According to reports, officials of the Electricity Board here plan to suggest to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission to make provision for solar water heaters mandatory in new residential buildings with a built-up area of more than 1,000 sq.ft. if they have to get power connection.
Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) Chief Engineer A. Thangavelu told The Hindu on Thursday that the Corporation planned to recommend that new electricity service be provided only to those residential units that had provision for solar water heaters. Karnataka had a similar system to encourage installation of solar water heaters. This would help in energy conservation as electric water heaters were among the major power consumers in houses.
Installation of solar water heaters was picking up in the city and almost 50 per cent of new residential units had these heaters.
With focus on energy conservation, the TANGEDCO was taking many measures here to create awareness and promote energy saving. It was distributing CFLs to replace incandescent lamps and planned campaigns in local bodies to encourage energy conservation.
A. D. Thirumoorthy, Superintending Engineer of TANGEDCO Coimbatore Metro, said the city had nearly 50,000 electric water heaters. Energy consumption by a water heater was nearly one kilowatt. Thus, if these were replaced with solar water heaters, the city would be able to save nearly 50 MW.
An official of Coimbatore Corporation said though it was mandatory that buildings of more than 1,000 sq.ft. should have provision of solar water heater to get building plan approval, there was no system to monitor that this was implemented. Though awareness has improved and a number of older buildings were also installing solar water heaters now, installation of the provision should be made compulsory to get other services of the local body.