Rising Energy Costs in Moldova

Dilapidated Power Box in Central Chisinau, Moldova

The cost of heating continues to go up for Moldova’s residents. As temperatures decline and inflation continues to rise, families will devote more and more of their household budgets to keep their homes warm in the coming months.

Our heating bill has increased by about 20% in the last year. My husband and I are both retired, so we need one whole pension check to pay for heating.
— Female, 62, retired, Chisinau

Inflation is one of the main causes of rising energy costs. According to the National Bank of Moldova, the annual inflation rate rose from 4.7% in January 2015 to 13.6% by year’s end.

However, much of the problem lies with Moldova’s energy infrastructure. Moldova’s housing stock is mostly 20–60 years old. Most residents continue to live in Soviet-era buildings with little insulation and no individual metering to measure household consumption of heat.

The national government and local governments provide subsidies to help lower-income families pay their bills, but more systematic changes are unlikely to come in the near future.

According to a local energy analyst: “Replacing the Soviet-made infrastructure, insulating apartment buildings and installing individual meters requires a huge investment. No one has that kind of money right now.” Male, 34, Energy Analyst, Chisinau