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19 Banks, NBFCs to offer soft loans for solar heating systems

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 26 (UNI) Nineteen banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) have joined a new scheme launched by the Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources to step up use of solar water heating systems Leading banks such as Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank, and NBFCs recognised by Reserve Bank of India will provide soft loans to the beneficiaries in domestic, institutional and commercial sectors.

At a meeting to review the scheme to implement "Accelerated Programme On Solar Water Heating (APSWH)", Mr V Subramaniam, Non-conventional Energy Sources Secretary, who was in the chair, said that participating banks and institutions should approach the scheme on merits by convincing potential customers about its benefits.

The banks and NBFCs will issue soft loans to the users at reduced interest rates of 2 per cent for domestic, 3 per cent for institutions and 5 per cent for commercial users.

Flexibility of loan repayment period is to be decided by the users (up to 5 years maximum) against earlier fixed term of 5 years.

Incentives are being provided to motivators at the rate of Rs 100 per square metre collector area. It is estimated that a 100 litre per day system in a home can bring electricity savings of up to 1,500 units and in the industrial sector the saving could be around 120 litres of diesel per year.

Overall, 1 million such systems installed in homes can result in peak saving of 1000 MW besides saving 1.5 billion units of electricity per year.

Representatives of banks/NBFCs and state nodal agencies were asked to carry out an information campaign at the branch/grassroots level explaining the benefits of the scheme. He suggested that each participating branch should also display information about manufacturers/service providers with complete address, telephone numbers and the contact persons.

Besides Canara Bank and PNB, Bank of Maharashtra, Syndicate Bank, Union Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Vijaya Bank, and Dena Bank have joined the scheme aimed at installing solar water heating systems at one million square meter of collector area during 2005-06 and 2006-07. Of this, about 4 lakh square metres has been achieved taking the total to 15 lakh square metres of collector area achieved in the country so far.

About 6 lakh square metres is expected to be achieved during 2006-07.

Mr Subramaniam informed that the Municipal Corporations of Bangalore, Thane, Nagpur, Rajkot and Pune have already notified amended building bye-laws. In fact, the Thane Municipal Corporation was offering a further incentive of 10 per cent rebate on property tax in such cases.


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