Ulaanbaatar city offers free nighttime electricity to reduce air pollution

ULAANBAATAR (GoGo Mongolia/ANN) - The Mongolian government has approved a regulation to cut electricity night tariff for district households to zero, especially from 9pm to 6am, aiming at reducing air pollution of the Ulaanbaatar city. 

Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia is home to about 1,370,000 people. About 60 percent of the city`s population lives in ger districts. In other words, two third of population live in houses and traditional dwellings that have no connection to the central heating system. 

Every winter, the amount of PM 2.5 particulates in air has been rising, roughly from November to March due to households living in ger districts burn raw coal. At that time, citizens of Ulaanbaatar city face the worst air pollution caused by heavy coal burning. 

As of today (Jan 6th), air pollution reaches hazardous levels in four areas of the Ulaanbaatar city. Levels of PM 2.5 particulates, which are the most hazardous to health, in heavily polluted areas of Ulaanbaatar city exceeds 61 times above the recommended levels, as compared with the World Health Organization sale level of 25. 

Meanwhile the Government has approved a regulation to cut electricity night tariff for ger district households to zero, especially from 9pm to 6am, aiming at reducing air pollution of the Ulaanbaatar city. 

Over 146 thousand residents, living in ger district of Ulaanbaatar city will benefit the free nighttime electricity and the discount has come into effect from Jan 1st, 2017 and projected to finish on Mar 1, 2017. 

The Government has cut the nighttime electricity tariff of ger district households by 50 percent since 2015 and has faced 3.2 billion Mongolian Tugrik deficit. 

However this year, providing free electricity to ger district households at night is expected to cause 25.8 billion Mongolian Tugrik deficit. 

"Nighttime electricity tariff discount for ger district households may bring negative impact on the energy system.​ Residents should control and limit their energy consumption. Also residents should notice that there are limited resources and capacity of energy for production", reports Minister of Energy. 

Further, the country is planning to use technology to produce heat with electricty and gas. 

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