Chandigarh may soon make it mandatory for all all houses and buildings to have solar rooftops.
“A notification to this effect is expected shortly,” said Santosh Kumar, director of Chandigarh Renewable Energy Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST). The installation will be mandatory for the buildings and houses having plot size larger than 100 square yards. However, both old and new buildings, which fit the criteria, will have to comply with the order. Old houses or buildings will be given two years time and no new building or house will get a completion certificate unless it has a rooftop solar plant installed.
“The idea is that everyone should do it. The focus will be on residential buildings. Houses on plots of the size of 500 square yards, say, are worth Rs 2-3 crore. People owning such houses can surely afford to put up a solar rooftop plant,” Kumar told Economic Times.
To make the process easier, approval from Chandigarh Municipal Corporation or the Estate Office for putting up solar plants is not necessary now.
Though 1 kW solar plant costs around Rs 85,000, the union ministry of new and renewable energy provides a 30 percent subsidy bringing the price down to Rs 60,000. Also, the surplus power can be sold to the grid Rs 8.51 per unit.
Kumar says the subsequent reduction in the building owner’s power bills will cover the entire capital cost within a few years.
At present, Chandigarh has installed rooftop solar plants in 58 schools and 10 colleges. But, very few private establishments have installed such plants.
“If solar targets are to be achieved, there must be active participation by the states. We want Chandigarh to have around 100 MW of rooftop solar capacity by 2022,” said Kumar. Before Chandigarh, Haryana had passed a similar order in 2015 which made solar rooftops compulsory for new buildings. But, due to ineffective implementation and lack of awareness, the state is far behind its target.