Installing a solar panel
Installing a solar panel Israel news photo: State of Oregon


Every time an Israeli flips on a light or turns on a household appliance, he is handing money on a silver platter right into the coffers of Egypt, Columbia, Russia, South Africa and other nations from whom Israel buys coal and natural gas to create electricity.

According to Yehuda Niv of the Ministry of National Infrastructures, 64.7 percent of the country's electricity is produced from coal, all of which is imported.

This dependency is gradually changing.

First and foremost, Israeli entrepreneurs have recently discovered enormous offshore natural gas reserves. When the gas is ready for production in 2012-2013, Israel will likely inform Egypt that the Jewish State no longer needs Egyptian gas.

But moreover, Israel has obligated itself in a pact with the European Union to create a full 20 percent of its energy needs from clean, green power sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines. By 2020. Right now, only one half of one percent of Israel's electricity production is "green."

To reach the 20 percent goal, the Israeli government is turning to private home-owners  to "Go Green" and purchase solar panels for their rooftops to produce clean energy. To give this campaign a push, the government is, for a limited time only, guaranteeing the price that the Israel Electric Company will pay for each KW of electricity produced by homeowners.

It only costs 40 agorot (12 cents) to produce one KW of electricity from coal. Anyone who signs a "Go Green" contract in the next few months, will be guaranteed 1.67 NIS for each KW of electricity that his solar panels produce over the next 20 years. The Israeli Government is subsidizing the payments because becoming less dependent on the world is a strategic objective for the Jewish State.

Here's how it works: a home-owner takes out what is called a "green loan" from the bank to pay for the purchase of the solar electricity-producing system. From day one, the system generates income by selling the power to the electric company. For the first ten years, the income pays off the loan. Then for another ten years, the homeowner rakes in cash payments from the electric company – a payment equivalent to renting a small apartment.

Another option is to simply rent your roof to the solar panel company, and they will install their panels on your rooftop with no downpayment and no purchase on the part of the home owner. The financial return is lower for the homeowner, but there is no outlay of money at all.

Usually Zionism involves some sort of sacrifice, but here it actually pays!

It's a win-win deal. The State of Israel wins because it makes the Jewish State less dependent on foreign entities for its energy needs. The environment wins because Israel becomes cleaner and greener. And the homeowner wins because he makes extra income – no strings attached.

Some people hesitate saying the solar panels are ugly. But others say they are hi-tech, modern, and upbeat - like waving a clean, green Israeli flag.

Note these two conditions: 1) Your must have either a flat roof or a slanted rooftop that faces south. 2) It must be a private residence. There are too many legal complexities in apartment buildings such that many companies don't deal with them at all. 

In Beit El, located north of Jerusalem in Samaria, residents bonded together to group purchase solar panels at a discount rate. After extensive research and price comparisons over the last few months, they pinpointed the company with the best deal. The company is now in the process of installing the systems in numerous homes in Beit El.

Yonatan Ben David, the solar company representative, senses that the English-speaking community will have a stronger response to the Go Green campaign than other sectors in Israel. He is offering a group discount of 1,000 NIS to readers.

The price of 1.67 NIS per KW is locked in place for all Israelis for the next few months, but after that, the subsidy will decrease. So calling all Zionists - now is the time to Go Green. The more you wait, the less you make and the longer it will take to pay back that green loan. If you hesitate, you will get a lower rate.

Zionist home owners: Act now. Join this initiative, get your neighbors involved and strengthen Israel's Energy independence. 

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