Landlords risk jail for failing to put up water heating systems by May 2017

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)acting director Pavel Oimeke addreses the press in Mombasa during a media training on Energy. He said the commission will not hesitate to take legal actions against premises' owners who have fail to install solar heating systems by end of May 2017. PHOTO: DAVID NGUMBAO.

Mombasa,KENYA: Energy regulatory commission (ERC) has said it will take legal action against landlords  who have failed to install solar heating systems in their premises by end of May 2017.

The ultimatum is in line with the publication of solar water heating regulations in 2012.

The regulations required any developer putting up premises with a daily water consumption exceeding one hundred litres of water, to incorporate solar heating systems in their premises.

Speaking at a Mombasa hotel during a media training on Tuesday, ERC Acting Director General Pavel Oimeke said the commission will swing to full action next month which is the deadline for old establishments to meet the regulations.

“Things will not be as usual after this month to all owners of premises who will have breach this regulation,” said Oimeke.

He warned that those who don’t adhere to the regulations risk facing a one year jail term.

“They had a period of five years to implement the regulations and there should be no excuse whatsoever and this will make them save a lot of money because they will not be paying power bills as solar is available,” he added.

The window lapses on May 25, meaning ERC could recommend prosecution of non-compliant landlords, who risk a year in prison or a Sh1 million fine.

Premises targeted in the regulations include residential , educational institutions, health institutions, hotels and lodges Restaurants, cafeterias and other eating places and laundries.

He told Baraka FM that he fears developers have been putting up new buildings but fail to incorporate solar water heating systems.

“We are currently undertaking a survey on all new buildings to establish those which do not have solar water heating systems,” said Oimeke.

He said the commission has exposed and will continue to expose petroleum fuel adulteration and dumping of export products leading to damage of motor vehicles and decline in collection of taxes.

“The commission is cracking the whip on unscrupulous petroleum dealers who adulterate the products to increase their profits,” he said.

He added that the commission shall decisively deal with unlicensed facilities and use of substandard petroleum equipment that sham danger to public safety.

The director general noted that the launch of a retailer self-test kit device in September 2015 has helped petroleum dealers to test and detect adulterer petroleum products.

On security in the transportation of petroleum products, Oimeke said they are working with County governments to designate parking areas for petrol tankers.

“We are working with the Police service and county governments to ensure safety of petroleum products in transit,” he said.