Energy Regulatory Commission
ERC
Simon Mbugua

Building owners face Sh1m fine as ERC starts solar heating checks

The agency says its inspectors have started carrying out random checks following the  lapse of the September 25 deadline for installing solar systems. Under the energy (solar water heating) regulations 2012 seeking to ease pressure on the national grid by encouraging use of renewable sources of energy, premises with hot water requirements of more than 100 litres per day must be fitted with solar heating systems. The affected include domestic houses with at least three bedrooms, colleges and boarding schools with 20 or more students and hotels, hostels and lodges with at least four beds.Others are restaurants that serve at least 20 meals a day and laundries that handle more than 20kgs of clothes.

Property owners risk a Sh1 million fine or one year in jail after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) started vetting buildings to check for compliance with solar heating rules. The agency says its inspectors have started carrying out random checks following the  lapse of the September 25 deadline for installing solar systems.“The commission is currently carrying out surveillance visits on buildings under construction and random spot checks on existing premises,” ERC director-general Pavel Oimeke said in a May 9 notice. Under the energy (solar water heating) regulations 2012 seeking to ease pressure on the national grid by encouraging use of renewable sources of energy, premises with hot water requirements of more than 100 litres per day must be fitted with solar heating systems.

Simon Mbugua out on bail in city lobbyist attack case

The affected include domestic houses with at least three bedrooms, colleges and boarding schools with 20 or more students and hotels, hostels and lodges with at least four beds.Others are restaurants that serve at least 20 meals a day and laundries that handle more than 20kgs of clothes.The regulations prohibit Kenya Power from connecting electricity to any of the property owners that fail to install solar panels. They also impose the Sh1 million fine or one year jail term on manufacturers, vendors and contractors who contravene the ERC solar specifications. The ERC had earlier indicated its intention to extend the deadline for the second time to May 25 to give property owners ample time for compliance but no gazette notice was published to that effect.  Thursday, the regulator accused fraudsters of impersonating its inspectors as the crackdown begins.  “We have received information that fraudsters masquerading as ERC officers are inspecting buildings in relation to these regulations,” the ERC said in a notice. “All ERC officers inspecting facilities have official badges that owners should request to see.”The ERC becomes the second energy sector agency to cry foul of an invasion by fraudsters. Last month, Kenya Power issued an alert warning the public of “increasing cases of fraudulent activities by con men who are using fake forms to defraud.”Among other things, the listed utility firm accused the cons of taking money from unsuspecting public with false promise of electricity connection, compensation for the lease and for taking care of the installations.

Share this Post

by

Search