First, a thanks to all who answered me (janglo) regarding the price of electricity in Israel. As a result of my posting, many people let me know that they too were experiencing the same problems with their electricity bill. I am therefore posting this instead of replying to all those who asked me to reply back to them regarding prices. Below is a short summary of the responses I received from others. It gives a good indication of what to be aware of and how to go about double checking:
1. Golden rule: Apparently one's bills are often calculated on an ESTIMATE basis. That means that the electricity department simply estimate an amount based upon previous months (whatever that means... and however that is calculated!) The only way around this is to do the dirty work oneself. Check your meter at the beginning of the month, and then at the end of the month. Then phone the electricity department and quote your findings to them and ask them to recalculate. Apparently this may have tremendous results! Perhaps taking an actual photograph of the meter before and afterwards may help in proving one's legitimacy. The best time to call is the 20th of every two months.
2. Electricity in Israel IS INDEED expensive!
3. Electricty is about 50ag per kWh. In plain English if you run a 1000 watt unit for an hour it costs you half a shequel.
4. The magic number to call for all electricity enquiries is 103.
5. Here is a short summary of basic costs: 1) every load of laundry is 2.5 nis 2) every use of the dryer is 5 nis 3) every hour of boiler time is 2.5 nis 4) radiators are notorious electricity eaters so give yourself 10 nis using that for 2 hours a pop.
6. Want to know what's really costing the most? Turn off everything, then turn on each item individually - like your refrigerator (which is a big eater of electricity) and watch the meter to see just how fast it's moving. Then go through the different appliances in turn to find out what the major consumer in your home is.
7. Leaving a boiler on for two hours a day is not recommended, even though one may need this time to actually heat it up to have a proper shower. If one's boiler does need that amount of time to heat up, the better choice is to replace the boiler. Of course, when you're renting, do keep in mind that any money you put into those things, will be a gift to your landlord when you leave. Hope the above helps.