Off-grid solar panels to be available for residents

Residents will now be able to disconnect from the grid, generate electricity, with solar panels in their yards.

October 17, 2012 00:34
2 minute read.
Workers install solar panel on home

Workers install solar panel on home 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Michaela Rehle)


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Israeli residents will now be able to disconnect from the grid and generate electricity independently, with solar panels in their yards channeling electricity directly into their homes.

“Tired of paying for electricity?” read a message from the Public Utility Authority on Tuesday afternoon. “Produce your own electricity!” The PUA confirmed in a plenary hearing on Tuesday morning an arrangement that will enable all residents to reduce their consumption and save money on their electricity bills by implementing private renewable energy production facilities in their homes.

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“The State of Israel joins more than 40 US states and many other countries in Europe and around the world in transforming renewable energy into an accessible and useful tool for private electricity consumers, without imposing any additional costs on the economy,” the PUA announced in a statement.

Consumers who choose to join in this arrangement will be able to deduct the electricity they produce for self-consumption from their national grid electricity bill, balancing out their production surplus against their grid consumption overdraft.

Each consumer will be able to oversee their own “net meter,” which displays the tariff rate, load on the national network, and hours of use. With that information, the consumer can decide when they want to produce their own electricity for their homes.

When their renewable energy facilities are generating more electricity than the consumer is using, the consumer can receive credit on their electricity bill. At the end of each billing period, the electric company will offset the amount of energy that the consumers produced with the amount of grid energy that they consumed, and charge accordingly.

According to the PUA, drops in the construction costs of solar power-generation facilities have allowed the electricity sector to reduce and cancel subsidies for renewable energy, which is now being integrated into the network without as much government support as in the past.


“This is the first step in realizing the government’s decision 3484 and promotes a future of clean and renewable energy in Israel,” the PUA statement said.

The arrangement also allows for fewer regulations in erecting small solar infrastructure, since the proposed mechanism does not require a production license, the PUA added.

By encouraging use of the net meter, the government can also promote the establishment of renewable energy production facilities without imposing the costs of such facilities on electricity consumers, the PUA explained. This, in turn, further enables the technology to become a viable alternative for electricity generation, the authority added.

Eitan Parnass, director of the Renewable Energy Association of Israel, praised the decision to allow at-home renewable energy electricity generation.

“This is the beginning of a revolution, in which we can enjoy the relative advantage of the Israeli sun over other that of other countries in the world,” he said. “Green solar electricity production is more true to the economy, and in the long run will lead to Israel’s energy independence.”

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