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Ukraine’s energy crisis centre urges households to switch from gas to alternative fuel

August 20, 2014, 12:30 UTC+3 KIEV

For getting through the heating season with comfort the consumption of gas must be cut by 20%, the chief of Naftogaz says

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© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

KIEV, August 20./ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s newly-established energy crisis management centre is launching an awareness campaign to urge households to cut natural gas consumption in all possible ways and to switch to alternative fuels whenever possible. Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman was appointed to chair the centre. As the Cabinet of Ministers’ public relations department has said the campaign, beginning today, will be financed from a special fund the United States, Britain and the European Union have created to provide information support for the Ukrainian government.

“Our task is to make each Ukrainian citizen aware that each saved cubic metre of gas and each unused litre of hot water is a step towards Ukraine’s energy independence,” Groisman said on the eve of the campaign. “Today there is no magic wand that would replace our aging gas boilers with up-to-date ones that burn straw, sawdust, chip wood or peat instead of gas. There is no magic wand to properly insulate all windows of all buildings in Ukraine over a month’s time. It is impossible to instantly replace all poorly insulated thermal power pipelines. We shall be able to change the situation only if we act together.”

Groisman said the government was promising to exert every effort to support energy saving initiatives.

Earlier, the chief of Ukraine’s Naftogaz company, Andrey Kobolev, said the country would be able to comfortably live through the heating season using European gas only on the condition of austerity measures in energy consumption.

“At the moment Ukraine’s sole gas provider is Europe. For getting through the heating season with comfort the consumption of gas must be cut by 20%,” Kobolev said, adding that energy saving measures must be taken in the utility sector first and foremost.

“Ukraine has vast opportunities for energy saving. The utilities sector alone can cut consumption by 4 billion cubic meters of gas,” he said.

On June 16, Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom in fact stopped all gas supplies to Ukraine without prepayment. Ukraine’s outstanding $4.458 billion debt for gas was the reason.

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