The Solar Water Heating Regulations, 2012 are to take effect on 25th May 2017, 5 years after they were made. The five year window was put in place for buildings that existed before the regulations were gazetted. However, all new buildings after the gazettement were expected to follow the regulations.
The regulations state that all premises with hot water requirements of a capacity exceeding 100 litres per day shall install and use solar heating systems. This will include private residences, schools and other learning institutions, hotels and all other premises that fall under the regulation.
Responsibility for compliance falls in the hands of the owner of the premises, developers, architects and engineers who have had five years to prepare for the implementation of the regulation.
In case a developer ignores to comply, the regulation also states that an electric power distributor or supplier shall not provide electricity supply to premises where a solar water heating system has not been installed. This means that no solar water heater equals no electricity; in theory. In practice, electricity power distributors ignore this and continue to supply their product as their mandate is not enforcement of the regulation.
The regulations also states that lack of compliance will lead to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or to imprisonments for a term not exceeding one year or to both.
Solar water heaters are on the exemption list of the Value Added Tax (VAT) reducing the reasons for noncompliance to regulations that seek to aid in the country’s energy conservation and environment protection.