Kenya’s Solar Water Heating energy regulations have come to effect following a public notice issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
The regulations compel owners of all premises within the jurisdiction of local authorities with hot water requirements of a capacity exceeding 100 litres per day to install and use solar water heating systems.
The enforcement of the regulations comes after the lapse of an extended grace period for premise owners to comply with the law as well as arrange for the financing and installation of the water heating systems.
The regulations which were introduced in 2012 also require that all premises, new and existing, be fitted with solar water heating systems and that electric power distributors or suppliers should not provide electricity supply to premises where a solar water heating system has not been installed in accordance with the rules.
Further, the regulations require that the design, installation, repair and maintenance of a Solar Water Heating System be in accordance with the Code of Practice – Solar Water Heating for Domestic Hot Water; Kenya Standard KS 1860:2008 and the Building Code made under the Local Government Act.
Random spot checks
ERC has stated that the commission has started doing random spot checks on buildings for compliance and that premise owners should be on high alert not to be harassed or extorted by fraudsters who claim to be ERC officials doing inspections in relation to the regulations.
According to the regulation, anyone who breaches the law shall be liable to a fine not exceeding kes.1 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both.
ERC is a single sector regulatory agency established in Kenya under section 4(1) of the Energy Act, 2006 with the responsibility for economic and technical regulation of electric power, renewable energy and downstream petroleum sub-sector.