Kiev Doubles The Price Of Cold Water, Shuts Off Hot Water

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog,

No one ever thinks about the water. Or the toilet paper, as it were.

But these are among the many, many staples that become luxuries when one’s nation is in crisis.

Hours ago, the local gas company in Kiev (Kyivenergo) announced that they would be shutting off the hot water supply to most of the city.

While the official reason for the hot water shutoff is that Kyivenergo (the energy supplier to Kiev) owes a debt to the Ukrainian state gas company (Naftogaz) of over $100 million.

It’s just a quirky little coincidence that this debt suddenly became materially important only one week after Russia shut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine.

Funny thing is that Ukrainian politicians for years had been telling people not to worry about this.

You see, Ukraine has its own domestic natural gas supplies. And they tell people that the domestic gas is strictly for the people and their utilities (like hot water).

Russian gas, according to this story, is imported for businesses to use. But that domestic gas is sacrosanct, only for the people.

Clearly this turned out to be a big fat lie.

Bear in mind, it was just a few weeks ago that utility companies announced that the price of cold water would jump from 3.18 hryvnas per cubic meter to 6.22– a 95% increase, practically overnight.

So there’s an entire city now taking cold showers… and paying twice the price for the privilege! Insult. Injury.

I have several Ukrainian employees with family still in the country; they’re telling me how their loved ones are now finally starting to look at their options to get out of dodge.

It’s strange when you think about it– war, revolution, inflation, etc. All of that was OK. Cold showers?!?! “Honey pack the bags, it’s time to leave.”

I jest of course; all of this is accumulated pain that eventually culminates in reaching one’s breaking point… especially when a rational look into the future suggests this situation will not resolve itself anytime soon.

You know the outlook isn’t so great right now because Ukraine’s Vice Premier Minister is telling people that they can survive the -winter- (still months away) without Russian gas imports.

While I’m sure everyone appreciates the ‘turn that frown upside down’ approach, they’d probably just rather take a hot shower and not be lied to about the nation’s ability to sustain shrinkage.

A few key lessons I wanted to pull out of this:

1. Politicians always lie. They will tell you that your nation is stronger than it really is, that your country is prepared for whatever may come, that your benefits will never be cut, etc. And even though they may be well-intentioned, these are not promises that can be kept… especially by a nation in crisis.


2. A nation in crisis affects just about everything. It’s not just about numbers and data, or even Molotov cocktails. It’s hot water and toilet paper. It’s food on the shelves. It’s the stuff we all take for granted that suddenly doesn’t function anymore.


3. Even though the obvious warning signs are there, most people wait until it’s too late (or at least suboptimal) before considering their options. When you wait until a full blown crisis, you have to rush through critical decisions in haste instead of planning things out slowly, rationally.

Rational people have a plan B because we all have a breaking point. Do you know what you would do if you reached yours?

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Citxmech's picture

They have distributed hot water?  How does that even work?

max2205's picture

Lots of pissed off guys saying they have shrinkage.


quintago's picture

It runs through Chernobyl. That way it stays hot over distances of hundreds of miles.

ZerOhead's picture

<  Vlad will watch and laugh

<  Vlad will attack

Wait until they get blowtorched in the groin with the pension and wage cuts and then deep fried in boiling oil by the doubling of taxes... just to make whole the criminal Western bankers who saddled them with tens of billions in fraudulent debt that went directly into the pockets of their oligarch leaders.

I expect everything except the water is going to get very hot in Kiev...

AlaricBalth's picture

Rinat Leonidovych Akhmetov, the 101st richest person in the world, is the owner of Kyivenergo Gas through SCM Holdings.
Allegedly, Akhmetov has "financed the separatist movement in the region of Donbass and that the separatists “all took money” from Akhmetov and others, saying that “As it turned out, two-thirds of the activists were supported by the oligarch Akhmetov”.

Akhmetov is also active with the Ukraine Party of Regions. The party claims to ideologically defend and uphold the rights of ethnic Russians and speakers of the Russian language in Ukraine.

knukles's picture

That's what happens when you're dependent upon the communal water heater.
Somebody else runs out of other people's money and you get to freeze in the dark.

ZerOhead's picture

They'll be soaping up in large groups and then pissing on each other by December...

franzpick's picture

Maybe distributed hot water, through wasteful, energy losing runs of 10s or 100s of klics, works just fine when you can maintain the heat using free gas syphoned and stolen from pipes supplying party EU from supplier party RUS.

Antifaschistische's picture

I hate to sound like a Z - broken - H record...

...but this debt is only enabled by a fiat/fractional reserve banking system.  With fractional reserve based credit invention expansion soon to be implosion - this Ukranian gas/water debt bubble would have never existed.

thus...the entire suffering of the Ukranian people is a byproduct of our self legalized banking counterfeit-me-some-not-you-some system.

Stoploss's picture

If hot water leaves the "hot water plant" at boiling temp, and is transported through a pipe buried twelve inches below the ground, with avg ground temp near freezing in the winter, what is the temperature of the water after being transported twenty five miles?



kowalli's picture

simple - only cold water... next year in USA too=)

WonderDawg's picture

Hot water doesn't come into your home heated, it comes in cold and you have a hot water heater in your home that heats it up. So how do they control the hot water heaters? If they are gas-operated, they shut of the gas? Specifically to the hot water heater? That's some pretty high-tech shit, eh? I have a gas line, it serves my range, and my hot water heater, and they can't turn it off on just the hot water heater, they have to shut the main line down. And they have this technology in Ukraine? Doubtful. The story doesn't pass the sniff test.

kowalli's picture

In Ukrain,Russia, USSR -Hot water come into your home heated.

WonderDawg's picture

Really? That's interesting, and seems inefficient from an engineering standpoint, but I'm no engineer. If what you say is true, I stand corrected.

Jack Burton's picture

This is so common in Eastern Europe that people take it for granted. Efficient as well. Cities run hot and cold water pipes with large central boilers. Works perfect. Why not?

nmewn's picture


Its more "efficient" for an entire section or city to go without hot water than a single home because the water heater breaks?

Paveway IV's picture

I hate to break in - the comments are getting so amusing here. But...

Kiev has central heating and central hot water (two different systems) because it's made very efficiently at the gas-fired electric power plant (KievEnergo) from the exhaust - which would otherwise be wasted heat dumped into the outside air (like in most of the U.S.). The electric plant runs 24x7 and is always capable of producing a heating supply and hot water supply. They usually turn the heating leg off during summer months to save pumping tons of unused heat all over the city. The water is distributed in insulated pipes buried at least a few meters down - well below the frost line. District heating water is maybe 65C when consumed, the newer district hot water is nearly boiling when delivered to block-sized substations, and mixed down to 55C before circulating inside supply loops or directly connections in the individual buildings. The old hot water system in Kiev is a direct system and the temperature is kind of a crap-shoot, but luke-warm after five minutes for most people, maybe a half-hour if you're on the 15th floor of an old apartment.

KievEnergo probably shut off district heating to the entire city by now. Nobody pays for the four or five months of summer when they wouldn't use it anyway. Residences have some sort of cat-burning device for the occasional cold night according to Google translate.

KievEnergo IS shutting off hot water and heat to a few hundred residential customers in one district, and a few hundred in another. They may be talking about apartment buildings, not an individual house. Hard to tell. Unless Ebola has swept through Kiev already, I think that still only amounts to a fraction of it's residents, but probably serves the purpose of warning everyone that the free shit army has left Kiev. You have to pay your heat and water bill if you want heat and water. 

I'm not suggesting the individual residents of Kiev have not been paying their bills. Just that some of them are going to discover that the housing organization oligarchs have been pocketing their utility money for years and now they have to come up with several million dollars for KievEnergo if they want to take a shower or have heat this winter.

I'm guessing the Kiev 'Corrupt Oligarch' Guillotines will be pressed into service soon. And God help the poor cats.

Gavrikon's picture

"I'm not suggesting the individual residents of Kiev have not been paying their bills."

If you won't, then I will.  Certainly not all, maybe even most, but plenty don't, and/or find ways to run an extension cord to an empty apartment for "free" electricity.

Nigh Eve's picture

Thanks, Pavewat IV!

Your comment is probably the most informative insight on this entire page (even better than the original histrionic article).

cifo's picture

The distributed hot weater is actually a by product of power generation.

PiratePiggy's picture

Correct.  It is also used to heat homes nearby in the winter.  In the USA, we dump the heat into the rivers in the winter as well as in the summer.

Divine's picture

Dawg its not only the old USSR. Here in Finland we use the hot water coming from the heating plant to heat up the homes by circulating the water in the radiators. All faucets have a mixer that allow you to freely set your temperature. We use the same water in toilets, showers etc and its really effecient system. It gives you "unlimited" hot water so you dont run out of warm water during your showers.




jerry_theking_lawler's picture

Question: Why would they have a hot water heater....doesn't this imply the water is already hot?? Wouldn't it just a water heater?

RafterManFMJ's picture

Kerry says It will take at least 3 years for the US to build thermal transports and the proper loading facilities for the US to export our hot water to Ukraine.

Until then, the USAF will begin Operation Wet Nap and para drop tons of cleansing wipes to the stinky, huddled masses of Kiev.

jimmytorpedo's picture

Costa Rica has distributed hot water Citxmech.

Only because the water pipes are about 4 inches under the ground.

Ukraine,...I'm as confused as you about that one.

Urban Redneck's picture

That could explain why they apparently use so much gas for hot water, but there's something that doesn't smell right with the story... and the elusive level of "community" that the formerly communist kleptocracy would have had to have reached for it to be true (from an engineering standpoint).

Perhaps they simply shutoff the all gas the to residential neighborhoods, since it's not like anyone would want to cook food in the hot summer. They should fine util winter. Forward!

CrashisOptimistic's picture

I think what they are saying is residential gas is being smacked (which makes hot water and not much else).

They are contrasting that with businesses that use nat gas, which apparently aren't being smacked.

I don't think this is about distributed hot water.

Urban Redneck's picture

Google translate sucks! but it looks like the utility is distributing steam, not hot water. There are only about 750 apartments(?) and homes affected.

What I can't figure out is how many homes and businesses are not impacted since burning gas for electricity also generates heat which would normally be recaptured, in addition to the two separate steam plants the utility operates (i.e. shutting the whole thing down would be nonsensical since heat is a natural by-product of electrical generation, and would incur the wrath of the EU tree huggers).

kowalli's picture

it's hot water... not steam... you should learn Russian or Chinese...

Urban Redneck's picture

I'll stick to the four languages I already use. But it looks like they pulled a Detroit last week and cut power to street and public lighting in a bunch of areas. So at the rate they are shedding load - only the politicians, banksters and MIC should have any utilities in a few weeks.

kowalli's picture

That's US government way of thinking - 1)superhumans - americans (c) Obama, 2)humans - Europe and 3)subhumans - all remaining. All remaining - must only work and eat...

Urban Redneck's picture

Individual metering with collective punishment for non-payment by other individuals...Ukrainian bean counters are about as nutty as their engineers. Let us know when the powers than be in Kiev are made to do without light and hot water because they or their neighbors don't pay their bill.

Jack Burton's picture

Sorry, but common heating and hot water are not hard to engineer. How would that be? Tens of thousands of individual hot water heaters versus central boilers for steam heat across the cities and hot water running alongside. I have been to Russia many times, this common system is all over. Enginnering of it is simple and efficient. To save costs is why it was done.

Urban Redneck's picture

I'm not saying it's hard to engineer. I'm saying it's GROSSLY inefficient.

nmewn's picture

And you're paying for something you may not use.

I can turn my hot water heater off when I leave and not pay for something I'm not using, someone living in a centrally planned economy can't.


That was in agreement with Urban by the way.

Divine's picture

nmewn, not only is the water heated with "free" by-product heat - the same heated water is used to heat up the infrastructure. It's way cheaper to use hot water circulating in your radiators than heating with electricity/wood/gaysex. All and all I would say central heating / water system is more cost effective. And Yes I have also lived in USA, UK, Estonia etc so I have some insight about it.


I pay 0,5 € for a cubic metre of very pure water and the same water keeps my monthly electricity bill at about 35€. What about you?

nmewn's picture

First off, you have to have high population density in order to make it viable, I refuse to live like a rat in a cage. Secondly, there is the issue of who owns the, shall we say "monopoly", the state or one of its hand picked operators. Thirdly, there is nothing "free" in this life, you are being charged (and metered, apparently) for plain, simple hot water, whether it became hot by means of by-product power generation or not, someones use of energy made it hot or its geo-thermal.

In my case (because you asked) I don't live in a city. I have two wells, that I paid to have installed, one for irrigation and one for the house, both un-metered and I'll shoot the first statist prick who attempts to attach a meter to my property. I maintain them both, I just put a new pressure switch and gauge on the one for the house last month as a matter of fact. I regulate the temperature of MY hot water heater to my liking, no meetings, no pleadings to a central authority or letter to the editor or company.

I pay zero for water, only the cost to pump it out of the ground (negligible) and heat it if I want it hot.

My point is, I will always have hot & cold running water when I want it (I also have a generator if the power goes out) inter-dependent city dwellers, apparently not so much. My larger point is, if you cannot do it yourself you're doomed to remain on someone elses treadmill (see rat in a cage above) and dependent on them for something as simple as hot water, at whatever price they choose for you to pay.

cifo's picture

Red, the hot water is practically free, from power generation. They only need to flow it to the buildings.

Urban Redneck's picture

2x the pipe (and steel cost for both initial capex and maintenance)

for every meter of pipe and second of time in the pipe, there is heat loss (global warming at it's purest)

because there is not constant flow at end points, people turn on the water and "wait [even longer] for it to warm up" (direct conversion to waste of both water and heat)

because the temperatures drops the further down the line one is, then either there is a very UNEQUAL distribution and pricing of "hot" water, or the people closest to the source then waste more energy chilling their water

if it was free now, they wouldn't need to cut it off service in summer

if it was free now, they wouldn't have needed to build additional water heating plants

Like I said, the engineering is easy, and if the amount of heat required for a town is more or less in line with the waste heat output of a new powerplant it might look seductively easy and cheap, but over the long term it is always going to be a losing proposition, unless one has basically "free" energy to burn (which seems to be an attitude problem both in the USSA and USSR, in addition to why both countries have always been so big in the aluminum business while the Japanese were so small).

cifo's picture

From what I know, there are heat transfer stations (like hubs). The hot water from the power plant is not the same flowing in people's radiators. Then there are also re-heating stations along the way.

It may be inefficient, but there may be other advantages. Think that most people in the cities there live in apartment buildings. When this system was built, in ealy 20th century, it may have been a hassle to install water tanks and gas meters in everybody's small apt.

Divine's picture

Urban Redneck, Buying the second pipe and setting it up at the same time is not that expensive when you consider the alternative of buying millions of water heaters.


"for every meter of pipe and second of time in the pipe, there is heat loss (global warming at it's purest)"  - this same heat would have been lost at the plant anyways, how its going to increase the heat loss?



Urban Redneck's picture

It's not millions, your quantity is off by orders of magnitude because cities tend to have apartment buildings with communal infrastructure. Kiev has less than 3 million people who tend to live more than one to a household/apartment and more than 3 power plants.

Furthermore, the heat would not necessarily be lost otherwise, because the plant would have the option of capturing the heat and converting it into additional electricity. A combined and heat and power plant is significantly less efficient than a comparable dedicated power plant. A combined plant can also have issues with needless excess heat production in summer.

However, at the micro level a residential water heater design is sometimes less efficient than a municipal design before taking into account transmission loss. An example would be a single family dwelling with a relatively large hot water storage tank and low capacity utilization, but I don't think this was a luxury alternative that the commies were looking at when they came up with their communal crackpot design.

nmewn's picture

Ahhh, I see the problem now, its Simon Black International Man of Mystery.

He thinks city hot water comes from the city hot water plant because he turns the knob thingy marked with an "H" (pick the language) and hot water comes out...and not from the cold water entering dwellings water heater he is standing in.

Problem solved, next! ;-)

pakled's picture

Not A Simon Black fan? What's not to love?

nmewn's picture

Well, thats the way it reads to me, the same as Urban Redneck pointed out above, at the engineering level.

I have no idea how the water utility system works in Ukraine but if its anything like everywhere else, cold water is piped into a building and then heated by steam or gas or electicity (or solar for you green freaks out

How he gets to water being a problem is beyond me, there is plenty of water, just nothing to heat it with.

Still long firewood & pots ;-)

2¢Wurth's picture

My apartment in Kharkiv has hot water generated for around 17 buildings, average of nine floors with 7-8 apartments per floor, so around 2500 people, plus or minus.  There are two seperate water systems, one for drinking (or slow death) and one for heating.  Hot water for the radiators is not turned on until you have several consecutive days of near freezing weather.  All utilities used to be (up to around 2000) metered only at the building.  You have a book that has the name of everyone in each apartment, and it is almost impossible to get your name off the book.  My daughter moved out in 2002 and is still 'on the book'. You pay according to the total number of people in the building, so it is in everyones best interest to keep all the dead people 'on the book'.  Now I have my own electrical meter and gas meter.  I am pro-rated on the six channels of cable TV and the elevator, which only runs when you absolutely do NOT need it, guaranteed.  I also have to pay a stipend for a little old lady to sit at the front entrance and waste about fifteen minutes of the every day keeping me up with the gossip; every entrance has a grandma sitting at or near it.  So, hot water only goes around 300 meters in my neighborhoood, is gas fired and is very hot in the early morning and for about an hour in the evening, the rest of the time it is barely lukewarm.  It you want hot water at odd times you heat it up in a large pan on the stove, if there is gas comng into the building.

Urban Redneck's picture

Looking at the inefficient power plant technology and high pollution of the current Ukranian power plants- it wouldn't surprise me if there are a whole bunch of EU energy oligarchs and their bankers salivating at the prospect of saddling Ukraine with billions more debt (or plundered equity) and requirements to use more nat gas (perversely), and in exchange for the "privilege" of meeting EU regulations- not even improving the crappy water service you already have. The EUSSR at its "finest".

COSMOS's picture

You gotta respect the ol time villagers in East Europe they did without any of the modern conveniences and lived quite nicely.  Had clean clothes, bathed every day even if the water was cold (back then a bath was a bucket and a cup to get water out and pour over yourself before lathering and for the rinse after.  They stayed warm by living in the kitchen in the winter time where the heat from cooking would keep the kitchen warm, and of course lots of nice wool blankets can do wonders.  We had the same thing in the USA with the small town farmers.  A way of life that is lost in this current crap system.

nmewn's picture

Thats where I was at, a hot water plant/factory?