''People need to get used to the fact that tariffs will creep up''

The government wants to teach the heating supply companies to save energy and use the sinking fund properly

''People need to get used to the fact that tariffs will creep up'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

Kazenergo has found opportunities to increase investments in the modernization and reconstruction of networks and boiler houses without the use of borrowed funds, but Zelenodolsk Enterprise of Heating Networks had to attract almost 17 million rubles for these purposes. The investment programmes of eight Tatarstan heating supply companies for 2018-2020 were considered and approved at a meeting of the expert council of the State Committee on Tariffs of the Republic of Tatarstan on 10 October. Read the details of the meeting in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Not all programmes are created equal

The reasons for the adjustment of the investment programme of Kazenergo JSC for the current year were reported to the expert council by chief engineer of the enterprise Yury Nikonorov. According to him, the enterprise, 70% of the total number of consumers of which is the population, was forced to shuffle the objects to be reconstructed and modernized. Partly because some of them had been put to rights ahead of schedule, some had been decommissioned and some had been postponed to a later date, as other more urgent tasks had arisen.

The investment programme of Kazenergo was amended by more than 30 percent — from 226,2 million rubles to 380 million. According to Nikonorov, its implementation does not require an increase in the tariff for thermal energy (officially approved tariff growth was 3,4% in the second half of 2018 in relation to the first). All works will be carried out at the expense of the sinking fund, including unused in the previous year (a total of almost 206 million rubles), and the fee charged by the enterprise from consumers for technological connection to networks (over 174 million). The expected effect of the reconstruction and modernization in real terms is the reduction in specific fuel consumption for the served thermal energy by 1,161,900 cubic metres, which is to save the company about 18,7 million rubles a year.

Against the background of the investment programme of Kazenergo, which has 138 boiler houses and serves 266 km of heat networks, the remaining seven programmes presented to the expert council looked modest. Bugulma Enterprise of Heating Networks, which operates 18 boiler houses in the district centre and 7 in the village and has the deterioration of equipment at 70,2%, the volume of investment this year has been adjusted to a lesser extent. Instead of the planned 15,8 million rubles, it amounted to 14,1 million. The enterprise does not expect a serious economic effect: neither specific fuel consumption nor technological losses in the transmission of energy through heating networks are projected to decrease. Or increase.

According to Nikonorov, its implementation does not require an increase in the tariff for thermal energy

Yelabuga Enterprise of Heating Networks, which has 5 boiler houses and 10 central heating stations on its balance sheet, and the length of networks of which is 98 km (77% of energy supplies to the population), the tariff growth in the second half of the year in relation to the first was 4,2%. The company has adjusted the volume of investments this year to the higher side, increasing it from 22,3 million rubles to 23,4 million. The investments in the reconstruction and modernization are planned to be provided from the sinking fund (20,3 million) and performance contracts (3,1 million). The company managed to draw up a financial plan without borrowing (before the adjustment it had been assumed that they would have to borrow about 2,9 million rubles).

Zelenodolsk Enterprise of Heating Networks, which in the second half of 2018 raised the tariff for thermal energy by 4,15%, judging by the report of director Ilnar Ziganshin, has adjusted the investment programme, changing the dilapidated objects to even more dilapidated using the principle: ''This year the networks have withstood hydraulic tests, which means that we can postpone an update for the next year.'' However, due to the borrowing of 17 million rubles and the funds received under performance contracts, the investment programme for 2018 here has been adopted with considerable advantage to the previously adopted plan — instead of 47,3 million rubles they are going to spend almost 56,4 million by the end of the year for the reconstruction of heat economy. As a result, Zelenodolsk hopes to reduce the consumption of gas and heat losess during transmission, however, not significantly.

Do not confuse investments with profit!

Tukay Teplo-Gas PLC, Industrial Park Service Management Company (Kamskie Polyany), Sabinskoye MPP ZHKKH and Inzhenernye Seti PLC (Alekseyevsky district) presented the investment programme for 2019-2021. All companies factored in the annual growth rate from 2,5% to 4,5% in them.

Chairman of the State Committee on Tariffs of the Republic of Tatarstan Marat Zaripov drew attention to the fact that in many programmes the modernization is planned to be carried out at the expense of profit, which is essentially wrong. The investment component, he stressed, should be included in the tariffs.

Marat Zaripov drew attention to the fact that in many programmes the modernization is planned to be carried out at the expense of profit, which is essentially wrong

Another participant of the meeting — Deputy Chairman of the Public Chamber of the Republic of Tatarstan Timur Khalikov — complained that energy saving measures are not sufficiently developed in the programmes.

''We teach to save''

Marat Galeyev, Chairman of the Committee on Economy, Investment and Entrepreneurship of the State Council, who took part in the meeting of the expert council of the State Committee on Tariffs of the Republic of Tatarstan, commented on the situation with the adjustment of investment programmes to Realnoe Vremya:

''The regulator gives growth parameters within inflation every year, and if they fit into these parameters, it is normal. We need to get used to the fact that tariffs will creep up. We look at the figures — this is normal so far. The main thing is that investment programmes must be drawn up and implemented.''

''How would you assess the investment programmes that have been presented today at the expert council – who has more effective and who has them less effective?'' the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya asked.

The regulator gives growth parameters within inflation every year, and if they fit into these parameters, it is normal, Marat Galeyev believes

''They're all about the same. In fact, they are aimed at maintaining the economy of heating supply organizations in working condition.''

Since the meeting participants repeatedly stressed that the investment programmes of heating supply companies should include measures aimed at energy saving, the reporter asked Marat Galeyev what was the reason – not that heating supply companies are reluctant to invest in this direction?

''Why? They are, of course. But we have problems in the heads: if equipment works, we can leave it non-updated for years. But there are a number of technologies that require implementation costs, but give a certain effect. We need to teach the chiefs of enterprises to save energy… For example, counters — earlier they did not want to install them, but now they have got used to them. Today we have already forgotten what the depreciation funds are, why these allocation are made. You know, it is the heritage of the '80-90s. However, today the work efficiency is increasing, and to some extent it is the merit of the tariff committee — it also regulates this process.''

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By Inna Serova. Photo: Maksim Platonov
Tatarstan