Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili unwrapped a surprise present to Georgians as the winter gets colder: A 25 % price cut on electricity from January 1, 2013. (Official photo.)

TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili promises that electricity prices will be reduced by around 25 percent from January 1, 2013.

As winter has arrived in Georgia, Ivanishvili brought good news to a press conference Monday at Sheraton Metechi Palace. He said that the price for customers whose power need is below 100 kW will have the price of 1 kwh of electricity reduced by more than 27 percent, while there will be almost as much price fall for customers whose power load is below 300 kW – 21.5 percent.

“I think this will be a great advantage for the Georgian population,” he said, adding that Kakhi Kaladze, the former AC Milan player who is now Energy Minister, worked very hard to achieve these results.

Kaladze said the price of electricity will decrease by 3.5 tetris, which is about 1.6 U.S. cents.

Lower prices for electricity and natural gas was one of the most important election promises by the Georgian Dream coalition ahead of the election in October.

The price of natural gas may be ‘symbolically’ reduced, the Prime Minister said. He thanked Azerbaijan, from where Georgia gets its gas, for selling natural gas ‘at a good price.’

An Azerbaijani journalist wanted to know how it will be possible to reduce the price of natural gas, when it is sold for USD 120 per cubic meter in Azerbaijan and USD 145 in Georgia. When transport fees are taken into account, the price is almost the same in both countries, the journalists said.

This is the result of the friendship and commercial relations that exists between the two countries, the PM responded, and said his government is still looking at ways to correct the prices.

He said it is impossible to have a significant change in price, but it may be symbolically reduced, and this process will be transparent to the public.

According to a statement by Georgia’s Energy Minsitry, the price drop is the result of negotiations between the government and the energy companies Inter RAO and Energo-Pro, which lead to the signing of a memorandum which reduces the price as follows: For Telasi customers (Tbilisi), the price of 1 kWh of electricity drops from 13.48 tetri to 9.94 for customers whose power load is below 100 kW, and from 16 to 12.45 tetri for customers who burn less than 300 kW of power. If a customer needs a power load higher than 300 kW, the price of 1 kWh will remain as it is now — 17.70 tetri.

For customers of Energo-Pro, the price for one kWh will be reduced from 12.98 to 9.44 tetri if the household has a power need of less than 100 kW. If a customer needs less then 300 kW, the price of one kWh will be reduced from 16.52 to 12.98 tetri, while customers with a higher power need than 300 kW will have the same kWh price as today — 17.50.

The statement first said that the memorandum was valid for three months, but later this was changed to “a few years”.