Light bulb 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ina Fassbender)
Manufacturers reacted angrily on Sunday to the Public Utilities Authority’s
announcement that it will raise electricity rates by as much as 19.11 percent,
subject to a public hearing.
The authority made its announcement
following an emergency session late last Thursday and called on the government
to do everything it could to prevent such an increase. It said the price of
electricity would rise by just 12% if the government lowers the fuel excise and
cancels an Environmental Protection Ministry order prohibiting the use of heavy
Ya’acov Rosenberg, the chairman of Nazareth Illit-based RH
Technologies, whose factories employ more than 900 people, warned the government
that “an increase in the price of electricity will lead to workers being laid
RH Technology “pays NIS 600,000 in electricity bills each month,”
“An increase such as this will mean paying an addition NIS
120,000. Since the factory has already been hit hard by the low dollar exchange
rate and the increase in the price of fuel and heavy jet-fuel oil, how does the
government expect that manufacturers like us can afford an additional expense
like this?” Mul-T-Lock CEO Alon Lombruzo said it was becoming increasingly
difficult for his company to manufacture its products in Israel and warned that
it might be forced to move its operations abroad.
“A production plant
like that of Mul- T-Lock, which is the biggest manufacturer of security and
locking products in Israel, will find it hard to deal with an expense of more
than NIS 200,000 per month,” he said. “I hope that the government will give
thought to stopping this damage from being done to Israeli manufacturers,
otherwise those same manufacturers will have to search for alternatives
At its weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, the government
approved a long-range plan to promote the production of electricity from
renewable nonpolluting sources. It said the goal of the plan is to reduce
surplus costs for consumers, reduce gas emissions and air pollution by the
electricity industry, and ensure long-term sources of energy for
The decision, which was formulated by Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu and the National Economics Council in cooperation with the National
Infrastructures and Environmental Protection ministries, set a goal for
electricity generation from renewable sources of 2,760 megawatts by the end of
2020, constituting 10% of electricity production in Israel. An interim target of
1,550 MW by the end of 2014 was also set.
Also Sunday, Federation of
Israeli Chambers of Commerce president Uriel Lynn called on the government to
implement a five-point plan to reform the electricity industry, including
returning to the energy-saving policies of the 1980s and removing bureaucratic
barriers to gas exploration.
Lynn, a former National Infrastructures
Ministry director-general, also recommended that the Israel Electric Corporation
be reorganized and be granted a 10-year loan to cover the excess amount it will
have to pay for the increase in the fuel excise. He said the Environmental
Protection Ministry must relax its opposition to the use by manufacturers of
heavy jet-fuel oil.