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Kenya: energy regulator enforces solar law

In East Africa, the Kenya Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has warned that strict rules will apply for home owners as well as commercial buildings who have not obliged with the solar water heater requirements.

Last week, ERC reiterated that as the grace period draws to a close, Kenyans that have not installed solar water heaters will either face jail or a Sh1 million ($9,682) fine early next month.

According to local media the Daily Nation, the policy requires owners of residential and commercial houses, whose hot water needs exceed 100 litres per day, to include solar water heating systems in their building designs.

This law covers residential premises (three-bedrooms and above), health institutions, restaurants and hotels, boarding schools and other similar commercial operations.

ERC’s acting director-general, Pavel Oimeke, said: “Beginning next month, ERC and police officers attached to the commission will start conducting surveillance to ascertain compliance,” Pavel Oimeke, the ERC’s acting director-general. Read more…

“Where we confirm non-compliance, the law requires that we issue the building owner with a six-month notice to install the equipment failing which we shall charge them.”

Preliminary audits for solar law

According to media, the ERC’s preliminary audits indicate that 150,000 of three million buildings (both new and old) have installed hot water systems.

The hospitality industry is reported to have recorded the best compliance for both sets of buildings, leaving boarding learning institutions among those that have shown poor compliance.

“Since the law came into effect five years ago, we have served notices to many property owners and they have complied. Others failed to install the solar systems and we took them to court,” Oimeke stated.

It is reported that property developers have cited prohibitive costs of solar heaters as a deterrent to increased uptake. Read more…

The cost of a complete solar water heater system for domestic use ranges between Sh125,000 ($1,210)and Sh150,000 ($1,452) per unit and between Sh600,000 ($5,809) and Sh2 million ($19,365) for commercial buildings, media reported.

The solar kits are expected to help conserve energy and lower demand for electricity as increased economic activity and connection of more homes to the grid put pressure on existing power generation plants.


Featured image credit: 123rf

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.