In their ongoing efforts to meet the increasing demand for electricity, the Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) has introduced solar-powered water heaters to be installed in households.
According to EWSA, over 12,000 Solar Water Heaters, (SWHs) will be installed over the next four years of the program’s duration.
Solar water heating is a renewable energy technology, where sun rays are used to heat water from a storage tank.
The storage tank is horizontally mounted above the solar collectors on the roof of a building.
The project was launched by the State Minister for Water and Energy, Emma-Francoise Isumbingabo.
“The water heaters are yet another initiative taken by the government to minimise energy consumption and meet the energy demand; it is easier to reduce the consumption of energy than to increase production,” the Minister said.
Yusuf Uwamahoro, EWSA’s Deputy Director General in charge of Energy, further explained that the project would enable them save 50 Megawatts by 2017.
This would concurrently reduce the expenditure in the purchase of electricity among bigger users like hotels, and reduce importation of other energy sources, like fuels.
“When we introduced energy saving lamps, they cut consumption of power use by 30 percent. The heaters will help us cut the consumption by 50 MWs if well implemented.”
The purchase and installation of a 200-litre capacity SWH costs US$1,400 (approx Rwf 840,000) while that with a capacity of 300 litres costs US$1,540 (approx Rw 925,000).
Private entrepreneurs will supply the SWHs though EWSA has negotiated for a discount of 25 percent to encourage the programme.
Payments will also be spread out over two years.