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Are you warm, Georgia?25.12.2012 | 17:55
Expenses to heat apartments in winter cost much for every Georgian family. "The coldest summer yet warmer than the warmest winter", a Scandinavian proverb says. What do the Georgians use to heat their homes and how much does it cost?
There is no definite answer to this question. It would be correct to say they use whatever they can to heat their homes. For example, a family from Svani living directly above us are using wood-burning stove. Every two days we hear them chopping wood in the apartment. One day, being tired of the constant noise, I jokingly asked the husband-Georgian, "Are you chopping the firewood there?" To which the husband replied, quite seriously, "Yes, we are really chopping the wood". Whether being shy of their origin, or for some well-known to them reasons, but they are doing it not in the yard and even not on the balcony, but inside the apartment in a two-story building. Such a method of heating the apartment is not frequent. But not unique in Tbilisi. Basically the people use gas convectors.
They are economical and cheaper than electrical devices. These convectors today are produced at the Tbilisi 31st plant, which in Soviet times, since 1941, specialized in the repair and assembly of aircraft.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union on the basis of the 31st factory there was established Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing (TAM); in 2002 its privatization began, and the company became known as JSC TAM (Joint Stock Company Tbilaviamsheni). The number of employees was 2,000 (compared to 14,000 working in the late 1980's.). In recent years, the plant is engaged in repair and modernization of aircraft and helicopters, production of spare parts for aircraft, development of the UAVs and light civil aircraft. On August 10, 2008, the Georgian Interior Ministry claimed that Russian aircrafts bombed the runway, belonging to the Tbilaviamsheni.
The company cooperates with the Israeli (TAA, "Elbit" and "Elgad"), American (Ascend AIR - Aircraft Investor Resources), Canadian (Kelowna Flightcraft) and English (GML - Growth Management Limited) companies. The plant is also producing gas convector Tamkera.
These devices cost about 500 GEL. Nargiza, Tbilisi resident, who has installed the convector Tamkera in her apartment in 2009.
- Are happy with Tamkera?
- I'm very pleased. Through the winter I wear a tank top with short sleeves. And my sister has 2 oil coolers - no effect. You see, the apartment has high ceilings, it is not enough to warm the apartment, and the heat from them is rising up. So they have built the second floor in the apartment. Ceiling height is 5 meters, so the got 2 and a half meters for each floor. Bedroom is upstairs, so it's warm to sleep.
- Your gas convector is always on?
- When the house is empty we turn it off, leaving only the wick. It's safe. And still after we turn it off it keeps warm for 2-3 hours.
- Did you pay for the installation?
- I do not remember. I think yes. We summoned specialists ourselves.
- How much do you pay per month for gas?
- We also have a water heater in the kitchen and a stove. In the summer we pay no more 20 lari. Now - 100-150 lari.
- Wow, quite a lot.
- And what should we do? It's hard without heating. When it's cold in the house, I even do not want to get up from bed. And we have children in addition.
- Do you have any benefits, as far as I know you are the IDPs from Sukhum?
- Yes. They give us a voucher for 50 GEL. We can use it as we want. I'm basically paying for gas in the winter, and in the summer for the light. Well, now there is a question of reducing gas prices, we'll see, maybe they adopt some good law.
In Georgia, with the advent of the new power prices have fallen so far only on electricity. Those who consume per month up to 100 kW/h, the rate reduces by 27%, and for those who consume up to 300 kW/h - by 21.5%. For other categories of consumers, that is, for those who consume more than 300 kW/h per month, the rate remains unchanged.
Question of reducing gas prices is still being discussed. Ivanishvili government promises to announce decision in the near future.
Until then, we wish Tbilisi good weather. As it turns out, so far this is the only real possibility not to get frozen.