Power engineers are sounding the alarm because of the growth of debts for utilities. The reason for this is the six-month moratorium on bankruptcy, which prohibits forced collection of funds from debtors.
The largest generating companies – “Inter RAO”, “T Plus”, “Gazprom Energoholding” and others – sent a letter to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin asking him to lift the moratorium. The companies believe that the situation in the country has stabilized after the sanctions were imposed, and the conditions should be reviewed. Otherwise, there are risks when preparing for the heating season.
Generators note the deterioration of consumers’ payment discipline. Charges have fallen to the pandemic level of 2020.
“The imposed moratorium entails the risks of mass violation of obligations by consumers and, consequently, explosive growth of debts coupled with the complete absence of any measures to influence non-payers,” said the Council of Energy Producers.
The branch of EnergosbyT Plus in Vladimir notes that there is indeed a reduction in the collection rate in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period of 2021. In addition, all the enforcement documents are sent to the bailiff service, as debt collection through the bank (directly) is possible only after October 1, 2022 in connection with the moratorium. This procedure delays the process of debt collection, because a certain procedural order must be followed.
At the moment, it is difficult to influence debtors, and the majority of non-payers are non-disconnectable consumers. The temporary ban on bankruptcy does not allow businesses to work with debtors. Banks refuse to write off funds from violators of payment discipline.
Over the last two years the amount of debts for housing and utilities services in Russia has increased by 15%, reaching almost 1.5 trillion rubles. This data was previously announced by the head of the Ministry of Construction Irek Faizullin.
The Public Council at the Ministry of Construction supports the idea of cancelling the moratorium, because it could affect the purchase of energy resources needed to generate electricity and hot water. So far, the preparation for the heating season is going on in the normal mode, officials say.
According to the Association of Guaranteed Suppliers and Power Supply Companies, businesses have brought claims against debtors for about 35 billion rubles for electricity. In the second quarter of 2022, about three billion rubles was recovered – 16% less than last year.
Due to the moratorium, non-payments in the fuel and energy sector could increase by 65 billion rubles by the end of 2022.