Kenya gazettes regulations for solar water heating industry

Kenya gazettes regulations for solar water heating industry

Kenya has gazetted regulations that will affect the solar water heating industry including manufacturers, importer, vendor, worker, contractor, and system owner, as well as solar water heating system installations.

The Energy Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), the regulatory body in the country gazetted the draft Energy (Solar Water Heater) Regulations 2022 which will see changes in house designs in the country.

The regulations published on Friday, January 13, states that all listed premises would be required to incorporate a provision for solar water heating system installation. Included in the list are residential buildings, education institutions, healthcare institutions and commercial buildings.

According to EPRA, the move is aimed at ensuring safety and quality in the solar water heating value chain.

Further, the authority will seek to license all solar water heater installers and technicians, as well as approve all the installations of the water system in advance.

Repealing of solar water heater law poses threat to solar business in Kenya

“A person who, without a licence issued by the Authority undertakes the importation, manufacture, sale, design, installation, commissioning, maintenance or repair of solar water heating system commits an offence. Upon conviction, shall be liable to a fine of Ksh20,000,” the draft regulations stated in part.

According to the draft regulations, licencing of water heater installers will be charged between Ksh2,500 and Ksh8,000.

The regulations also spelt out the standardised materials to be used for the installation of the solar systems. These include the unglazed flat plate, glazed flat plate or evacuated tube collector technologies among other technologies approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS)

EPRA also urged stakeholders and the public to submit their views on the regulations to the Director General. The grace period for the collection of views was set for 40 days.

A similar regulation had been proposed in 2012 and reviewed in 2019 dropping the requirement for all premises with hot water requirements exceeding a capacity of 100 litres per day to install and use solar heating systems. According to EPRA review, the new rules under the Draft Energy (Solar Photovoltaic Systems) Regulations 2019 would only apply on commercial buildings, and not on residential homeowners.

The regulations required owners of all premises within the jurisdiction of local authorities with hot water requirements of capacity exceeding 100 litres per day to install and use solar water heating systems, failure to which a fine of US$ 10,000 or jail term would apply.