Holocaust Survivors Among Israeli Consumers No Longer to Have Power Cut Off Due to Arrears in Electricity Bill Payments
The Israel Electric Authority announced on Monday that Holocaust survivors and consumers using life-saving devices will not have their power cut off, even if they are unable to pay their bills, the Hebrew news site nrg reported.
According to the report, this is part of a new program, which also involves greater extension periods and a wider variety of methods for bill payment — as well as clear instructions in Arabic, Russian and Amharic.
The new program is being forged by Electric Authority Chairman Dr. Assaf Eilat, Israel Electric Corporation Director Yiftah Ron-Tal and National Infrastructures Minister Yuval Steinitz. When complete, it will prohibit cutting off power to any member of the Israeli public, with the exception of those refusing to pay.
Steinitz said that he is weighing establishing a committee to examine populations eligible for discounts.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said, “The use of power outages has to become obsolete as soon as possible,” because though electricity costs money, and consumers must pay for it, there are other legal channels for making this happen.
Yedid-The Association for Community Empowerment responded to the move positively, but with a caveat. “This is a great achievement, but not sufficient,” the organization said in a statement. “Electricity is a basic right which should not be denied consumers.”