Residential homes remain a black hole for energy

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July 19, 2012, 10:55 p.m. | Business — by Olga Rudenko

Built in Soviet days, Ukraine’s centralized and dilapidated apartment heating system is not only inefficient, but brittle and prone to accidents. In one of the most extreme examples, pipes that were to pump hot water to heat apartments in the eastern Ukrainian city of Alchevsk froze and cracked in the winter of 2006. Residents living in hundreds of buildings were left freezing during the cold snap. Authorities responded by erecting tents with wood-burning stoves. In some cases warm air was pumped into buildings (above) using special trucks.

Olga Rudenko

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The increasing cost of natural gas imports from Russia has been a major thorn for consecutive Ukrainian governments, both draining the budget and causing geopolitical problems.
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