Prisons to be powered by solar electricity

Prisons to be powered by solar electricity

Solar panels will be installed at all 143 prisons throughout the country in a bid to reduce their electricity costs after the Corrections Department was found to have not paid the power bills in full in 2019, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said on Sunday.

According to Mr Somsak, the department in fiscal 2019 was allocated 217 million baht for power costs, but the actual consumption cost 372 million baht, leaving an overdue amount of 178 million baht.

In the same fiscal year, the department's water bills totalled 343 million baht --164 million baht more than the allocated budget of 178 million baht.

Last year's overdue electricity and water bills combined reached 342 million baht.

To reduce power costs, Mr Somsak said he had asked the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency's Energy Conservation Fund to help install solar cells at 143 prisons across the country with a budget of about 1,100 million baht.

The Corrections Department has also been instructed to replace older electrical appliances in its offices with power-saving equipment such as LCD lights.

The solar panels and new electrical appliances, supported by other power-saving measures to be introduced, are expected to help reduce the department's power costs by 45 million baht per year, Mr Somsak said.

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