YEREVAN, June 25. / ARKA /. Melita Hakobyan, head of a consumer watchdog called The National Association of Consumers has slammed today the authorities for planning to allow another sharp rise in the price of electricity from August 1.
Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) said earlier it would allow power generating and distributing companies to increase the price by 3.8-4.3 drams for 1 kWh (including VAT) from the 1st of August.
The move comes one year after PSRC permitted electricity price to soar by almost 27 percent in July last year following a surge in the cost of Russian natural gas supplied to Armenia. The electricity price is currently set at 38 drams (9 U.S. cents) per kilowatt/hour. The PSRC wants to raise it to 42 drams per kilowatt/hour.
"Another price hike of electricity would affect local producers, who already are in a difficult situation. With higher price of electricity they would be unable to compete with imported goods,” Hakobyan said to a news conference.
Ruben Haytyan, the deputy chairman of the National Academy of Consumers, called on consumers to be decisive if they consider the planned electricity price hike unfair and refuse to pay the bills. He said the Academy would join the citizens if they stood up for their rights.
The Public Services Regulatory Commission argues that in order to ensure financial stability and reliable and secure supply of energy sector enterprises the latter need additional funds in the amount of 20 billion drams (excluding VAT). ($ 1 - 408.45 drams). -0-