ArmInfo.The current water tariff will not increase in 2020, and water users continue to pay 180 drams per cubic meter. Chairman of the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) of Armenia Garegin Baghramyan stated this on November 20 after discussing the application of a single operator of the water supply and sanitation system - the "Veolia" french Group.
According to Baghramyan, the Commission decided to maintain the current tariff. At the same time, as the head of the Regulator said, from January 2020 the government will not subsidize the difference in tariff in the amount of 11.414 drams per 1 cubic meter of water, established from January 1, 2018 at the level of 191.414 drams per 1 cubic meter.
Earlier, ArmInfo reported that "Veolia Djur" applied to the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) to review the current tariff for drinking water from the current 180 drams per 1 cubic meter up to 181.8 drams (including VAT). In September this year in an interview with ArmInfo, the head of the Regulator said that despite the availability of the application, the tariff will remain unchanged in 2020 and 2021.
According to him, over the past months, the Armenian government has been negotiating with "Veolia Djur" around the water tariff. As a result, due to additional tax fees and in exchange for a reduction in the rent for the network, an agreement was reached to reduce the basic tariff for water. As a result, a single water supply operator turned to the Regulator with a request to increase the water tariff to 181.8 drams, and not to 211 drams stipulated by the 15-year agreement for 2020.
In addition, as Bagramyan explained, according to established practice, annually, until August 10, the "Veolia Djur" company appeals to the PSRC, taking as a basis the base tariff and adjustments depending on the tariff for electricity, inflation, as well as the volume of retail supplies in the field water supply. In the latter case, actual volumes of water sales are taken into account in comparison with the basic indicators fixed in the lease. But, since Veolia traditionally uses data from the beginning of the year to June, and the PSRC has data for July as well, when the tariff is revised, the regulator is based on its own more recent data. "In July of this year, compared with July 2018, water consumption increased by about 1 million cubic meters, which automatically leads to a certain reduction in the tariff. That is, only on the basis of this factor, the proposed tariff of 181.8 drams is reduced by 1 dram", Baghramyan said.
The recorded increase in consumption, as explained by the head of the PSRC, is the result of a decrease in theft of water and illegal consumption, as well as economic growth. For the third year in a row, the Regulator monitors the actual volumes of water supply by "retailers" to identify cases of illegal connection to the water supply system and violations. The last important factor that gives rise to the optimistic forecast of PSRC is the position recorded in the license agreement with "Veolia Djur". "When a tariff is specified in the range of plus or minus 0.5% of the current tariff, the tariff is revised. Based on the above factors, I am more than sure that the current tariff will not be revised. Moreover, the tariff will not be kept at the expense of the planned investment, " said the head of the department. As of today, as Garegin Baghramyan stated, an agreement was reached with "Veolia Djur" ("Veolia Djur", a daughter of the French Veolia Enviroment SA, Ed. note) to maintain the basic water tariff at the level of 176.4 drams for 2020-2021