Solar water heating saves public housing residents $7.25 million in electricity bills.
The most recent “Public Housing Solar Water Heating Law” Performance Report, sent to YEDID this week, indicates that in the first half of 2012 the government installed 1,440 solar heating units in public housing apartments in which there were two or more occupants. According to this 2+ occupant criteria, 2,500 families throughout the country received solar heating in 2010 and 2,600 in 2011. Hundreds more families waiting for solar heating installations will be able to reduce their electricity bills by the end of the current year.
The report also states that since the law’s implementation in 2008 the government has allocated $6.25 million to install the solar heating. It is important to note that the “Public Housing Solar Water Heating Law” is one of the few laws requiring the unused portion of the budget to be rolled over into the next year’s budget. This practice is the result of an amendment added to the law when it became apparent that the first year’s allocations were not appropriately handled in the Finance Ministry.
The “Public Housing Solar Water Heating Law” was initiated by YEDID and legislated with the help of then MK Moshe Cahlon (currently Welfare Minister), MK Meir Sheitrit, and former MK Ron Cohen. The law proves that it is possible to force the government to assist in increasing the income of Israel’s weaker populations, this time through a substantial decrease in their electricity bills.
YEDID announced that “this is by far one of the greatest achievements in the area of public housing. We have proven that cooperative work with the Knesset and government ministries can actually increase the net income of people in the lower economic brackets and enable them to use this additional money to raise their quality of life. We will continue our ongoing battle to help public housing residents extricate themselves from the unreasonable cycle of economic hardship in which they live and to empower them and their children to realize their personal potential.”