricity tariff increase that the Commission uses is that the electric distribution networks have incurred a debt of 20 billion AMD. Yet, the network has neither the right nor the opportunity to incur any debt since the current tariff includes an enormous profit. The debt can be incurred in case of unreasonable expenses,’ stated expert Aram Grigoryan.

According to the speaker, the Commission brings another unreasonable argument when it states that Yerevan Thermal Power Plant is to be renovated every 4 years. ‘The power generated by Yerevan Thermal Power Plant does not reach the final consumer since Armenia pumps gas from Iran, which is converted into electricity and ultimately returned to Iran, as provided in the contract between Armenia and Iran. Thus, the common consumer should not pay for the renovations of the Thermal Power Plant.’

The speaker believes that the water shortage which is observed this year cannot considerably affect the electricity tariff because additional water is let out from the Sevan every year.

‘Electricity and gas tariffs increased by 18-27 percents last year whereas such drastic increases are unacceptable in the price setting policy,’ stated Aram Grigoryan, emphasizing that the Commission lacks a defined price setting policy.

‘Our initiative demands not to increase the electricity tariff and develop a precise pricing policy,’ stated programmer Gevorg Sanoyan, stressing the fact that their initiative is non-political, being established at the Mashtots Park discussion on the electricity tariff increase.

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