It’s starting to get cold in
This year they have wisely chosen the most common, yet economical way to heat the home by using natural gas. The price of 1,000 cubic meters of gas, supplied by Russia’s conglomerate Gazprom, is about $110, significantly lower than the costs paid by other countries in the region who also depend on Russia, which are around $200 or more. Last winter the Armenian government was able to negotiate avoiding a sharp price-hike to last for two years by offering the incomplete Hrazdan thermo power plant on a platter. It may also surrender a portion if not the entire new Armenia-Iran natural gas pipeline currently being constructed. Armenians love the Russians; it seems they worship them and will do anything to please, including selling the control of nearly its entire infrastructure to them. Now the electricity grid and as of only a couple of weeks ago the entire landline telephone network operated by Armentel is under Russian control. However, I should add that the relatively low price of gas is contingent upon
In any case, an estimated 84 percent of
You can basically heat the home in one of two ways with gas. One method is by setting up a furnace-like device, which can be situated in virtually any home including apartment buildings, many of which were outfitted with accessible central exhaust pipes found behind walls that release fumes through small chimney ports on roofs. Basically these things are square boxes, usually black in color but can also be had in brown or copper tones. Most of them are imported from
The other way is by installing a central heating system, often referred to as the “Baxi” method, named after one of the first European companies that offered such a solution in
A by far pricier but arguably safer alternative to gas is to use electric, portable radiators, which are oil filled. Once the oil starts circulating through the radiator or whatever it does you can feel the effects in about 10 minutes or less, depending on the wattage of the unit and how many heating fins it has. European brands like Ufesa and Ariston fetch high prices, costing at a minimum of $100 only for the small units. But three years ago I purchased a generic Chinese unit, stamped with the logo “Nautionl” in place of the genuine brand National, to make you think at first glance that you’re buying the real thing until you go home and kick yourself for not being able to read. This thing is still working great, which I bought at that time for about $80. Last weekend I bought a second oil-filled radiator for about $60, which is also doing very well—both of them have about 12 fins and heat up a 30 square meter room in no time at all.
But I found a way to bring down the cost of heating by having installed a digital electric meter. Between the hours of 11:00 pm and 7:00 am, I enjoy the miracle of electricity at about half the regular price per kilowatt. This is obviously a measure for people to conserve electricity during the day, but as far as I know I am the only person in the section of my apartment building to install one. It only cost me 5500 dram, or about $15.
Villages that do not have gas accessibility I believe are still burning wood or whatever people can get a hold of to produce heat. Affordability is also an issue with using gas, assuming it is available, but I don’t know if regional government subsidy programs are being put into place to help families in need. Something tells me that there aren’t such services.
Look into purchasing home warranty insurance for protection against heating problems.