You are currently viewing Understanding The Electricity Reform

(As of January 2024)

A significant revolution regarding electricity prices has emerged. The reform, which was launched in 2018, allows consumers to choose their electricity supplier. The Israeli Electric Company will no longer be the sole option, making the market more competitive.

You’ll be able to choose an alternative electricity supplier, just like how you can select an internet or phone provider.

These new suppliers offer discounts ranging from 5% to 15% cheaper than The Electric Company’s services. Exact rates depend on variables such as the time of day and package and by company.

The bottom line is that this reform will reduce the price of electricity for consumers, in effect lowering the cost of living in Israel.

Technically speaking, the switch is strictly “on paper,” meaning the infrastructure is the same. The Electric Company will still supply electricity. However, it will be done via a third-party supplier, with all payments, bills, and receipts going through them.  

Switching suppliers is simple and free, with no long-term commitment required. You’ll receive the same electricity, for less money. Once you have a Smart Electricity Meter, transitioning to another company is as simple as switching to a different cell phone provider.

In this article, we will review some of the companies offering electricity, compare them, look at the pros and cons of each provider, and break down the process involved in switching. 

Who can move?

To move to other suppliers, a Smart Electricity Meter is required (as opposed to the basic meters, which have to be read physically and have less data). 

The Smart Meter calculates and automatically sends accurate data on electricity consumption every 15 minutes, about 35,000 times a year. For comparison’s sake, the old meters send data once every two months, six times a year. 

The information from the Smart Meter will help consumers decide which company and package is most suitable for the pattern of their electricity usage.

The Electric Company installs the Smart Meter, which is slowly being introduced nationwide as part of a nationwide deployment plan. 

Meters are set up by geographical region, and many areas already have Smart Meters. The meters should be installed throughout the country by 2028, according to goals established in the reform.

For areas not included in the annual deployment plan, the Smart Meter can be purchased for 260 NIS and installed by The Electric Company. 

Some places cannot install a Smart Meter for technical reasons, such as reception issues. In these cases, getting the discounted rate offered by alternative suppliers is impossible.

The Electric Company will check eligibility before installation. Potential obstacles to installation can sometimes be solved, while other issues preventing installation may be fixed. 

You can use the following link to check if you already have a Smart Meter:  Smart Meter

Alternatively, you can call any of the suppliers listed below, and they will help you check based on your last electric bill. 

Why Move?

The alternative electricity suppliers offer lower rates than The Electric Company while providing the same electricity. 

Who Are the Suppliers?

At this point, many suppliers have received a license to provide electricity, but only 4 are actively supplying to private consumers. 

A few additional big companies plan to offer discounted electricity, such as Bezek, Partner, and Hot, but have yet to sell actively. 

Prices – Regarding All Suppliers

All the discounted rates are derivatives of The Electric Company’s prices. If the prices in The Electric Company go up or down over the years, the prices will change accordingly for all suppliers. 

Fixed rates will remain almost the same as those with the Electric Company. Some alternative suppliers will offer a minimal difference, equating to a few shekels. Before signing a contract with a new supplier, it is worth checking to ensure the amount won’t exceed expectations. 

Look at your current electric bill to see the exact amount you will pay. Copy the fixed amounts and apply that discounted rate to the variable amount. 

Bills from new suppliers will be sent out monthly, as opposed to The Electric Company bills, which are bimonthly. All fixed rates will be proportionately adjusted. 

Let’s look at the different providers, comparing prices and other important company information. All of the information below is subject to change, so it’s essential to read a supplier’s contract before signing up.  

Different Providers

Pazgas- פזגז         Website:  Pazgas    Phone Number: *9636

Pazgas was one of the first companies to provide private consumers discounted electricity rates. They started offering electricity in 2022, about a year and a half ago. 

They also provide a Power Consumption Report (which not all companies offer.) This report provides data from the Smart Meter regarding the breakdown of the electricity used and enables the customer to understand how to use their electricity more efficiently. 

On a personal note, when speaking to the different companies to compare prices, I found that Pazgas had the best customer service. 

Pazgas has four packages with various discount options:

The idea is to choose a package that maximizes your electricity usage during the discounted hours. For example, if you select the Daytime package, you should maximize high-electricity activities and devices during those hours. Using washing machines and dryers or charging electric bikes will cost you more outside of daytime hours.

It’s critical to note that these packages are changed and updated periodically, so you should wait to choose a plan until you can analyze your electricity use following the installation of your Smart Meter. 

Amisragas Electricity- אמישראגז חשמל    Website:  Amisragas    Phone Number: *3179

Amisragas began providing electricity services in May 2023. 

Amisragas offers a fixed discount of 6.5% for all hours, every day of the week.

This is beneficial since you do not have to constantly calculate when it is most cost-efficient for you to use electricity. 

They offer a deal for new customers who use Amisragas for electricity and gas: One free gas bill (worth a maximum of 100 NIS) per year or two free gas tanks yearly.

Currently, Amisragas does not provide a Power Consumption Report, but customers can call and get all the relevant information regarding their consumption over the phone.

Electra Power (Formerly Supergas)   Website: ElectraPower    Phone Number: *3114

Electra Power has supplied electricity to the business sector for two years. They supply electricity to hotels, including The Dan Hotel chain, nursing homes, and other business clients. They have been supplying to private consumers for more than a year. 

Electra Power also has solar panels, so it’s easier for them to sell electricity. They provide customers with a Power Consumption Report upon request. 

Moving to Electra Power is different from that of the other suppliers. 

They first require your personal details, which they give to The Electric Company. The Electric Company checks if you already have a Smart Meter. If not, they check your eligibility for installation. 

Electra Power will contact you with this information within 24 hours. If you need a Smart Meter, you’ll order it directly from The Electric Company (as opposed to the other suppliers who collect the meter for you.)

Once this is installed, the rest of the process is the same as switching to any other supplier. 

Electra Power claims that this is a more thorough way of transitioning to a new supplier since the check regarding infrastructure compatibility for a meter and whether you already have a Smart Meter is done simultaneously. Because this check is done via The Electric Company, they assert their information is more accurate. 

Electra Power has three different packages with various discounted rates:

* If you stay with the same package for over a year, you get a higher discount as listed above. If you switch between the packages, your seniority will be reset. 

** The High-Tech Package is the most popular package. 
Electra Power is the only company that offers specialized packages that include weekends and holidays.

Cellcom   Website: Cellcom   Phone Number: 1800-052-052 (No direct extension for electricity – leave a message and they’ll call you back)

Cellcom is partnered with Meshek Energy. This company produces electricity with solar panels for The Electric Company. Meshek Energy provides electricity in this partnership, and Cellcom sells it. 

Cellcom began selling electricity to businesses, including electric car companies and hotels, in January 2022. They have now expanded into the private sector. 

After the first billing cycle, Cellcom provides a Power Consumption Report upon request.

Cellcom has three different packages with various discounted rates:

* If you stay with the same package for more than a year, you get a more significant discount, as listed above. If you switch between the packages, your seniority will be reset.

Bezeq 

Bezeq is not yet an electricity supplier, but they will start actively providing electricity within the next few months. 

They will collaborate with PowerGen (Generation Capital subsidiary)  by establishing a company that supplies electricity. Bezeq will be responsible for marketing, sales, and customer service. PowerGen, which has natural gas-fueled power stations and solar installations, will provide the power.

Moving Providers

Moving from The Electric Company to a new supplier is done virtually, at no additional cost to the consumer. If you already have a Smart Meter, there’s no need for a technician to visit or to make any changes to your home or apartment’s electrical infrastructure. 

Noga is the national company in charge of electrical operations throughout the country. Technically, they are the ones who will facilitate the move. 

The process is as follows:

  1. Do I Already Have a Smart Meter?

The first step is to see if you have a Smart Meter, which can be done via the link listed above or by calling the supplier. 

  1. Ordering a Smart Meter:

You’ll need to order one if there is no Smart Meter. This can be done through The Electric Company directly or through most suppliers (as mentioned above, some suppliers don’t order it for you.) 

Steps one and two can be done with one phone call to the supplier, and they will order the meter for you for no extra cost. The Electric Company will charge you the 260 NIS for the meter.

It takes up to two months for The Electric Company to come and check your eligibility for the meter and to install it. 

  1. Supplier Check and Technical Details

Once the meter is installed, you must contact the supplier by phone or via their website, including a simple form with your personal details and information from your electric bill. The supplier will then get back to you within a few business days.

The supplier will check virtually to ensure everything is set up correctly. If there is an issue, they may take additional time to solve it.

At this point, they will also get billing details, have you sign a contract and power of attorney for Noga, go through the various payment packages, and help you decide which one suits you best (for suppliers with multiple packages.) 

This may take up to 30 days after installing the Smart Meter. 

  1. Making The Transfer

Noga will then implement the transfer, which takes up to two months. 

After the transfer, you will begin receiving bills directly from the supplier. The entire process of switching to a new supplier takes up to 5 months, as explained above. 

FAQ’s

What about commitment?

With the new electricity reform, there is no commitment when switching suppliers. If you want to move back to The Electric Company or a different provider, you can do so whenever you want, with no extra cost.

What about power outages?

Because the electricity is still supplied by and uses the infrastructure of The Electric Company, they are responsible for fixing power outages. If you have a problem with your electricity, you’ll need to contact The Electric Company, rather than your new supplier.

What about people who have solar panels?

Consumers with solar panels can choose an alternative electricity supplier like anyone else, but billing works differently. 

Currently, people with solar panels who are customers of The Electric Company receive one invoice. The invoice bills them for their electricity use but includes a deduction from the total amount as a discount for their solar panel.

If you switch providers, you’ll receive an invoice from The Electric Company paying you for producing electricity. But you’ll receive an additional invoice from the alternate supplier, billing you for your electricity usage.

Why aren’t more people moving? What are the downsides of moving?

Some people don’t know this option exists or are waiting to see how it works for others. Since the reform is relatively new, people are hesitant to move until they are sure there won’t be any unexpected problems. 

Additionally, some don’t want to pay the 260 NIS fee for installing the Smart Meter or wait for The Electric Company to get to their neighborhood and do the free installation. 

For anyone renting, their bills may not be high enough during their stay at that rental to warrant the smart meter charge.

Got more questions? Reach out for more guidance!

Rifka Lebowitz

Financial consultant, author, public speaker, and founder of a 35,000 member Facebook group called Living Financially Smarter in Israel. I’m passionate about helping English speakers understand their finances, feel comfortable with their money, and succeed financially – in Israel.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Avigail Manheim

    Thanks for this clear and helpful article. Note that starting in July 2024, even households without smart meters will be allowed to switch energy providers.

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