Silvan Shalom at cabinet meeting 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Energy, Water and National Infrastructures Minister Silvan Shalom on Wednesday
signed off on regulations that will ensure the continuation of electricity bill
discounts for needy populations.
Among the beneficiaries will be
pensioners, the disabled, Holocaust survivors who receive income support and
lone soldiers (those without close relatives in the country), the ministry said.
Bituach Leumi, the National Insurance Institute, identifies those
The new regulations, under the Electricity Sector Law, will
grant the discounts to groups, many of which received similar reductions via a
temporary order that will expire on January 1.
According to the new
regulations, the eligible groups will receive 50-percent discounts on their
domestic electricity bills for the first 400 kilowatt-hours they consume each
month, the ministry explained.
Electricity prices last rose on May 16, to
54.03 agorot per kilowatt- hour, equivalent to 63.22 agorot per kilowatt-hour
when factoring in the 17% in tax.
At a Knesset Economic Affairs Committee
tour of the Hagit power station, in the Megiddo region, on Sunday, however,
Israel Electric Corporation CEO Eli Glickman warned that damage from the recent
storm could cost the company about NIS 1 billion. “Lowering the tariff before
2015 could bring the company into a crisis,” he stressed Water tariffs, on the
other hand, will fall by 5% on January 1. The rate will fall from NIS 9.26 per
cubic meter – or NIS 14.91 per cubic meter, including tax – to NIS 8.8 per cubic
This is the first reduction in water tariffs in a decade, Water
Authority Commissioner Alexander Kushnir explained at a Knesset committee
meeting earlier this month.
By approving the electricity discounts,
Shalom stressed that he was “keeping with the promise” he made when he took
office, to lower rates paid by needy populations but also by consumers in
“This price discount joins a reduction in water prices of 5%
announced recently,” he said.
“This is another step in lowering the cost
of living, and we will continue this trend soon in other sectors.”