Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman calls on local
authorities to implement energy efficiency measures, those enabling to achieve energy
independence in a few years, to reduce two-threefold the bills for energy
consumption and to provide new jobs in the communities. The Head of Government announced
during a meeting on problematic issues of development of local government with
city mayors on Monday.
The Prime Minister stressed that the current objective for
the authorities was to provide effective social protection necessary due to the
introduction of market-based gas prices through the subsidy tool, to ensure
energy efficiency action: to cut energy consumption thereby improving the
quality of services, to ensure objective recording and installing meters. In
addition, local authorities should conduct an audit of the heat supply companies,
he said. "You will see that people will get protection through a mechanism
of social subsidies and you will be able to consume less energy," he added.
Volodymyr Groysman noted that there had been established
three mechanisms to fund energy modernization measures. In particular, it is
planned UAH 3 billion for investment projects from the Regional Development
Fund. Another tool is a subsidy for socio-economic development.
Apart from that, local governments have at their disposal additional
resource worth millions and billions due to the recent financial
decentralization, stressed the Head of Government. "The decentralization
reform, which is underway, requires the responsibility of each of you locally,
a clear strategy and understanding where we use resources that became available,"
The Prime Minister noted that a number of important
mechanisms had been created to ensure energy modernization. He recalled that
the Government had approved a concept of an Energy Efficiency Fund which will afford
to accumulate resources and to help implementation of energy saving measures,
thereby improving energy efficiency. Moreover, there is in effect a Warm Loan program
that allows saving up to 70% of the resources in the upgrading process, he
"We must insulate buildings, upgrade boiler houses, replace heating mains. I think everyone here is aware what is the situation with the heating systems in Ukraine. They
have been talking for 25 years that they are in a terrible state. Then, maybe it’s
time we have to change that", said Volodymyr Groysman.
The Prime Minister commented on the appeal of local councils
to the Government containing a request to prevent growing of utility tariffs.
He explained that relevant calculations of rates were being made locally, so local
governments may compensate the citizens for housing and communal services from
their local budgets. However, he noted that it would be rather expedient to
spend these funds on energy modernization and other infrastructure projects.
The Prime Minister stressed that market gas price provide an
opportunity to get rid of corruption, to introduce more active measures to save
energy, to achieve energy independence, and ensure an effective social
protection system for the citizens.
Volodymyr Groysman accentuated that currently gas in Ukraine,
either imported or of domestic production, has a market price. A knock-down gas
price, as it used to be before, was advantageous for corruptionists
who earned billions from gas deals.
"We have two options: either we proceed along a path of
populism, thereby letting Ukraine suffer from low energy efficiency, from
inefficient use of resources, or we take responsible decisions as each of you
is a leader, in whom your community trusted. You can take steps that will allow
you in a few years to reach energy independence, at that an average bill of
your citizen can reduce two-threefold, while the funds that you spend on energy
efficiency will not be a compensation for corrupt officials. It will be an
opportunity to create dozens thousands of jobs in your communities," he
said appealing to the representatives of local self-government bodies.
The Head of Government urged the mayors to cooperate in solving
issues of development of local self-government. "I urge you to unite and build
an apolitical and absolutely responsible and patriotic tandem, which will
enable us - the Government and local authorities as one team - to create better
living conditions for people. Without your help we will not succeed", summed
up Volodymyr Groysman.