At the beginning of the year, the heating tariff for the municipality of Ķekava was EUR 39, but now it is EUR 279 per megawatt-hour. Even including state aid, heating will cost residents 4.4 times more than last heating season.
Local resident Valentīna told LTV that she would not be able to pay: "Everything goes up, products get more expensive. Sad, overall."
The father of two children, Guntis, replied that in his case the bill would rise from around €150 a month to over €600: “In fact, if there are two children, it is like a blow under the belt. But, well, nothing doing.”
Meanwhile, retiree Zigride said the heating bill is expected to be larger than her €350 pension. When asked what she was going to do, she replied, laughing, "Hang myself. I don't know."
Pensioner Andrejs said it would be difficult to pay for the heating, but he could not do it without it. Mārtiņš, on the other hand, was not worried about the increase in bills: “Those who have worked and earn properly, they will be able to pay. Those who only work for the minimum will not be able to.”
The head of the company “Ķekavas nami” said that the price of gas alone is the reason for the tariff increase. So far, the gas supply contract is made only for September, while offers are even more expensive for the coming months. The company hopes that it will be able to keep the tariff at the current level: “We are currently undergoing additional procurement for alternative energy sources. If all is successful, we'll switch some boiler houses to a propane-butane gas mixture. This would allow us not to raise the tariff as high as it would be if only natural gas were to be burnt.”
Six thermal energy tariffs exceeding EUR 200 per megawatt hour have been submitted to the public service regulation commission (SPRK) so far, according to the information collected by LTV from the publications in the “Latvijas Vēstnesis”: Ikšķile, Mārupe, Ķekava, Babīte, Jūrmala, and Rēzekne municipal heating companies.
Rīga's heating tariff will be approximately EUR 170 per megawatt hour. Counting the state aid, heating will be 75% more expensive than the previous heating season anyway.
Although Riga depends heavily on natural gas, the tariff is relatively lower than elsewhere because Latvenergo bought gas in time.
Latvenergo has the right to change the tariff every month according to the gas price of the moment, but the company said that it will be possible to heat Rīga the entire heating season with the relatively cheaper gas purchased, provided that consumption will fall by 15%. The company's board member and commercial director Dmitrijs Juskovecs said that Latvenergo now has sufficient reserves to sell gas to others: “including regional heat producers in Daugavpils, Rēzekne, Jūrmala. Two weeks ago, we have resumed [making] offers, and a number of companies have entered into agreements with us.”
The Saeima has already approved the government's plan to cover half of the increase in the tariff. Now asked whether the support for the new tariffs is sufficient, Economics Minister Ilze Indriksone (National Alliance) said that there will "certainly be a need for some additional crisis support." The minister did not offer any concrete new measures and stressed that the main thing is to make housing benefits available.