Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Utility Bills

Today we set out to pay our January utility bills and get our garbage, water, gas and electric accounts organized for 2009. This took us 6 hours, including a lunch break while we waited for an office to reopen and about 30 minutes of shopping at the end.

First we went to a bank and paid the accounts. We read our own meters (they are checked occasionally) and fill out our own payment book. We never get a statement nor write a check.

Then we went to sign up for garbage collection for 2009. Last year it was 25 UAH for the year or about $5 USD. This year it was 70 UAH or about $10 USD. The rate had gone up and also Tanya paid for two people rather than just one. They charge by the head.

The electrical contract was still in the name of Tanya’s Ex so it took while to change that, including much photocopying of documents (Tanya carried a full wad of documents with her, including divorce certificate, marriage certificate, house title certificate, house blueprint registration certificate). We had to drive 10 km (one way, on the worst roads ever) to the town office of Marianivka Village to get a missing document saying that two people lived in our house. We will get our new contract next week. The electrical office is in Zhovti Vody but because we live in Marianivka village, the contract has to go to the Raion seat at P’yatikhatki for registration in their office too.

The water and gas contracts were already in Tanya’s name so sorting them out was easier, though the water department needed some documents photocopied as well related to home ownership. We actually had a credit at the gas company so we will pay February in full but then March will not cost us anything.

When we got home Tanya added up our utility bills for the year 2008.
Gas – 3000 UAH or about $600 USD at mid year exchange rates
Water – 700 UAH or about $140 USD at mid year exchange rates
Electricity – 900 UAH or about $180 at mid year exchange rates
Total – 4600 UAH or $920 USD for an 1800 sq ft house (170 sq meters) and 2 people.

Estimated cost for this year, 2009, Tanya figures, will be 7500 to 9500 UAH or $950 to $1200 USD at today’s exchange rates ($1250 to $1600 CAD).

It is OK for us but for ordinary people especially pensioners it is a disaster.

2 comments:

  1. I just added up our energy bills for 2008 - Gas $900 + Electricity $1200.

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  2. Gas in Ukraine was way underpriced but will now approach world prices. The new agreement ties it to oil prices so even though it is high now, it will drop like a rock in a few months.
    Don't know why our power is so cheap. Expect that it is highly subsidized, possibly by not including eventual replacement costs of the generating stations. We have lots of cheap coal (if you don't count the environmental and human costs) and a big nuclear plant near Zaporizhzhia so electricity is not an issue. Distribution is. Lines are old etc...

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