HCJ 4540/13 Yesha Ha'yeruka v. Ministry of Public Services – Electric et. al.

HCJ 4540/13 Yesha Ha'yeruka v. Ministry of Public Services – Electric et. al.

On August 6th, 2014 the HCJ rejected this petition.

The petitioners, various entrepreneurial companies currently in the process of receiving approval to construct medium sized photo-voltaic energy production facilities ("Medium Facilities"), filed this petition after the Ministry of Public Services – Electric ("the ministry"), decided to reduce the price of electricity produced by medium facilities. This decision, in accordance with the Electricity Directive (Regulation & Operation) (setting of electricity prices and measures) (Judea & Samaria) of 2010, applies in Judea & Samaria ("the area") as well.

The petitioners claimed, in short, that the new rates set by the ministry make the construction of medium facilities financially unviable; that applying the new rates to all facilities without consideration for facilities at an advanced planning stage, is unreasonable; and that the new rate discriminates against entrepreneurs in the area in comparison to entrepreneurs in Israel, since it would mostly affect them.

The state responded that the new rate is universal across the entire electric grid and therefore local financial considerations, which apply to specific individual areas, cannot be considered when setting new rates. Additionally, in contrast to the petitioner's arguments, the new rate was derived from the current pricing index and allows for proper profit margins while at the same time protecting consumers. The state further argued that not creating a unique rate for facilities in the midst of approval process is a reasonable decision, well within the ministry's prerogative.

The HCJ in its judgment accepted the sate's position, and in turn, rejected the petition.