The regions of the Russian Federation want to close a multibillion-dollar debts for energy resources at the expense of modernization of housing and communal services

TASS, August 21. Of power in the region at the expense of technical re-equipment and modernization of the sector of housing and communal services (HCS) plans to solve the problem with billions in debt for the supply of energy.

Earlier it was reported that the total debt of the regions for energy resources in the housing sector reached almost 200 billion rubles, total debt in the sector is 1.34 trillion. However, about half of this amount is overdue population 645 billion. The second group of defaulters are intermediaries such as property managers.

To experts interviewed by TASS stressed that one of the main reasons accounts payable utilities is a waste of energy due to excessive losses. To solve this problem and need modernization, technical re-equipment of municipal infrastructure. Some interlocutors of the Agency suggest more radical measures to deal with problems with debt, in particular, to abolish the operating companies, who are major debtors to the energy suppliers.

Modernization and the courts

Volgograd oblast is one of the regions where debt for utilities is about 6 billion rubles. According to the regional Committee of housing and communal services and fuel and energy complex (TEK), control of organizations (UK, TSZH, ZHSK) owed from the total amount of about 60%.

“Systematically the issue of restructuring the debt stock accumulated in the Volgograd region for decades, began to engage only in the past three years. Matched by effective managerial decisions, among them – the transfer of the heat supply sector of Volgograd concession, technical re-equipment of enterprises of housing and communal services, approved by the regional debt repayment schedule, interaction with law enforcement agencies”, – stressed the Committee.

The Ministry clarified that the taken measures have allowed to reduce gradually in recent years in the region the debt for energy resources, and the city of Volgograd – the principal debtor, at the moment generally there your current debt, and reduced accumulated by previous operators of municipal debt. The Committee stressed that only at the expense of technical re-equipment and modernization of housing and utilities sector be able to solve the existing problems. Other way, according to the Department, no.

Authorities in Lipetsk region believe that reducing the debt burden of the region for the supply of energy is possible and by carrying out claim-related work with debtors. According to the Deputy head of Department housing and communal services of Lipetsk region Oleg Govorukhin, in respect of enterprises and organizations, individuals with overdue debt for fuel and energy resources, initiate bankruptcy proceedings and initiation of civil cases. He did not specify the number of enterprises involved in civil cases and past bankruptcy because of their debts.

On July 1, the debt of consumers of the Lipetsk region to suppliers of energy resources amounted to 1.6 billion rubles. According to local authorities, this debt has accumulated over a period of three years. The main reason is the systematic non-payment for municipal services to individuals and legal entities.

Drastic measures and informed decisions

Some experts interviewed by TASS, propose more drastic measures to solve the existing problems in the housing sector.

“Management companies (UK) is a business structure that live through the payments of tenants. I think it is an unnecessary link between the providers and recipients of public services. Management companies should be abolished, and their functions transfer to the bodies of territorial public self-government (TPS) created for example, or housing construction cooperatives (ZHSK), or homeowners ‘ associations (HOA),” said TASS member of the Public chamber of the Volgograd region Vladimir Andropov.

So, the difficult situation with the UK has developed in Sverdlovsk region. On Monday a press-service of Sverdlovsk branch “Energosbyt Plus” reported that the debt of 44 million rubles reseller of thermal UK “Master” to the supplier threatens disruption of the heating season for consumers. To solve 31 subuser management company proposed to enter into “direct agreements” with the resource provider – PJSC “T Plus” – due to the lack of financial readiness “Master” for the heating season.

According to the Ministry of the Russian Federation, criminal code are the main debtors, which need to be addressed. According to the head of the office of debt collection the “PEAK – Comfort” Igor Zakharov, on the market there are unscrupulous short-lived companies that collect money from the people, piling up debt to resource-supplying organisations, and then purposefully go bankrupt. According to experts, a considerable part of debts for housing and communal services, was formed due to the fact that unfair management companies, in fact acting as intermediaries, has not transferred the funds of the citizens of resource-supplying organizations.

According to the Executive Director of the Association managing organizations of the “New quality” Olesya Leshchenko, for honest market participants, the existing system of legal relations in the sphere of public services is also a burden, because the average level of payment collection is 97% (in some months – 85%) and the management organization is obliged to pay the supplier and the organization completely. Leshchenko believes that to solve the existing problem by excluding organisations from the chain of payments and the transition to “direct agreements” between utilities providers and owners of premises in apartment buildings.

“Direct payments” for conscientious consumers

Some regions have already initiated the practice of “direct contracts” (“direct payments”). For example, this tool began to develop in the Perm region. “In the Kama region will continue to transition to “direct payments”. Currently, the decision to transfer them made by the owners of residential property with more than 6.8 thousand apartment houses,” – noted in the Ministry of housing in the region.

According to authorities, the region’s debt for heat – energy resources (FER), that is, for natural gas and electricity, on 1 January 2017 is 3.6 billion roubles that more than in the same period of 2016, nearly 800 million rubles, while debts for fuel and energy resources in Prikamie was 2.8 billion rubles.

As reported in the regional Ministry of housing, to reduce the arrears for the resources in the Kama region is planned in the traditional way – through the courts by consumers, it is also planned to start the transfer of the debtor’s assets in concession, decommissioned inefficient boiler and together with law enforcement agencies to prevent fraudulent removal of cash.

The emphasis on transparency of payments

Authorities in Tver region intend to deal with debtors due to the creation of the Uniform settlement cash centre (ERKTS). According to the Governor Igor farm, with, ERKTS will begin its work in all municipalities of the region in the next two years. According to the head of the region, the creation of this network will help to increase transparency of payments and eliminate misappropriation of funds of citizens, to reduce debt to energy suppliers and to make payment of housing and communal services for the population more comfortable, as “everyone will get one payment document”.

In addition, the system ERKC also aimed at the transition to “direct payments” from the citizens of resource providers, which, according to regional authorities, will also contribute to debt reduction.

As previously reported, Tver oblast is one of the leaders in amounts owed to suppliers for energy. For example, in 2016 the region’s debt for gas to Gazprom amounted to more than 11 billion roubles, from-for what there was a threat of suspension of the program of gasification of region. Later at the investment forum in Sochi (2017) Rodena said that before “Gazprom” initiated the debt restructuring process and the program of gasification will continue.

In the Tver region also formed a difficult situation with debts for electricity. According to the regional government, the total debt 296 management companies for electricity in the region is around 685 million rubles. 66 companies are in the stage of bankruptcy, their debt is about 50% of the amount of total debt.