Israel Electric Workers Fight New Regulation

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) workers committee has geared up to fight the recent decision by the Public Utilities Authority (PUA) on the production and distribution of electricity, Globes reported on Monday.

The issue is rising competition.

Longstanding distributors — kibbutzim, moshavim and Bedouin communities — which were once considered as a single consumer with one meter for community members, have been given permission to strike out on their own as  private entrepreneurs.

PUA decided last week to allow them to incorporate and operate independently vis-à-vis IEC in exchange for a 3% discount on their electricity bills.

The decision has outraged IEC employees, who view it as an encroachment on the IEC’s monopoly in the distribution of electricity.

IEC employees are also up in arms about a Public Utilities Authority decision to allow businesses to organize consumer groups, which can disconnect from the grid in times of extreme loads. These organizations are due to receive from IEC NIS 3 per kilowatt/hour from the savings, almost five times the consumer price per kilowatt/hour.

The Public Utilities Authority will fine IEC NIS 500 a day for each day that it does not hook up one of the longstanding distributors.