According to reports, the state government had made it mandatory for hotels, hospitals, guest houses, lodges etc., to use solar water heaters by a government order in 2004. The order was withdrawn in 2008. However, as per a study by energy auditors, Rs 100 crore can be saved each year just by renewing the order and making the clause mandatory.
The AP Electricity Regulatory Commission, in March this year, had issued regulations imposing mandatory purchase of renewable energy on the AP discoms, open access consumers and captive users. “This is burdening the AP discoms and ultimately the consumers to the extent of about Rs 1,000 crore every year. It would have been wiser to explore cheaper opportunities available for promotion of renewable resources. The move will benefit both the discoms and the electricity consumers,” said energy manager and auditor, B.N. Prabhakar.
As per the deductions presented, the cost of 100 litre of solar water heat (for a family of four) will be Rs 12,000 while the cost of modification of piping would be around Rs 2,500. A Rs 4,500 subsidy from the ministry of new and renewable resources will get the net effective cost to Rs 10,000. “If the discoms target higher use consumers initially, it would result in a financial benefit of Rs 105 crore per year,” said the auditor.