In Russia, utility rates will increase starting July 1 despite the pandemic, 360 TV channel reports.
This relates to almost all regions. In particular, in Moscow and the Moscow Region, the customers will see their gas, electricity, heat, water and sewage bills increase.
Electricity rates for customers with electric stoves will show the biggest growth, almost by 5%.
First Vice President of OPORA Russia non-governmental organization of small and medium-sized businesses Pavel Sigal notes that utility bills increase every year by a rate lower than the applicable rate of inflation. It is necessary to compensate for the sector’s expenses for planned repairs and maintenance of the utility lines.
“Of course, amid the crisis people will not be happy about increasing utility rates. But we must not forget that both service companies and suppliers have been challenged by the pandemic”, the expert says. “The housing and utility sector now has to urgently prepare for the new heating season, while the expenses of heat, gas and water producers are rising. One should also remember that the government made the decision about rates last fall. The budget, as well as several sectors of the Russian economy, rely on the collection rate. Therefore, the increase of the rates is economically viable.”
General Director of Gorodskiye Innovatsionnye Tekhnologii (Innovative City Technologies) Sergei Minko believes that the government’s decision to increase utility rates is well-reasoned because the pandemic has stricken a blow at all sectors, and both housing and utility sector and suppliers need support just like the citizens.