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 beneficiaries.
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
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 measured.
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.