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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Southern Migration Spikes Power Usage

A spike in electricity consumption in the North Caucasus and other southern regions may be because of the flight of jobless migrants from metropolises back to their home republics, the Market Council, the electricity market watchdog, said Thursday.

“All the Caucasian republics have a positive dynamic,” said Vladimir Shkatov, the deputy chairman of the council. “We explain it with the fact that those who came to work in Moscow are now moving back, which somehow revives the local economies.”

Consumption in Moscow, however, remained almost flat for the first half of the year, down from a growth of 12 percent in 2008, the Market Council estimated.

Vacationing Russians, saving money by staying in the country, are also causing the increase, he said.

Electricity consumption throughout the country will fall 6 percent to 7 percent this year, compared with a 2 percent growth in 2008, Shkatov said. The Economic Development Ministry forecasts a fall of 1.7 percent.

Consumption has been falling since October as industrial enterprises cut their output and scale down their expansion plans. Some regions, though, have not felt the slowdown.

The Krasnodar region has seen a growth of 18 percent in the first two weeks of July, the Market Council said. “We explain it with Russians choosing Anapa and Gelendzhik as their holiday destination instead of Turkey and Egypt this summer,” Shkatov said.

Russian Railways said Tuesday that the number of passengers going to the Black Sea coast and resorts in the North Caucasus had increased 4 percent year on year in the period since June 1. The number of passengers going to the Black Sea from Moscow and St. Petersburg had increased by 10 percent year on year, the company said.

Tourism Industry Union spokeswoman Irina Tyurina said the number of trips to southern regions that travel agencies had sold for June and July dropped by 10 percent to 20 percent.

“As the incomes have dwindled, people could decide to go on their own,” Tyurina said.

Another factor affecting the growth of consumption in the region may be all the construction for the 2012 Olympics in Sochi, in the Krasnodar region, said Igor Mironov, head of the Council of Electricity Producers and Strategic Investors.

Power consumption fell 16 percent in the Sverdlovsk and Volgograd regions and by 14 percent in the Chelyabinsk region in the first two weeks of July. Consumption in Chechnya grew 10 percent in the same period.

The System Operator said on July 7 that consumption during the first half of the year had increased by 8.6 percent in Ingushetia, by 4.3 percent in Chechnya and by 2.2 percent in Dagestan.

The average consumption throughout the country fell 6.7 percent in the same period.