Energy Ministry publishes electricity use index to encourage more efficiency

Last year, residents of northern Israeli Arab town Jadeidi-Makr used 48 kilowatt hours of electricity per capita, compared with 524 kWh in upscale Savyon

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

View of the Ayalon Highway crossing central Tel Aviv at night, November 27, 2017. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
View of the Ayalon Highway crossing central Tel Aviv at night, November 27, 2017. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Electricity use measured for each Israeli municipality last year ranged from 48 kilowatt hours per capita in the northern Arab community of Jadeidi-Makr to 524 kWh per person in upmarket Savyon, according to a nationwide index published by the Energy Ministry on Sunday.

One kilowatt hour (kWh) is the energy consumed by a 1,000-watt, or 1-kilowatt, electrical appliance operating for one hour.

The highest users of electricity, other than Savyon, were the West Bank settlements of Kedumim (475 kWh) and Karnei Shomron (474 kWh), wealthy Kfar Shmaryahu in central Israel (443 kWh), Beit She’an in the northern Jordan Valley (432 kWh), Kiryat Arba in the West Bank (366 kWh), Afula in the Jezreel Valley (355 kWh) and Metulla on the Israeli-Lebanese border (338 kWh).

Of the seven lowest users, five were Arab councils, alongside Ramat Yishai in northern Israel (77 kWh) and Elad, just west of the Green Line (62 kWh).

Among the big cities and municipalities popular with English-speaking populations, the figures were: Tel Aviv-Jaffa (165 kWh), Jerusalem (105 kWh), Haifa (148 kWh), Beersheba (169 kWh), Givatayim (117 kWh), Kadima-Tsoran (145 kWh), Ra’anana (266 kWh), Hod Hasharon (194 kWh), Zichron Yaakov (226 kWh), Lehavim (221 kWh), Modiin (217 kWh), Har Adar (314 kWh), Omer (296 kWh), Kfar Saba (169 kWh), Netanya (163 kWh), Ramat Gan (149 kWh) and Ramat Hasharon (222 kWh).

Overall, average consumption per resident decreased from 195.9 kWh per capita in 2019 to 180 kWh per resident in 2020, the Energy Ministry said, noting the role of the coronavirus epidemic which shut down much of the economy, as well as measures to increase energy efficiency taken by certain municipalities with the help of government grants.

A worker installs airconditioners on the rooftop of an office building in central Jerusalem, March 13, 2019. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Energy-efficient steps such as installing economical outdoor lighting and replacing inefficient air conditioning systems in public buildings can cut electricity consumption in a municipality by up to 20%, the ministry said.

On average, 43% of a local authority’s energy consumption is for street lighting.

The index (in Hebrew) is based on annual consumption reports provided by the authorities that include total electricity consumption per resident and total electricity consumption of outdoor lighting per square kilometer.

The Energy Ministry said that publishing the index was aimed at enabling authorities to compare their electricity consumption, to take steps toward efficiency where necessary, and, in doing so, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming.

The ministry added that the data for each municipality depends on many factors, including the way educational institutions are managed, the degree of intensive residential construction, the land area and the extent of perimeter lighting for security.

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