Electricity rates set to rise 20 percent if no deal reached

August 7, 2011 15:28

The Public Utilities Authority (Electricity) will raise electricity rates by 20 percent on Monday, unless the relevant government ministries reach a deal on cancelling excise on fuel and other directives, which will halve the rate hike. A source at the Authority told "Globes," "There is a feeling of great disappointment. We had expected good news that would ease the blow. Every day, we were told that a deal was done, but it turns out that unsolved professional problems are preventing agreement on the amounts."

For the past six weeks, the Finance Ministry and the Environmental Protection Ministry have been discussing how to reduce the upcoming electricity rate hike. The Finance Ministry is insisting that the Environmental Protection Ministry do its bit, and withdraw its directive forbidding Israel Electric Corporation from using fuel oil at power stations, while the Finance Ministry has said that it was willing to cancel the excise on diesel, which would lower the cost of fuel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intervened and asked Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan to withdraw the directive.

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