The Government of India is popularizing the use of solar water heaters in all households in the metros. According to the Indian Renewable Energy Department, there are 2.5 million solar water heaters already in use in the four major metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Also, the use of solar water heaters in commercial complexes across the country is gaining popularity. Slowly, people are beginning to realize that solar water heaters are the best economical choice in domestic use.
With the life of a solar water heater being around 12 to 15 years, solar water heaters pay for themselves within four to five years after which you enjoy free hot water for almost 10 years.
The government is also contemplating offering tax benefits to house owners by way of rebate of up to of up to 25 per cent on the cost of installing a solar water heater. In major metros in India, the city municipal corporations are offering two per cent rebate on the property tax on house owners who go in for installation of solar water heaters. According to reports, there has been an increase of 15 per cent households in Indian metros going in for installation of solar water heaters in the last two years.
As we talk of popularizing the use of solar panel in developed countries, we should take note of the interest being generated by various voluntary organizations in developing countries as well. Many agencies are promoting environmentally friendly water heating solutions, use of solar cookers, solar lighting in rural areas etc.
Separate guidelines are being framed to make use of solar water heaters mandatory in commercial complexes. Those failing to adhere to these norms will have to pay 10 paisa extra per unit of electricity consumed. However, members of the Commercial Complex Owners' Association are staging a protest against this move and are urging the government to withdraw the same.
You will be surprised to note that use of solar hot water is cent per cent in a tribal region in Karnataka. They use solar energy for water heating as well as cooking. The knowledge about solar water heaters and solar cookers among the tribals is amazing.
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