Nearly four years after the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced a subsidy for those opting to install rooftop solar panels, the citizens of Bengaluru are finally reaping the benefits of program.

Bescom, the city’s implementing agency, failed to empanel vendors, denying citizens the benefit of the program despite receiving close to 1,200 applications. Today, Bescom has finally revamped the application portal and engaged seven vendors to provide the services.

“There is confusion in implementation as the instructions and allocation keep changing. Also, we cannot get a suitable vendor even after calling tenders four times. Hence, the process is delayed,” said a senior. who is an official from the Demand Side Management division of Bescom.

With seven vendors on board, interested citizens can log on to a dedicated single window portal (https://srtpv.bescom.org/ SRTPV/) to register themselves. The portal was renewed and started operations a week ago.

Once the application is uploaded, the beneficiaries are allowed to choose a vendor to follow where the vendor will conduct a survey of the property and the requirements. The vendor is directed to submit a feasibility report to Bescom where Bescom will give permission to start the project.

While consumers using the Bescom portal have to pay only the amount to the vendor after the subsidy, those using the MNRE portal have to pay the full amount as the subsidy is directly credited to their bank accounts. .

The 1,200 applicants who applied for the scheme since 2019 have now been informed that the vendor will be selected.

Kochu Shankar, a resident of Horamavu, who applied for the subsidy in 2019, said the implementation would help many households. “Solar rooftops provide clean energy and are also financially viable. We are happy that Bescom has finally selected vendors and started implementing the scheme for which many of us have been waiting,” he said.

MNRE announced in March 2019 the ‘Soura Gruha Yojana’ and entrusted the responsibility to escoms to act as nodal agencies. As per MNRE guidelines, consumers are given a 40 percent subsidy for up to 3kW installations and a 20 percent subsidy for installations above 3kW.

Bengaluru has huge potential to use solar energy in power houses with many citizens interested in switching to cleaner forms of energy.

According to an estimate by Bescom, since 2014, consumers have installed solar rooftops worth 175.259 MW even without the subsidy. Bescom, at its end, succeeded in building another 4 MW.

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