Solar Water Heaters: New Conditions to Avoid Scams

8 years, 11 months ago - July 02, 2012
To prevent that consumers be ripped off, new harsher conditions currently imposed on suppliers of solar water heaters that have registered with the 'Solar Water Scheme, the Department of Environment and Sustainable Development .

They must provide a guarantee of half a million rupees for a period of seven years to be able to sell their products to customers throughout the plan. In addition, they must comply with at least forty conditions imposed by the Development Bank of Mauritius (DBM). 

Equipment provided shall be made of stainless steel to cope with bad weather. Suppliers must ensure that equipment is properly installed and check if everything works as expected. They must commit to repair the equipment under warranty or replace them free if they do not comply with regulations established by the Department supervision. In addition, they must have a repair shop and technicians can perform repairs to customers' homes. Thus, all providers must offer a guarantee to buyers for a period of seven years on the solar water heater placed. 

In addition, a monitoring unit of Solar Water Scheme, made up of retired police officers, was created to verify the field if the equipment installed complies with regulations. Tests will be conducted. If abnormalities are detected, then the DBM reserves the right not to refund the amount due the supplier. 

To proceed with the purchase of a water heater through the 'Solar Water Scheme', the customer must first sign a contract with the DBM, which states that he is entitled to quality equipment procured from a supplier who adheres to the terms of the DBM. 

The DBM has received at least 48,581 applications from 2008 to date. The amount of subsidies disbursed amounted to Rs 258 million. Some 24,000 people have received their grants in the first phase of the project. 

Approximately 12,849 applications were received during the second phase. 1,800 solar water heaters have been installed. Other facilities are continuing. It should be noted that commercial banks have refused to participate in this second phase of the project. 

Text by Le Matinal

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