The Analytical Center's expert Evgeny Gasho talked to the Arguments and Facts newspaper about how central heating rates are set for residential premises in apartment blocks. The authors of the article ‘Secret Percentages of Utility Companies. How Much are we Overpaying for the Utilities?’ has discovered markups and surcharges that almost double our utility bills. “If the Russians were only paying for the heat they actually consume, their heating bills would be 1.5 to 3 times less than what they are today,” Evgeny Gasho was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Energy companies make RUB 1,300 on each gigacalorie
The expert believes that the main cause of this sorry state of affairs is the fact that the vast majority of communal heat meters are miscalibrated and that energy companies deliberately pump more heat into the system. “There is a lot of questions about the price per gigacalorie too. We have many cases where the fuel in the local market sells for RUB 700 while the energy company charges people RUB 2,000. In other words, energy companies are adding a RUB 1,300 mark-up,” Mr. Gasho concludes.
The Arguments and Facts newspaper notes the high commission charged by banks to pay utility bills and note that the State Duma is currently discussing a bill that would limit the commission that banks can charge for processing utility bills to 0.01%. It has also turned out that billing centers charge as much as 18% of the utility bills for their services.
Source: Arguments and Facts