YEREVAN, July 2. /ARKA/. The new electricity prices approved yesterday by Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission are justified, Armenian Energy Minister Yervand Zakaryan said Wednesday at the official opening of the Energy Week - 2014.
On Tuesday, the commission approved a 10 percent rise in electricity prices for households allowing the Electrical Networks of Armenia distributor to charge 41.85 drams per 1 kWh of electricity during daylight hours (from 7:00 to 23:00), up from current 38 drams and 31.5 drams for night hours (from 23:00 to 7:00), up from current 28 drams. The decisions come into force on 1 August 2014.
“It is very unpleasant to raise prices, but there are problems that need solutions,” the minister said. “I find the commission’s all calculations based on energy companies’ figures justified.”
He stressed that the price rise was inevitable – it was prompted by the necessity of ensuring a stable operation to the whole energy system.
Zakaryan said that Armenia’s authorities are concerned over the matter, and therefore President Serzh Sargsyan had instructed Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan to find ways for cushioning low-income families from the price rise shock. “The government will discuss the matter tomorrow,” he said.
Speaking about the companies’ AMD 20-billion debt, the minister said it had been accumulated from investments, maintenance cost and substantial repair expenses.
In his words, AMD 9.5 billion had been spent on the repair of Yerevan Thermal Power Plant. ($1 – AMD 407.85). -0----