The new administration’s ‘Magey Solar’ programme, designed to generate power by installing rooftop solar panels on private homes, was launched on Tuesday.

The programme, aimed at reducing electricity bills and decreasing reliance on fossil fuels, will be implemented in collaboration with government agencies, utility companies, and foreign donors, said the Minister of Climate Change, Environment, and Energy, Thoriq Ibrahim, during the launch ceremony held at the Radio Building.

The first phase of the programme, which will see solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation systems provided exclusively to households, commenced on Tuesday. A total of three megawatt (MW) solar PV systems will be provided to households under this phase.

With the commencement of the project, the administration has also opened a public tender for the supply of the solar power generation systems to households.

Under the first phase of the programme, those who wish to install the systems will be offered instalment schemes through utility companies, with the systems installed on a net metering basis, Minister Ibrahim said. Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the power grid.

The state spends US$800 million annually on importing oil for energy generation and MVR 2.3 billion annually as fuel subsidies, the minister said.

“So as our country grows, we all have to reduce our energy expenditure. If the money used for energy can be spent on something else for development, it will be used in a better way,” Ibrahim said.

“The end result of this programme is that [the public] will also reduce their electricity bills,” the minister said.

The new administration’s Week 14 manifesto includes reducing household electricity consumption, reducing dependency on fossil fuels for energy, and making it easier to install solar panels.