Chandigarh to make solar plant mandatory for all big houses, buildings

Chandigarh may soon make solar rooftop plants mandatory for all houses and buildings occupying plots larger than 100 square yards in a first of its kind clean energy drive in the country.

A notification to this effect is expected shortly, said Santosh Kumar, director of Chandigarh Renewable Energy Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST), an arm of the union territory’s department of science and technology.

CREST is in talks with Chandigarh administrator Kaptan Singh Solanki to get the urban planning department to issue a notification to this effect. “They are likely to issue it within this month,” said Kumar.

According to the proposal, houses on plots of 100-500 square yards will have the option to install either a 1 kW solar plant or a 100-litre solar heating system. Larger houses will have no such choice. Those on plots of 500-1,000 square yards must set up solar rooftops of 1 kW, while those on 1,000-3,000 square yards will need 2 kW solar plant and those above 3,000 square yards must set up 3 kW solar plant.

A 1 kW solar plant would generate 4-4.5 units of power a day.

Haryana had passed a similar order in early 2015, but only for new buildings occupying more than 500 square yards.

Chandigarh has gone a step further by making it applicable to all buildings, old and new.

While no new house or building will be given a completion certificate unless it has a rooftop solar plant installed, existing buildings will need to comply with the new requirement within two years.

“The idea is that everyone should do it. The focus will be on residential buildings,” said Kumar. “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,” he said.

A 1 kW solar plant costs around Rs 85,000. The Union ministry of new and renewable energy provides a 30% subsidy for rooftop solar panels, which would bring the price down to around Rs 60,000. This subsidy, however, does not extend to industrial and commercial establishments.

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