Energy Commission considers compulsory use of solar for homes

The Energy Commission (EC) has commenced moves to get a law which will make it compulsory for home owners to inculcate the use of solar in new buildings following the country’s power crisis.

Citi Business News has learnt the Energy Commission will in two weeks meet with the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) over the move.

According to the Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, Dr. Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah ”We will be meeting the Real Estate Developers in two weeks to discuss our proposals for amendments of the building code. We started talking about this long ago, indeed this idea was muted in the 80’s by the national energy board then but at the time the cost of the technology was so high and therefore it could not be easily be implement’. He said.

The discussions will also centre around proposed amendments of the building code and the use of other forms of energy in future homes to avert any future power crisis.

Due to the intensified nature of the power outages in the country, there have been calls for a law which will compel home owners and Real Estate developers to include solar energy.

Speaking to Citi Business News Dr. Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah said solar technology is cheap and the best form of alternative energy.

‘I remember at one time we contacted the estate developers and really at the time electricity was cheap they were low prices so that people did not really understand. But now that the call is coming from the masses we will do that. It is nothing new and we support it, in the past the cost was high today it is not’.

He adds that if there are any incentives you can import solar without paying any duty on them so the incentives are already there. What may be important is if government will want to do that it may be to give extra support which may be decided at a later forum but already there are no import duties on solar panels’. He stressed.

Meanwhile GREDA has welcomed the call for new homes and settlements to have solar energy to help cut down on the increase base load on the national grid. According to GREDA’s Executive Secretary, Sammy Amegayibor it is ready to implement such policies expect for the expensive nature of the solar power equipment.

‘Well I guess we are all aware of the energy crises and for that matter we all have to put our hand on deck and see what we can contribute to let us out of this mess. It’s a good call because we cannot depend on the national grid at all times but it is not just about asking developer to inculcate solar systems in their construction that will avert the problem, we have to do a lot more’.

He calls for Public Private Partnership in implementing the new policy since installing solar technology is expensive.

‘As you are aware everybody complains about even the cost of the house as they are. To install a solar system that will be sufficient to power all the electrical gadgets that are usually available in a flat or one house, its tells you that it’s not going to be a small cost with the initial cost anyway, in the long term its becomes cheaper to the owner.

Most of us are already grappling with the perception that real estate houses are overpriced, it not that they are overpriced but it is what goes into it and adding the cost of solar system to it is going to increase it’. He said.

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