Solar water heating regulations to take effect from Saturday

NAIROBI… The grace period for the Solar Water Heating Regulations 2012 lapses this Saturday November 25th 2017. Under the new law, all premises within the jurisdiction of a local authority with hot water requirements of a capacity exceeding one hundred litres per day are required to install and use solar heating systems within a period of five years from May, 2012, which is when the regulations came into force.

“Those who will not have complied by Saturday risk being slapped with a fine of up to Ksh 1 million or an imprisonment term of up to one year or both,’’ said Jacqueline Wangui, Partner at MMC Africa Law.

The law was crafted to boost the country’s efforts to implement a green economy strategy towards sustainable development. This strategy will see Kenya aim to reduce its carbon emissions by 30 per cent by the year 2030. In 2015, the Kenyan government pledged to the UN that it would meet the target by expanding solar, wind and geothermal power among other strategic measures. A commitment that saw the government zero-rate import duty and removed value added tax charged on renewable energy equipment in a bid to boost the development and uptake of solar energy in the country.

‘’The regulations had initially allowed for a five year grace period for compliance. When this grace period initially lapsed on the 25th of May earlier this year, the Energy Regulatory Commission granted developers and contractors a further six months from that date to comply with the requirements,’’ added Jacqueline Wangui.

The targeted include housing developers, owners, occupants and electric power distributors, educational institutions, hotels, hospitals and laundries, all of which are now required to be issued with a compliance certificate.

Buildings that fail to comply with the law beginning this Saturday will also not be supplied with electricity from the national grid.

‘’Pursuant to the regulations, the design, installation, repair and maintenance of a Solar Water Heating System needs to be in accordance with the Code of Practice provided for under the ‘Solar Water Heating for Domestic Hot water Kenya Standard KS 1860:2008’, as well as the building code made under the County Government Act, 2012. The solar collectors are required to be installed in accordance with the solar water heating system installation standards set out in the Regulations,’’ concluded MMC Africa Law’s Jacqueline Wangui.

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