Kenya solar heating law mandates solar water heating in urban buildings

Kenya’s solar water heating law will take effect on May 25 as part of efforts to promote the uptake of renewable energy, the energy regulator said Thursday.

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said that under the new regulations, all industrial, commercial and large residential buildings in urban centers are required to install solar water heating systems.

“Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any of these regulations commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding 9,708 U.S. dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both,” ERC said in statement released on Thursday.

The East African nation enacted the Solar Water Heating Regulations in 2012 and gave building owners a five-year grace period to implement the order.

The law requires that all premises within the jurisdiction of local authorities with hot water requirements of a capacity exceeding 100 liters per day to install and use solar heating systems.

In addition, all electric power distributors and suppliers shall not provide electricity supply to premises where a solar water heating system has not been installed.

ERC said that the law will help Kenyans reduce reliance on electricity produced by fossils fuels as they contribute to emission of greenhouse gases.

Government data indicate that Kenya has an installed electricity capacity of 2,325 megawatts as at December 2016.

ERC noted that the majority of Kenyans still rely on biomass and firewood for domestic cooking needs. “The deforestation is contributing to the climate change,” said the energy regulator.

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