As per some estimations, as many as 87,513 solar heaters are being used in the Bangalore metropolitan area, each of which saves two kilowatt hour (kwh) per unit, according to Bescom (figure as on February 28, 2013). Assuming each household utilises the water from the heater for two hours a day, an estimated 3.50 lakh units are being saved per day, thus saving around Rs 1.75 crore.
Bangalore is believed to have the highest percentage of solar water heaters in the country (taking into account the ratio of solar water heaters to the number of houses). This has reduced the burden, even if minimally, on the conventional grid, groaning under the huge demand for power.
The city is fortunate with those in the renewable energy trade saying Bangalore weather is ideal for the sun’s heat to be harnessed as people require hot water through the year. The demand for solar heaters is also going up by 50 per cent every year. Lakshmipathi, Deputy General Manager, Inspections, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom), says that they have made it mandatory for all residential sites (measuring 60 ft x 40 ft and above) to have solar water heaters.
Very few apartment complexes are opting for them. This, despite the 30 per cent subsidy offered by the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) on each installation as an incentive. Karnataka Renewable Energy Development (KREDL) officials, meanwhile, are planning to install rooftop solar systems on government offices in the city.
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