This activity is part of a Local Action Plan, which is part of the structure of the City of
Buenos Aries Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Initiative on climate change.
Through the installation of solar water heaters in homes in the Los Piletones in the southern
part of the city, the activity aims to improve environmental quality and quality of life for
inhabitants through sustainable technologies and knowledge transfer. The five pilot solar water
heaters installed use an average of four panels collectors (community centre) and 2 solar
panels (residential homes) attached to water accumulator tanks of 650 and 175 liters
respectively. While exact results for greenhouse gas reductions was not available, anecdotal
evidence suggests that the project is having an impact on the quality of life for the
The pilot solar water heaters installed at the community center work with four 2 m2 panels
collectors attached to a water accumulator tank of 650lt. In the case of residential homes, one
2 m2 solar panel, each, is attached to a water accumulator tanks of 175liters. While exact
results on energy saving was not available, anecdotal evidence suggests that the project is
having a positive impact on the quality of life for the beneficiaries.
In shanty towns undergoing urbanization, water heating (where existent) is produced by means
of electric heaters due to the lack of natural gas connection. These electric devices are
generally precariously connected entailing, in many cases, high risk. The installation of
solar collectors in these sorts of neighbourhoods allows for users to have hot water all year
long, while at the same time, reducing electrification risks and future energy costs.
Stakeholders and local governments have worked for several years to humanize these shanty
urban spaces. One of the big stumbling blocks has been access to electricity. Thus developing
a policy and the technological skills and awareness of clean, renewal energy sources is a
critical need to complement development plans and strategies for these areas.
For this activity, the direct beneficiaries include 3,860 people in the “Los
Piletones” neighbourhood, who use the sports centre, as well as the five families who
received the water heaters. Community consultation was a key factor, as the neighbors
committee worked together with a Local Government Corporation on the selection of homes
receiving the water heaters. A second stage in the activity will include training for local
residents on the installation, use and maintenance of the water heaters.
The implementation of this activity using one of the most cost-effective renewable energies
available to the country, not only increases the product’s market visibility, but
allows it to become a strategic element in sustainable building. According to the 2010
census, the population living in poor settlements is around 163,584 inhabitants. These are
the targets for the expansion of this activity.
Already, another low income neighbourhood, Villa 1-11-14 was selected for a similar pilot
water heater scheme. Two community centres and five residential buildings will have solar
water heaters connected. The effects of this pilot on beneficiaries will also be
As for leading to transformational change, it is important to consider the awareness raising
effects, bearing in mind the community center is used by children, who happen to be great
communicators for best practice techniques.