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After Electricity Rate Hike, Govt Plans GEL 20m Subsidy for Socially Vulnerable Households
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 24 Jul.'15 / 21:04

Government will allocate GEL 20 million annually to subsidize increased electricity tariffs for socially vulnerable families, PM Irakli Garibashvili said on Friday evening.

He said that subsidies will apply to total of 208,000 households.

“We have proved with our deeds that we are socially-oriented government,” he said.

Over one million customers of Energo-Pro Georgia power distributor company will see electricity tariff increase by 3.95 tetri (about 1.75 U.S. cents) per kWh starting from August 1, 2015.

Energo-Pro Georgia distributes electricity in the regions, except of Kakheti.

A Tbilisi electricity distributor Telasi has also filed a request with the Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission on July 23 asking for a tariff increase for its customers in the capital city. It too has cited the depreciation of the Georgian currency lari as the need for the hike. Regulator has yet to rule on the company’s request, but increase of tariff for Tbilisi residents seems imminent.

In a televised statement, announcing about the subsidies, PM Garibashvili said that despite of this recent increase, Georgia still has “one of the lowest” electricity bills in the region, adding that only Azerbaijan has the lower household electricity tariff.

Georgia’s electricity rate was last revised in January, 2013, when the tariff for some category of households were reduced, which was one of the pre-election campaign promises of the Georgian Dream ruling coalition. Garibashvili said that tariffs at the time were inflated and before the reduction consumers were “overpaying”; as a result of that reduction, he said, “people saved GEL 150 million.” But now, he said, as a result of economic downturn in the region and depreciation of lari, electricity tariff hike was inevitable and this increase would secure uninterrupted supply of power to households and enterprises.

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