Property developers in Kenya required to install water heaters on buildings

4 April 2017

Property developers in Kenya are expected to install water heaters on buildings whose occupants utilize more than 100l of hot water per day, failure to which they will be facing tough sanctions- after the set five year grace period that will reach expiration in May this year.

The strict regulations that were put in place by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) came to force in May 2012. Owners of existing buildings at the time were given a period of five years to install water heating systems. Moreover, the installment was required to take place before the buildings take occupancy.

This is following ERCs realization that property developers put up new buildings without having incorporated solar water heaters. Consequently, the commission will be conducting a nationwide property audit to establish premises that are not compliant.

All commercial buildings will be required from May this year to install solar water heaters as part to green the Kenyan economy, failure to which will attract a fine of $9,700 or a jail term of 1 year.

Furthermore, new buildings, alterations or extensions must be designed to incorporate solar water heating systems. In addition of the solar panels installation property owners will be required to conduct energy audits every three years.

They must also implement at least half the audit recommendations within a span of three years.

Institutions such as boarding schools, universities, hospitals and children homes are not exempted from this requirement.

As an initiative to further their efforts, ERC has been sensitizing owners of existing buildings to have the systems in place before the deadline.

On the other hand, property owners have decried the high costs that come with purchase of the kits, terming them a hindrance to meeting the requirements. Solar water heaters go for between $1,222.5-$1,455 for a residential unit and $5,820-$19,400 for a commercial building.

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