The Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission (GNERC) has approved the increase of both consumer and commercial electricity tariffs for customers of Telasi, an electricity distributor operating in Tbilisi, as well as for region-based Energy-Pro Georgia. Water prices are also set to increase in the cities of Tbilisi and Rustavi, and the town of Mtskheta.
But the new tariff, set by the regulator on December 29, is far short of increase requested by the companies, which seek higher fees to offset their surging expenses caused by depreciation of the Georgian currency lari. According to GNERC, electricity rates for households will hike by approximately 3.5 tetri (about 1.1 USD cents) in both the capital Tbilisi and the regions.
Electricity price hike
Tariffs for households in Tbilisi consuming up to 101 kWh per month will increase from 14.544 tetri to 18.041; from 18.556 to 22.053 tetri for those consuming between 101 kWh and 301 kWh per month, and from 23.04 to 26.537 tetri for those using 301 kWh or more.
The electricity rate for regional households consuming up to 101 kWh per month will increase from 14.237 tetri to 17.731; from 18.213 to 21.707 tetri for households using between 101 kWh and 301 kWh per month, and from 22.733 to 26.227 tetri for household consumption of over 301 kWh per month.
Non-household tariffs in Tbilisi are set to increase by over 11 tetri, depending on voltage. For voltage between 110 to 35 kV, the electricity rate will rise from 16.111 to 27.37 tetri; from 16.882 tetri to 29.646 for a voltage of 10-6-3.3 kV, and from 21.319 to 32.931 tetri for 0.4 kV.
For voltage between 110 to 35 kV the electricity rate in Georgia’s regions will rise from 14.860 to 28.267 tetri; from 16.251 to 30.879 tetri for a voltage of 10-6-3.3 kV, and from 21.083 to 31.960 tetri for 0.4 kV.
Water prices increase in Tbilisi, Mtskheta, and Rustavi
GNERC also announced an increase in water prices for users of the Georgian Water and Power, company supplying drinking water to Tbilisi and Mtskheta, as well as Rustavi Water Company customers.
The water consumer tariff in Tbilisi and Mtskheta is set to increase from 32.9 tetri to 50 tetri per cubic meter, while the per capita price will rise from GEL 3.892 to GEL 4.518. The non-household water tariff per person rose from GEL 4.4 to GEL 6.503 per cubic meter.
In Rustavi, the water consumer tariff per cubic meter for households stands at 50 tetri following the increase, but previously amounted to 40.5 tetri, while the per capita price increased from GEL 2.281 to GEL 3.004. The non-household water tariff, previously standing at GEL 3.644, rose to GEL 3.703.
Government announces subsidies
In response, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced a number of Government subsidies for 2021.
The PM said the Government will fully subsidize the price difference for households using less than 300 kWh electricity per month during the following year, adding that the subsidy will affect approximately 95% of families, that is 1.6 million households out of 1.7. million in total.
In addition, 50% of the difference between the current and increased non-household tariffs will be financed for local food producers throughout 2021. The Prime Minister claimed the subsidy will guarantee local food prices not to increase over the following year.
The PM also said the state will fully subsidize water consumption for socially vulnerable families in Tbilisi, Rustavi and Mtskheta.
The new prices will take effect on January 1, 2021, with the water and electricity tariffs lasting until the end of 2023, and through 2025, respectively.