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The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has announced that property owners have only six months to comply with the requirements of installing solar water heating systems or risk a Sh1 million ($9,970) fine, one-year imprisonment or both.

According to the Nairobi News, ERC has published a notice stating that inspectors will be visiting premises across the country to ensure the solar system regulations are followed.

The last deadline was set for May 25, 2017 after which the commission’s director general Pavel Oimeke said ERC would give property owners six more months to enable them to arrange for the financing and installation of solar water heaters.

“Following the lapse of the deadline, the ERC is currently carrying out surveillance visits on buildings under construction and random spot checks on existing premises to ensure compliance with the regulations,” read the notice.

The regulations were first published in 2012 and the commission has been extending the deadline to allow landlords, home and hotel owners time to comply.

How to identify ERC officials

The Commission is reportedly to have warned the public to be wary of fraudsters impersonating ERC officers. Read more: South African DoE cuts budget for solar water heater programme

“All ERC officers inspecting facilities have official identification badges and premise owners should request to see the badges. The ERC officers will use official ERC branded vehicles with blue number plates. The authenticity of ERC staff can be verified by sending the text message, ‘staff ID no. of the person inspecting’ to 0707667623,” read the notice.

African Utility Week