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Families Can Save More Than 5% Of Electricity

Families Can Save More Than 5% Of Household Electricity

“Families concerned about hot water shortages should install a solar water heating system” Mr Nick Williamson of the Solar Industries Association said today. “Hot water costs are around 42% of household electricity expenditure.”

“The obvious way to reduce the energy consumption for residential homes would be to introduce a solar water heating system in each home to help meet heating requirements. This would be far more cost effective than other initiatives proposed, and is greatly in excess of the 5 or 10% saving sought by the Government, and it can be done quickly.” he said.

“A solar hot water system can save around 70% of hot water costs. Research has been undertaken by the Building Research Association of NZ (BRANZ) to determine how much energy is consumed in producing domestic hot water. The data from their Home Energy Efficiency Project (HEEP) has provided details for not only the amount of energy used for heating water, but also the standing losses involved in the systems, giving us a basis to work from when pushing for increased use of solar hot water systems. “

“The BRANZ project has thus far identified that the average New Zealand house consumes approximately 4000 kWh/year of energy for heating water at a cost of around $480 depending on where you live. This is approximately 42% of your electricity bill. The other point of interest is that with older hot water storage cylinders between 25% and 30 % of your hot water heating energy consumption is attributed to standing losses, averaging 1000-1100 kWh/system/year. In other words an inefficient storage cylinder alone can cost you around $120 per year.”

Mr Williamson said that ” with recent increases in electricity costs solar water heating is now very cost effective – imagine what it will be once the electricity supply companies increase the cost of electricity after this winter. Savings of around 3000kWh per year of electricity consumption can be achieved from a solar hot water system. This represents a cost saving of around $360 per year with the result that you can recover the cost of installing the system in 6-10 years. From then on using energy from the suns rays costs us nothing, except for those days when the weather is a little murky, in which case the system can be boosted by gas or an electric element at a very low cost.”

Mr Williamson said that “While the Government is already supporting the increased uptake of solar water heating systems the solar water heating industry is able to install a lot more systems very quickly and the electricity supply companies should be getting behind the promotion of solar energy now. The benefits of introducing a solar water heating system to a house must be recognised as having a measurable influence on the sustainability of New Zealand’s energy resources in the long term not just for this winter. Not only does the consumer benefit from reduced energy bills, there is also the luxury of unlimited hot water for as long as we have a sun. The reduced effects from using solar water heaters in homes are also a contributor to overall energy supply.

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