Refusal to itemize the unified utility bill makes energy companies less responsible

25 april 2016

People living in apartment blocks have got to be able to see what their energy companies are doing. This is especially true in situations where a lion’s share of energy savings gets taken away from the consumers of housing and communal services to pay for energy efficiency measures, said the Analytical Cente'sr expert Dmitry Khomchenko in a message on the Internet portal Utilities-Control.

Dmitry Khomchenko
Dmitry Khomchenko
Department for Sectors of Economy

Answering questions put to him by the portal Mr. Khomchenko noted that the decision not to itemize the unified utility bill makes energy and utility companies less responsible for the actual amounts by which energy consumption is reduced as a result of energy efficiency measures. This means that in the long run they will be doing poorer quality work with less tangible effect for the residents. In addition, if the unified utility bills are not itemized, managing companies will inevitably abuse their position in the chain of payments and greatly reduce the transparency of the already opaque housing and communal services system.

“State guarantees of refunds in the implementation of energy service contracts must be offered in full when energy service contracts are performed in the budget-funded sphere and partially when energy conservation measures are implemented by companies with state regulated prices and rates, since energy services are one key area where the state can directly interfere to keep the prices of communal and housing services from rising for all categories of consumers. In industry the ability of the state to do that is very limited and is only found in small and medium sized businesses that manufacture goods or offer services in some key areas,” the expert said. 

Also, when commenting on the latest batch of amendments to the Housing Codes that allow for major repairs and energy service to be financed from the same sources, the expert noted that energy conservation measures do not make any business or practical sense if they are implemented on worn-down utility infrastructure. On the other hand, major repairs of building envelopes and/or utility infrastructure inside buildings can drastically increase the effect from energy conservation measures and thus these types of work can and should be carried out simultaneously.