Solar units on rooftops brighten 12,000 properties
There has been a steady rise in the installation of solar units by households, residential societies and commercial establishments across the city.
Over 12,000 properties have opted for solar units. An addition of 2,000 properties was registered in the 2016-17.
Most establishments are tapping solar energy for household purposes like water heaters, lamps and air-conditioning units. Besides saving on power bills, these properties are also availing discounts in property tax for installation of solar equipment.
Statistics as per the latest Environment Status Report of Pune Municipal Corporation has pointed at a constant rise in installation of solar units with an average annual growth of 10% in the last few years.
In 2009, a mere 1,200 properties in the city had solar units. By 2013-14, the numbers rose to 5,400 and in 2016-17 it went up to 12,091. In last 4 years, about 7,000 properties have approached the civic body claiming that they have installed solar units.
Shivajinagar resident Sachin Ubhe said he lives in a building with 14 flats. It has been using solar panels for hot water in bathrooms. Many are opting for such alternate technology, he added.
Civic officials said most properties are privately owned houses that prefer water heaters in bathrooms or AC units to run on solar energy. The PMC’s ward offices conduct drives to check whether the units are functional to ensure a tax rebate of 5%.
The civic body gives a rebate of 2% in the tax to properties installed with solar facilities. As per the norms, those houses installed either with solar or vermicompost or rainwater harvesting are liable to get a rebate of 5% in the tax. The property can avail 10% rebate if it is installed with any two projects of the three projects.
Meanwhile, civic officials said besides individuals, many commercial establishments have been utilizing their space for installation of panels to utilize solar energy on a bigger platform.
More than 57,000 properties in the city have opted for tax rebates by installing one of the three projects. Over 27,500 properties have installed vermicomposting pits while 1,100 properties have rainwater harvesting facilities.