(photo credit: REUTERS)
A bill eliminating taxes on home wind and solar energy installations received initial Knesset approval in a plenary vote on Wednesday night.
The legislation, which earned cabinet approval on Sunday, aims to encourage individual investment in the renewable energy sector, as an alternative to using power generated by polluting power plants, according to the Finance Ministry.
Proposed by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, the bill includes an exemption from paying taxes and from opening a Tax Authority file typically associated with renewable energy installations at home – like solar rooftops or wind turbines.
In addition to the tax exemption, the bill also provides tax benefits for owners who rent out spaces for the purpose of installing renewable energy facilities. By reducing the bureaucratic hurdles typically linked to renewable energy production, the hope is to reduce morbidity from air pollution, boost financial savings and increase electricity production during peak demand hours, the Finance Ministry said.
The government bill was based on a private bill proposed by MKs Yael Cohen Paran (Zionist Union) and Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beytenu), who jointly voiced their satisfaction with the legislation’s advancement.
“We congratulate the government for its support of the relieve that will exempt household electricity producers from taxes, enabling them to generate their own electricity with solar rooftops,” the MKs said in a joint statement on Wednesday morning, prior to the plenary vote. “The State of Israel, with an abundance of sun, generates less than 2 percent [of its energy from solar sources].Now... every Israel household will be able to produce clean energy and significantly reduce the cost of living.”