Water heating systems to reduce electricity cost for tenants

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By Ronald Owili

If you have or are putting up a building which is likely to require more than 100 liters of hot water daily, or 180,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity you must install a water heating system by May 2017.

Those who fail to adhere are liable to a fine of one million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both.

These are the latest efforts by the Energy Regulatory Commission seeking to enforce efficient energy management across all sectors.

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If you live in a rented house, this means a reduction in power bills and guaranteed hot shower at no extra cost.

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The countrywide power outages that have been witnessed, the last one being Saturday notwithstanding, the country is engaging in intense electricity generation in order to provide efficient, cheap, reliable and green energy to meet the rising demand.

By end of next year, the country targets to have an installed capacity of more than 6,200MW of electricity.

Renewable sources make up more than 50 percent of installed capacity.

Even so, Energy Regulatory Commission is determined to ensure utilization on consumption side, from domestic users, Commercial, industrial and institutional facilities.

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Thus the Energy Regulations of 2012 require that owners of premises within local authorities which consume hot water of more than 100 liters, install and use solar heating systems, and within 5 years, all buildings to do so.

Owners, architects and engineers engaged in design, construction, extension or alteration of premises are required to incorporate the systems in all new buildings and extension or alteration of existing ones.

Kenya Power will also deny you connection if you have not installed the solar heating systems.

This targets domestic residential premises, educational, health institutions, hotels and lodges, restaurants, cafeterias, laundries.

However, buildings constructed before gazettement of the law have until May 2017 to comply.

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These mandatory requirements means that tenants in urban centers will pay less for power as energy used in heating will no longer be from the national grid but from solar.

It also means that by May next year most of those who rent houses would be guaranteed of hot showers at no extra costs.

Woe unto you for failing to comply with these regulations for you would be liable to pay a million shillings fine, or serve a jail term of up to one year or both if convicted.

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