It has been reported that Knesset members from United Torah Judaism Party are seeking to establish small private power stations in Haredi neighbourhoods, which will be cut off from the national grid on Saturdays. The additional costs would be added to the electricity bill paid by the general public.
The Shabbat Energy Affairs Committee is proposing the plan in coordination with Knesset members from United Torah Judaism, including the Chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee Moshe Gafni, and Chairman of the Science Committee Uri Maklev. Rabbi Yisrael Eichler, Chairman of the Knesset Committee for Public Inquiries, said that he has been working for years to automate the generation and transmission of electricity “to prevent desecration of the Shabbat”.
The report concedes that the United Torah Judaism plan involves private investors, but notes that the Haredi committee’s proposal admits that the costs of creating the new power plants would come at the expense of the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) and its customers, because the IEC divides its cost evenly among all its customers.