New electricity tariff: Gov’t subsidises socially vulnerable families

Electricity tariff could increase in Tbilisi too, PM says. Photo by Nino Alavidze/, 25 Jul 2015 - 11:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Government will allocate 20 million GEL (about $8.9 million USD) annually to cover the difference between the new and old electricity tariffs for more than 200,000 socially vulnerable households in the country’s regional areas.

The news was announced by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili at Friday evening’s press conference.

Garibashvili said the state budget would "fully subsidise” the gap between the old and newly adjusted electricity costs for all 208,000 socially vulnerable families in Georgia so that these families would "pay not a tetri more”.

"I would like to once again stress that when our Government saw our population was overpaying for electricity, we negotiated with [electricity providers] and we initiated the price to decrease,” Garibashvili said, referring back to January 2013 when electricity tariffs was reduced by 4 tetri (about 1.8 US cents) in Georgia.
"Today, due to the current situation, it was unavoidable to increase the tariff by 3.35 tetri [about 1.49 US cents] but we still have one of the lowest electricity tariffs in the region.”
"If this decision was not taken, [electricity providers] would have no more financial resources to take care of the infrastructure and permanently provide our population with electricity.”

About one million regional customers from Energo-Pro Georgia power distributor company will have their electricity tariffs increased by 3.35 tetri per kWh from August 1, 2015. This decision was made after the company filed a request to the Government to increase the tariff due to economic downturn in the region and depreciation of the national currency, the Georgian Lari, against the US dollar.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Garibashvili said the tariff would "most probably” be adjusted in capital Tbilisi too after Tbilisi electricity distributor Telasi also filed the same request.