The messenger logo

Costs on Electricity and Garbage to Increase

By Messenger Staff
Monday, September 19
The opposition as well as many Tbilisi citizens expressed their discontent concerning the decision of the Tbilisi Mayorís Office to impose a new mode of paying for the communal garbage from August. Under this scheme, the price any Tbilisi households pays for the removal of communal garbage is calculated from the volume of electricity the particular household consumes. The cost is currently 5 tetri for a single kilowatt. That means that if a household consumes 200 kilowatts a month, the household must pay GEL 10 no matter how many people live in household.

Before August households paid for electricity and the disposal of garbage at a set price of GEL 2.5 for each person in the household. The Tbilisi population has paid only for the month of August under the new scheme so far and the response has been controversial. In summer, days are longer and there is less electricity consumed as only wealthy people can afford air conditioning which is expensive. But now as winter approaches, days become shorter and many families have their heating provided electrically. Obviously, electricity will be consumed more and therefore the price for garbage disposal will increase accordingly.

So far the author of the scheme is not known, but clearly the plan will increase revenues from households. Many naturally believe that communal services should not be profitable entities, and that City Hall should not make money from such services. It should cover its costs including cover for expenses on the further development of such services. The new scheme however suggests that good money will be made.

The leader of the Free Georgia party, Kakha Kukava, suggests that Tbilisi consumes annually about 180 mln kilowatts of electricity. That means that the revenues received on the new formula will be around GEL 90 mln. Garbage disposal costs Tbilisi residents about GEL 30 mln. This makes a windfall under the new scheme of around GEL 60 mln. As the salaries of people involved in maintaining and cleaning the capitalís streets are very modest, it is not clear how the excess money will be spent.