India gets world's first helpline for solar water heaters

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The Indian ministry of new and renewable energy has established a voice-activated national helpline on solar thermal water heaters to raise awareness of the technology and answer the questions of consumers.

The move is part of the initiatives of the UNDP/GEF Global Solar Water Heating Project (GSWHP). The helpline has been operating since September 15, 2011, and is managed by the Solar Thermal Federation of India.

Support in Hindi and English

The helpline offers a toll-free number (1800 2 33 44 77), with service hours from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. between Monday and Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The two employed call centre agents offer help in both Hindi and English.

The world’s first national helpline to answer questions about the solar thermal sector was established to direct clients to the nearest trader or supplier of solar water heaters in their region. Manufacturers can pay a small fee to be registered with the call centre and attract clients to their network of dealers and installers. The ministry allows only manufacturers, which have been approved as channel partners to take part in the national incentive program.

In addition, the helpline will help better disseminate information about the benefits of solar water heaters, as well as information about incentives and financing related to solar thermal technology use.

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