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Israel - Utilities

It is a good idea to ensure that when you move into a new home in Israel that the utility bills are in your own name to avoid any confusion. If the utilities are not connected it is easy enough to arrange and occasionally your estate agent or landlord can help you to organise this.

Changing the electricity bill into your own name is easy. You need to take a meter reading when you move in and call the electricity company with the reading and your own details. Bills are sent out every two months and the first one will include a fee for the name change transfer. The electricity system is 220-240v. Some plug sockets will require a two pin plug and some will require a three pin plug. Adaptors are widely available if needed. Electricity is supplied by the Israel Electric Corporation, which is owned and managed by the government.

Electricity supplies are now greener than they used to be, with some of Israel’s electricity being powered by solar power. Some homes have solar panels for providing electricity and heating the water and more environmentally friendly ways of generating power are in demand.

Domestic gas is used in many areas and this can be provided in one of two ways. If you are in an apartment the gas tank is communal and is automatically refilled by the company. An individual house will have a private gas tank and you will need to monitor the refills yourself. Bills from a shared tank will show the usage of the entire building and divide it equally by the number of apartments.

Each area in Israel has its own company for water supplies. Some are private firms while others are run by the local authorities. Some people may have to pay for water services as part of their municipal tax bill, while others will receive a separate bill. This is not a monthly charge and is usually bimonthly or quarterly. Heating water for domestic use can be done by solar heaters or gas heaters.

Tap water is considered to be generally safe to drink, with over 97% of tests proving that the water is suitable. Those who are in rural areas should exercise some caution and perhaps rely on bottled water if unsure. The quality of drinking water has improved a great deal over the last two decades and programmes are in place to bring the figure up to 100%.

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