The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has drafted a solar water heating policy (solar PV regulations) with the intent to require solar water heating systems to be installed on all residential and commercial buildings.
If the policy is approved by the Energy Ministry, it will be mandatory for major power consumers to use solar for heating water at their premises.
ERC director general Kaburu Mwirichia said recently that most of the regulations have been aligned to the soon-to-be-endorsed revised building code and would require home builders to install solar water heating systems.
“ERC wants to encourage use of solar water heaters in commercial establishments and release available electricity from the national grid for industrial production,” said Mr Mwirichia.
This suggestion is welcome among many electricity consumers as the surging cost of electricity and regular outages have put them in a difficult situation.
It is estimated that households can save up to 60% on power bills compared to relying solely on electricity when it comes to water heating.
Some industry analysts are however warning that property buyers will have to pay more when purchasing property as builders and landlords will be forced to pass the cost of solar systems to their buyers or tenants.
The cost of equipping a Sh3.2 million to Sh8 million house with solar power ranges from Sh52,000 to Sh240,000.