Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Electric Rates are up. Do you know what's driving your bill up? Check this out!

The Israel Electric Company raised electricity rates again - the latest increase went into effect in February 2024. 
Since so many people ask about lowering their bills and how to figure out electricity costs for a specific appliance, I decided it's time to post an updated Electricity Cost Calculator.

I hope you'll find this post helpful.

One of the best ways to lower our electricity consumption is AWARENESS.

Pay attention to the electricity used throughout the day in your house, and find ways to reduce it - that's the only way to save money if you aren't installing solar panels...

This goes beyond lights that we leave on - the best way to control your costs is to know what's driving your electric bill up, and find ways to reduce your usage. This is why it's good to have an idea of what each electrical appliance we own costs to run.

But how can we know?

It's not so hard - the cost is determined by the appliance's KW usage and how long it runs!

I asked my tech guy 😉 to make a calculator a number of years ago -- it's designed to help everyone get an idea of how much different appliances cost to run. I've posted it before, but now I'm reposting it with an update to reflect the current cost of electricity. VAT is included (so if you're in Eilat, this calculator will overestimate your bill).

This calculator was updated to reflect the current rate (effective February 1, 2024)

Here's how to use the calculator:
Simply choose which appliance you want to calculate, choose how long you'll be running it, and then the app (below) will tell you how much this particular appliance is costing you to run! 

This app is specifically designed using the IEC's current tariffs for residential customers, including VAT (this is for people who pay the same rate 24 hrs/day). 
(NOTE: On February 1, 2024, the IEC adjusted home electricity rates. The current cost of electricity is approx 62urot ag per kWh including VAT.If the IEC rates change, we will do our best to update this app!

If you find this helpful, please share!

Please let me know what you think!

Electrical Appliance Cost Calculator:

Choose an appliance and note its "usage unit" in parentheses after it. Choose how many units you would be using it for (for example, a fridge has "day" for its usage unit, a dryer has "1 load" for its usage unit, and a hair dryer has "10 minutes" for its usage unit - these are listed next to the appliance name), then click "calculate my cost" to find out how much that appliance costs you to run for the amount of time you usually use it!
If your appliance doesn't appear on this list, you can find its kilowatt rating on it somewhere. Multiply kw/H by number of hours used, and then multiply that by the current price for a kilowatt of electricity (approx. 0.62 nis) to find out how much it costs you to run it!

Select an appliance:
Number of usage units:

Range: 0.00 ₪ — 0.00(depends on your model)

I'd love to hear if you found this handy app useful. Will it help you change any of your habits? Personally, this helped me realize that since we'd be boiling our kettle multiple times per day, we were really using more electricity than needed. Now we know it's best to fill the thermos after we boil a full kettle in the morning.

What changes are you making?

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

ETA - Electronic Travel Authorization for incoming tourists to Israel

This is BIG, important news for anyone planning to visit Israel who holds a passport that doesn't require applying for a visa in advance.
Israel is instituting a new ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) requirement.
This means that while you don't need to apply for a visa at the embassy/consulate, you DO need to apply for an ETA before you book your flight. You will NOT be able to get on a flight to Israel without a valid ETA-IL.

(If you have a teudat zehut or Israeli passport, this DOES NOT apply to you!)

In short, you now need to apply for an ETA-IL before you book a flight - it remains valid for 2 years from the date of issue. The ETA will cost 25 NIS.

The ETA pilot phase begins on June 1, for US and German passport holders. During the pilot phase, the fee is WAIVED.

So if you want your first ETA-IL for free, and you hold an eligible passport - apply during the month of June! You don't have to have a trip planned to get yours, and it will make it easier for you to spontaneously buy tickets when you see a deal you like later.

After the pilot phase, they system will be open to everyone who holds a passport from a country that is exempt from an advance visa. The ETA-IL will cost 25 NIS and is non-refundable, but it is valid for 2 years, provided your passport doesn't expire or get changed.

So if you know US or German passport holders who plan to visit in the next 2 years - pass this post along to them, so they can apply for an ETA-IL between June 1 and June 30, and avoid the fee this time!

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Great shopping deals!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you

It's a great time to look for deals. They're actually everywhere! 

I found a whole lot of interesting things on Amazon that are priced at $10 or so or less, and qualify for free shipping to Israel with your $49 order.

Maybe some of these are things you were looking for?

Hope this helps someone out there!

Remember - when you're buying from overseas, the limit for tax-free purchases is $75. Amazon will show any applicable taxes at checkout before you finalize your purchase - I recommend splitting your order if you go over the $75 limit.
Other websites don't necessarily calculate taxes at checkout - so it's highly recommended to check carefully so you can avoid surprises. Right now, $75 is about 275 NIS. This can change so check before you checkout!

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Free Help Filing Israeli Taxes for Last Tax Year (2023 taxes)!

Every year, many of us have to file a yearly tax report with the Israel Tax Authority.

Many, many people pay an accountant to handle this report, but did you know that in some cases you can also get FREE help?

Here's the deal:

The Israel Tax Authority runs Free Clinics for filing yearly tax reports: this year, assistance is available for Atzmaim (freelancers/self employed people) with income up to 60,000 NIS using Form 137, people who need to file a tax report using Form 1301, and employed individuals requested a refund using Form 135.

Find this help HERE:

Regional Tax Offices will operate these services between May 5, 2024 and June 26, 2024, Sundays and Wednesdays from 1pm - 6:00pm.

Some offices may be closed on certain days of the week. I recommend calling before you go to verify they are open!

In Eilat, the service will be available only on Mondays and Wednesdays. In Um Al Fahem, the service is only available on Sundays. 

NOTE: These clinics are ONLY for getting help filing your yearly tax report or a request for a refund for employed people (only forms 1301, 137, and 135).

Bring ALL your relevant paperwork with you so you can get the most accurate assistance.

Good luck!

Follow me on Facebook for more tips and info!

Sunday, May 5, 2024

International Museum Day - FREE Museum Admission!

this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

Don't miss this! International Museum Day is here - Get FREE admission on May 9, 2024 to the museum of your choice: Choose from the list of participating museums below!

Looking for something else to do? Check out these workshops, tours, and more!

NOTE: Some of the museums require advance registration.
Be sure to visit the ICOM site and register to avoid disappointment.

Participating Museums:


Beit HaGedudim

Man and The Living World Museum

Fetter Museum of Art and Nanoscience at The Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials

Liebling Haus - White City Centre

Rishon Lezion City Art Gallery

Museum of the Sea at Palmachim

The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History

Gallery 10 at Beit Michal

Edmond de Rothschild Centre

Rishon Lezion Museum

Botanical Gardens at Kfar Monash

Holon History Museum and Archive

Lechi Museum

Tel Aviv City Museum

Ramat Gan Museum of Israeli Art

Ramle Museum

Weizmann Museum

Netanya History Museum

Ilana Gur Museum

Petah Tikvah Museum of Art

Bank of Israel Visitors Center

Ramat HaSharon Geological Museum

The Religious Zionism Center

Mazkeret Batya Settlement Museum

Josef Bau Museum

The Land of Israel Museum

The Shenker Israeli Design Center

Petach Tikvah Pioneers Museum

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Rechovot City Art Gallery

Bat Yam Museums

Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art

Agam Museum

Rubin House Museum

Etzel 1948 Museum

Rechovot Miniatures Museum

Museum of Babylonian Jewry

Israeli Comics Museum

Puppetry Arts Museum

Jewish Sports Museum

Anu Museum of the Jewish People

Museum of Man and the Environment

Yad L'Banim Rechovot

Kfar Sava Museum

Hagana Museum

Nachum Guttman Art Museum

Yitzchak Rabin Center 

Bialik Center

The Lod Mosaic Archaeological Center

The Azor Archaeology Museum

Beit Theresienstadt

Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center

Jerusalem Area

Heichal Shlomo

Old Yishuv Court Museum

Museum on the Seam

The Bloomfield Jerusalem Museum of Science

The Museum of Islamic Art

The Moshe Castel Museum of Art

Tower of David Museum

Museum of Italian Jewry

The Hebron Visitors Center "Touching eternity"

Hasmonean Heritage Museum

Yad VaShem

The President's Hut

Museum of The Underground Prisoners Jerusalem

Jerusalem Nature Museum

Karaite Heritage Center

The Bible Lands Museum

The Israel Museum


Ben Gurion's Hut

The Photo House

Museum of Bedouin Culture

The Negev Museum of Art and The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures

Museum of Philistine Culture

Eilat Art Gallery


The Mizgaga Museum


Ein Dor Museum

Khan Museum of Hadera

Sturman Museum

The Emek Museum

Mishkan Museum of Art

Wilifred Museum

Knights' Halls, Old Akko

Uri & Rami Nehoshtan Museum

Ghetto Fighters' House Lohamei HaGeta'ot

Haifa Museum of Art

Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art

National Maritime Museum

Haifa City Museum

Hermann Struck Museum

Dubrovin Farm

Bet She'an Museum

ORRYTA Gallery

Circassian Museum

ICA Museum Farmers Courtyards Kfar Tavor

Regba Aqueduct

Museum of Yarmukian Culture

Hecht Museum

First Aliyah Museum

Fisher House Kiryat Ata City Museum

Zinati House - Pekiin Jewish Heritage

Museum of The Underground Prisoners Akko

Janco-Dada Museum, Ein Hod

Naharayim at Gesher

The Train Museum (Haifa)

Beit Yemei Binyamina

Umm al-Fahm Art Gallery

Chana Senesh (Anna Szenes) House

Looking for something else to do? Check out these workshops, tours, and more!