In a move that may discourage residents to opt for solar energy, the Delhi government has discontinued the subsidy it used to offer on the installation of solar panels from April 1.
The new move comes at a time when the government has been emphasising on ‘going green’ and conserving energy.
Vendors supplying and installing solar panels said though a number of people enquire about installing solar water heaters, the high investment cost acted as a big deterrent.
The subsidy offered by the Delhi government — Rs. 6,000 was provided to domestic consumers — used to help people opting for solar water heaters, which help reduce power bills. In case of non-commercial organisations, the subsidy went up to R60,000.
According to officials, a decision to review the scheme of providing subsidy, which had started in 2008 to encourage people to conserve energy, was taken at a cabinet meeting.
“The subsidy used to be renewed every year. However, many years have passed and we felt the need to assess the scheme and evaluate the results it has yielded so far. Hence, from this year we have decided to discontinue the scheme till a further decision is taken,” a senior Delhi government official said.
The official said the government is not very keen on having the subsidy in place as the ministry of new and renewable energy already offers subsidy to those opting for solar energy.
The residents, however, are unhappy with the move.
“Installing solar panels is an expensive affair. It is only because we used to get subsidy from the central and Delhi government that we used to opt for the system. One the one hand, the government wants people to conserve energy and the same time it is taking away the incentives,’ said Rima Kumar, a resident of Sarita Vihar.
Vendors, too, claimed that they had stopped providing solar panels at subsidised rates.
“If subsidy has been stopped, naturally we will sell the panels at the market price. The government should reconsider its decision,” said Bhupinder Singh, a Moti Nagar-based vendor of solar heaters.