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Israel Electric Corp restored power to all bomb shelters and stairwells in the south that had had their electricity cut off because of nonpayment of bills. Photo by Reuters
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The increase in electricity prices scheduled for 2013 will probably reach 15% to 16% and be divided into two stages.

Calculations of the Israel Electric Corporation's expected spending for this year keep on growing, which will lead to the higher electricity rates. Previous estimates were for an increase between 10% and 12%.

In addition, the first round of the rate hike will probably be moved up from April 1 to sometime after the January 22 election, probably March 1. The Public Utility Commission - Electricity is expected to publish its decision and hold a public hearing just after the election. It is still possible that part of the rise will be put off until April 2014 and this year's hikes will remain at no more than 10%.

One of the major unknowns about the IEC's fuel costs this year is whether the natural gas from the Tamar offshore field will arrive as scheduled starting in April. This would relieve some of the pressure on the company's cash flow.