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Be warned! That hot shower could now cost you Sh1m fine or one-year jail term

Households using over 100 litres of hot water everyday and are yet to install solar heating system risk a Sh1 million fine, one-year imprisonment or both.

This after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Wednesday published a notice stating that inspectors will be visiting premises around the country to ensure the solar system regulations are followed.

This means that every household that uses five 20litre jerrycans to shower will be expected to have a solar heating system when inspectors come knocking.

The regulations were first published in 2012 and the commission has been extending the deadline to allow landlords, home and hotel owners time to comply.

The last deadline had been set as May 25 2017 after which the commission’s director general Pavel Oimeke said ERC would give property owners six more months to enable them to arrange for the financing and installation of solar water heaters.

“Following the lapse of the deadline, the ERC is currently carrying out surveillance visits on buildings under construction and random spot checks on existing premises to ensure compliance with the regulations,” the Wednesday notice read in part.

The public notice published by the Energy Regulatory Commission. PHOTO | COURTESY
The public notice published by the Energy Regulatory Commission. PHOTO | COURTESY


The commission has also warned the public to be wary of fraudsters masquerading as ERC officers.

“All ERC officers inspecting facilities have official identification badges and premise owners should request to see the badges. The ERC officers will use official ERC branded vehicles with blue number plates. The authenticity of ERC staff can be verified by sending the text message, ‘staff <space> ID no. of the person inspecting’ to 0707667623,” the notice read.

Kenyans online are however still requesting for more time to comply, citing financial constrains as seen on the comment section of a Builders Facebook group.

“Wanapeana solar panel free vile Kenya Power ilipeana free energy saver bulbs?” one member questioned.

“Tuweke Solar water heaters na hata maji yenyewe ndio hakuna… Upus, wakuje kwangu watajionea vishangao and then if I shower cold what happens in such a case?” another wondered.

“This is a noble measure to enhance conservation of energy. But wait a minute; – has KPLC sorted that overcharging issue. Can someone first arrest and lock up KPLC so that when I save power, they don’t come and still charge me for the saved power??” another added.