• Energy officials say the government will act firmly on those found to sell or import substandard clean energy products.
• Maundu asked members of the public to report any substandard solar goods to Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
The public has been called upon to whistleblow whenever they came across substandard energy products that frustrate efforts by the government to entrench the use of renewable energy in Kenya.
Ministry of Energy principal renewable energy officer Nicholas Maundu said the government is on the look-out and would act firmly on importers who import substandard products.
He said the members of the public should report the presence of poor quality solar batteries, solar panels, and solar home systems to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority for action.
He was speaking to journalists in Kitui on Thursday during a three-day governance and research workshop at Green Africa foundation Kitui centre.
Kitui county assistant director for energy Rachel Mwangangi said Kitui was flooded with sub-standard solar energy products.
“Our people are not getting value for money as the solar gadget break-down day after they were bought. The public need to be cushioned by the government watchdog agencies otherwise they are being fleeced with impunity,” claimed Mwangangi.
Muandu, who had also attended the Sustainable Energy Access Forum, said Kenyans were being fleeced due to ignorance and had a constitutional right to demand quality for solar products.
He said the government was making sure everyone who sells solar product has a vendor licence issued by EPRA. He said any substandard clean energy goods clandestinely shipped into the country must be reported to EPRA.
The chairman of Sustainable Energy Access Forum Kenya, John Kioli, said his organisation was propagating for the adoption of clean energy at households as it was environmentally friendly.
He also lamented that charcoal burning in Kitui had a catastrophic impact on the environment.
"Charcoal burning ends up depleting the Kitui environment while 80 per cent of the charcoal is used in urban centre and benefits the charcoal baron in the big town while the producers remain poor,” said Kioli.