"Two degrees is a lot. Apartments will be very cold, and the government will be able to save a lot, and everything will be legal. People will be paying for the cold according to new, higher tariffs."
The expert added that the country's heating system was not designed for such an artificial lowering of temperatures, which could result in an increase in the number of accidents in the country's heating network this winter.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk earlier admitted that Ukraine's energy sector is facing a crisis, and that the Ministry of Energy and state-owned companies are not adequately prepared to provide the population with heating this winter. The Ministry of Energy has established a crisis management center to prepare for the heating season. Ukraine's energy crisis has been exacerbated by Kiev's loss of the majority of its profitable coal mines in the Donbass region. The mines which remain under Ukraine's control extract coal which is unsuitable for use by power plants.
At the same time, the European Integration Department of Ukraine's Ministry of Energy and the Coal Industry has been boasting that Ukraine could survive the winter without any Russian gas, if necessary. On July 1, Ukraine suspended its purchases from Russian gas giant Gazprom, with the two sides unable to reach an agreement on prices for the third quarter of 2015 after Kiev demanded a $100 discount per 1,000 cubic meters of gas. The Russian side offered a discount of $70, saying that tumbling oil prices have made heavier discounts economically unviable. Ukraine is presently receiving reverse gas flows from Slovakia, in smaller volumes.
Former EU Enterprise and Industry Commissioner Günter Verheugen told German media last week that the winter season may portend heating shortages and power outages, which could result in a serious political and social crisis in Ukraine.