Head of the National Commission of Ukraine for Energy, Housing and Utilities Services Regulation (NCER) Dmytro Vovk forecasts that the so-called social price of gas for households – a discounted price for the first 200 cubic meters of gas consumed by households during the heating season – will be increased by 53%, or UAH 1,900, to UAH 5,500 per 1,000 cubic meters with VAT from April 1, 2016.
"Under a memorandum with the International Monetary Fund, the price should be revised upwards from April 1 to achieve 70% import parity for the population and municipal heating companies… I estimate that as of April 1 the full price (set at UAH 7,188 per 1,000 cubic meters) will slightly slide by up to 10%, and the discounted, 'social' price will go to UAH 5,500 per 1,000 cubic meters with VAT," he told journalists at Adam Smith Conferences' Ukrainian Energy Forum in Kyiv on Tuesday.
Under the gas market law, it is the Cabinet of Ministers that should green-light the increase in the 'social' price of gas for households and gas prices for municipal heating companies, he said.
In his words, it is already late for the government to approve the new prices so that the heating companies could introduce them as of April 1 in keeping with the existing procedure.
"Therefore we would suggest that the decision be taken, but the new gas prices for municipal heating companies be introduced from a new heating season," he added.
Vovk estimates that with the new gas prices, the heating tariffs for households may grow by 80% more on the average.