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Solar Water Heating Industry Newsletter

Solar Water Heating Industry Newsletter

A newsletter for building professionals and others interested in developments within the New Zealand solar water heating industry. The newsletter is prepared when we feel that we have something to say but probably on a quarterly basis. You have been sent a copy as you have indicated a professional interest in solar water heating, or your name has come to our attention through industry activities. Please advise us if you do not wish to receive future editions.

Notes from the Chair of the Solar Industries Association

This newsletter reports on the growth of SWH installations that is now been consistently occurring for the last 18 Months. The 23% growth in installations that occurred during 2002 probably reflects the natural growth that underlies the communities increasing acceptance that SWH is a worthy investment for many people. On top of that during 2003 there has been greater promotion of SWH, plus the electricity shortage, which have both contributed to a heightened community awareness of the value of SWH. The resulting increase in the number of installations has been tracking at around 40-50% during the first half of this year.

The growth in SWH also reflects on the support that Government has provided the industry over the last 18 months. The partnership between SIA and EECA has resulted in substantial achievements such as the introduction of an accreditation system, a Code of Practice, and the production of informative information on SWH. This partnership continues and during this coming year will be focused on SWH installers, a system comparison mechanism, and greater promotion.

The disappointing situation of the difficulty of getting plumbers and other building professionals interested in SWH as a business still continues. During this coming year the Association will continue its work with these groups to demonstrate that they can make money out of SWH as suppliers expand into regional areas. SIA would be pleased to hear from building professionals who want to become more involved in SWH.

It is with some remorse that this will be my last news letter as chair I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who I have worked with over the last three years for their support and input into the varied and interesting discussions we have had . I will continue to have an input into the SIA and wish my successor all the best in their role as chairman .

Cheers for now Nick Williamson Chairman Solar Industries Association

Industry Growth The number of SWH installations is reported monthly by suppliers. Analysis of this data shows that during the year 2002 the growth of collector area installed increased by 23% over the previous year. Over the first half of this year the increase has been tracking at around 40-50% and indications are that it will continue at this level.

Government Funding During the 2002/3 financial year EECA provided an estimated quarter of a million dollar to grow the SWH industry. This money was used to undertake the following; Management of the Association Establishment of the supplier accreditation scheme Preparation of the Code of Practice Funding a pilot bid-in incentive programme Market survey Promotion with plumbers General SWH promotion

EECA funded incentive programme During April – June EECA undertook a pilot bid-in programme and funded successful SWH suppliers for five different incentive schemes installing 225 systems. A total of $120,000 was provided by EECA and each supplier ran their own incentive scheme. Three of the schemes were based on free interest loans while the other two were specific community based.

The pilot programme provided a lot of useful information on such schemes and will be used to develop future promotion programmes.

Building Consents SIA has been investigating how to standardise and limit the requirements for building consents. Currently the requirements and cost for building consents varies throughout the country. In some cases they can add about 10% to the cost of the system. If you are aware of a Council that has good procedures and an acceptable fee mechanism could you advise the SIA Executive Officer. We would like role models that can be promoted to other Councils. SIA would also like to know of Councils at the other extreme so that we can work with them to see if they can reduce costs and other requirements.

Code of Practice The Code of Practice for Manufacture and Installation of SWH Systems has been revised and is available from the website. The Code is a continually evolving document and SIA welcomes comment on its adequacy and its usefulness. It was written as an informative document to potential purchasers of SWH systems, to establish the requirements for manufacture and installation, and to provide guidance on acceptable solutions.

Potential purchasers of SWH systems should use the Code as a reference when discussing water heating requirements with suppliers.

Solar Water Heating Training Discussions are still underway with Technical Institutes on the establishment of a training course leading to a Certificate for SWH Installation. It is hoped that the course will be offered in early 2004. The course is likely to be standalone and initially offered only to registered plumbers. Once established it is hoped that it will be able to be offered more widely.

Use of Accredited Solar Water Heating Supplier Logo Building professionals are reminded to deal only with accredited SWH suppliers. You should look for this logo on accredited supplier’s promotion material.

Note: Associate members of the Association can not use the SIA logo until they have demonstrated that they have quality systems and become accredited.

SWH Tender Documents As a greater interest has developed for the installation of SWH systems into commercial buildings SIA has been requested by a number of architects for standard tender documents. SIA is interested in hearing from anyone who has developed documentation that has proven useful for commercial tender situations. SIA will then work with MasterSpec to develop standard documentation which can be available to architects and building services engineers. Simplifying tender documentation is seen as removing a significant barrier to the uptake of SWH in commercial applications.

SIA Website a Hit The SIA website has recently been updated with the addition of further information on SWH including a checklist of what to expect from accredited SWH suppliers. The website has an average 500-900 visits per month. This is pleasing as it the main means of providing information on SWH to potential purchasers and building professionals

Increased Membership of Solar Industries Association SIA has recently received three further applications for associate membership. This takes the membership up to: 12 accredited suppliers 18 associate members

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