Fraudulent solar firms swindling public

Solar power projects became the in-thing after the State government announced its plans to have 10,000 rooftop solar power units this year. File Photo  

The Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) will help customers select credible agencies for domestic solar power projects.

The move comes in the wake of the recent solar power fraud in which several people were reportedly cheated. The political controversy over the financial fraud has even rocked the State government and a few personal assistants of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy were sacked following their reported proximity to the key accused in the case.

The district offices of ANERT will provide information on empanelled agencies, which are qualified for the job, said M. Jayaraju, director, ANERT. If required, it would come out with an awareness programme in the wake of the recent developments in the sector, he said.

Information on empanelled agencies is available on the website (www.ANERT.gov.in). It can also be obtained from the website of the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (www.mnre.gov.in). Details can also be obtained on the telephone numbers of ANERT, (0471-2329854 and 94477 59854), he said.

Solar power projects became the in-thing after the State government announced its plans to have 10,000 rooftop solar power units this year.

Hoping to make hay, several private players entered the sector and started offering competitive prices. ANERT, which is implementing the State programme, had got the required number of applications and started listing the late applications in the waiting list.

“We have empanelled 25 agencies for the power projects in Kerala after evaluating their technical bids. They were selected from the list approved by the Central Ministry. As many as three agencies were removed from the Kerala list as they later failed to meet the criteria fixed by ANERT.

People should not fall for the lower quotes offered by some unscrupulous agencies. Select your agency after detailed and careful background check of the firms,” Dr. Jayaraju said.

ANERT is the nodal agency of the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy through which the subsidy for solar power projects is disbursed. If any of the empanelled agencies err or fail to perform, ANERT can act against them by holding back their subsidy.

A home project capable of generating 1kW of power will cost nearly Rs. 1.70 lakh without subsides.

The subsidy for the project is Rs. 92,262 of which Rs. 53,262 would come from the Central ministry and Rs. 39,000 from the State government. Subsidies will be available only for the projects empanelled by the ministry and ANERT, he said.

Earlier, some private players had placed advertisements projecting its lower quotes against the ANERT rates targeting gullible customers.

Customers should verify the credibility of the agencies and the price offered by them before going ahead with the proposal. Any reasonably good power 1kW project would cost between Rs. 78,000 and 97,000 after subsides.

There can be slight differences in the prices depending on the system and other facilities that the firms offer. Do not fall for the agencies which offer projects below reasonable rates, he cautioned.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:27:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fraudulent-solar-firms-swindling-public/article4818035.ece

Next Story