The Delhi government on Monday decided to provide a subsidy of Rs 6,000 to all those who want to install Solar Water Heating System (SWHS) at their homes to replace power guzzling electric geyser. The government largesse is aimed at conserving energy and promoting renewable sources.
Talking to reporters after a cabinet meeting where the decision was taken, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said, "The user of the SWHS would have to pay Rs 6,000 less on his part and the rebate would directly be released to the manufacturers. The Delhi Transco has been authorised to function as nodal agency in this case."
According to the cabinet note on the issue, the morning peak demand in winter months in the city is mostly due to the heating appliances like geysers, which are heavy guzzlers of electricity. "A 100-litre capacity of SWHS can replace an electric geyser for residential use and save 1,500 units of electricity per annum," said the note. In monetary terms, the saving comes to around Rs 5,500 per annum.
The note expected that at least 200 MW of electricity would be saved from the installation of SWHS in domestic sector in due course. In Delhi there are around 18 lakh domestic consumers and it is expected that 30-40 per cent of them may opt for the scheme over a period of six to seven years.
Officials, however, point out that high cost of the SWHS is a major deterrent and the subsidy of Rs 6,000 might not motivate people to switch over to this system. The approximate cost of 100 litre SWHS is between Rs 18,000 to Rs 20,000 and 200 litre SWHS is between Rs 26,000 to Rs 38,000. "The initial cost is too high and very few people would opt for the system unless the price comes down to half of the present level," a senior official said.
A 100 litre SWHS will serve a family of four persons. It turns cold water into hot water of 60 degree to 80 degree centigrade with the help of sun's rays. The time of heating depends on solar radiation and weather condition. The system would not work in the rainy season, foggy conditions and would take longer when the sun's rays are weak and blocked by clouds.