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Solar Water Heating Industry Newsletter

14 January 2005

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 Click here if you do not wish to receive future editions.

The Demand And The Industry Are Growing, And We Are Gearing Up

2004 has been the third successive year for continuous growth of solar water heating installations.

SIA has established a two year plan, to gear up the industry for growth in the quantity while preserving the high quality of the SWH installed throughout New Zealand.

Areas of activity to notice in this newsletter:

- Government support of Solar Water Heaters continues

- SIA is opening an installers training course together with Waikato Institute of Technology.

- We keep standards up by reviewing and promoting the Code of Practice and integrating with other building standards.

- SIA continue working with local councils to make building consent process easier

- There are now 150 Supplier Approved Installers throughout New Zealand.

During 2005 the industry will focus on commercial solar water heating applications such as at rest-homes, hospitals or hotels where large volumes of water are used each day. The industry is interested to hear from architects and building services engineers on opportunities and barriers in this area.

We trust your support of our industry and we welcome your feedback and your suggestions.

Wishing you happy and sunny 2005

Roy Netzer


Solar Industries Association

Government Support of Solar Water Heaters Continues

The solar water heating industry has developed a further partnership with Government with the introduction of a new finance incentive scheme to assist reduce the purchase cost of solar water heating units. The new interest free loans scheme means that homeowners can now purchase a solar unit with no upfront payments, and spread the payments over up to three years.

The association has worked closely with EECA to establish the current scheme which is based on the industry experience gained from two previous trial schemes. The interest free loans complement normal purchasing arrangements and signify yet another step that the industry has been taking as it becomes a mainstream energy market participant.

The current scheme is based on the Government funding the interest for a loan taken out to purchase and install a SWH system. Loans of up to three years are available from accredited suppliers. There are also no upfront payments.

Information on the loans is available from the association website

International Solar Water Heating Workshop

The Joint Australian/New Zealand Solar Standards Committee is holding its next meeting in Wellington and a number of Australian solar experts and Government officials will be attending. The Solar Industries Association and EECA have invited some of them to present papers at a workshop on the 9 February 2005 in Wellington (9.00am - 5.00pm). The aim of the workshop is to better link the NZ and Australian solar industries and to gain the benefit of hearing from such experienced solar industry people.

There are a number of objectives for the day:

- Relationship building between the NZ and Australian industries,

- Learning about the respective NZ and Australian incentive programmes (NSW and South Australia have both introduced dwelling energy performance standards which are also under consideration in NZ)

- Introduction of how the system energy performance testing is carried out and what the results mean.

- Learning about how the Aust/NZ SWH standards are being set.

The workshop is an opportunity to not only allow the NZ solar water heating industry to learn about what is happening in Australia but also to invite key Government officials (EECA, Ministry for Environment, Department of Building etc), representatives from other organisations (Building Research Association of NZ, Master Plumbers Association, Sustainable Energy Forum, Institutes of Technology), interested energy companies, and individuals interested in SWH. to be updated of where solar water heating technology has progressed to.

The programme for the workshop is just being finalised and will be sent to you within the next few days once final speakers have been confirmed.

Industry Growth

The area of SWH installations as reported monthly by suppliers has continued to grow for another successive year. Analysis of this data shows that during the year to October 2004 growth of collector area installed increased by 48% over the same period for the previous year.

Solar Water Heating System Installation Training

The Waikato Institute of Technology have now completed their plans for the establishment of a training course leading to a Certificate for SWH Installation. The first course will be available in February 2005, with further courses to follow as demand indicates a need for a course.

The course will be a mixture of distance self learning and hands on experience. The details of the course are available in a flyer attached to this newsletter.

The initial courses are being run with a preference for registered plumbers. A subsequent version of the course will be run for SWH system installation managers.

Discussions are also underway with a gas industry trainer for a solar /gas system installation course for gas fitters.

Code of Practice

The Code of Practice for Manufacture and Installation of SWH Systems has again being revised. The Code (download here) is a continually evolving document and SIA welcomes comment on its adequacy and its usefulness. There have been a number of new additions to the Code and all building practitioners are encouraged to review this latest edition.

All installers of SWH systems are expected to use the Code to ensure that they are aware of installation requirements expected by the industry.

The association has also been reviewing the adequacy of the technical standard AS/NZS 2712 and comments or suggested improvements are welcomed. The joint Australian/New Zealand Standards Committee is meeting in Wellington in February and we would like to take up any suggested changes at that meeting.

Building Consents

SIA has been discussing with several Council Building Inspectors how to standardise and limit the requirements for building consents for SWH installations. The SIA proposal that consents be based on the acceptance by Councils of Producer Statements signed by the installers has been favourably received and it is hoped will be adopted by other Councils.

SIA Accredited Suppliers List

There are now 12 accredited suppliers and between them they now have 150 Supplier Approved Installers. This has been a great increase since the beginning of 2004 when there were only a few approved installers. A full list of accredited suppliers and their approved installers is available from the SIA website .

Back copies of the newsletter are available from the website

For further information on the activities of the solar water heating industry see the website


Information Sheet:

Short Course Certificate in Solar Hot Water Installations,

In Partnership with the

NZ Solar Industries Association and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority

Programme 60 hours in total

40 hours of independent study time and preparation

20 hours practical at Wintec, Avalon Campus, Hamilton

Admission and Entry:

- There is open entry to the programme, although candidates must be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of plumbing and associated skills, and preference will be given to applicants who are Registered Plumbers.


- The Short Course Certificate in Solar Hot Water Installations is a Wintec qualification developed to provide a recognised industry installation certificate for solar water heating systems within New Zealand;

- The programme was developed in association with the Solar Industries Association (SIA) and the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA);

- The content was developed to meet the technical standards within ASNZS3500, Part 4.2003, ASNZS2712, and the SIA Code of Practice for the Manufacture and Installation of SWH Systems in NZ.


- To provide students with the knowledge and skills to be able to select appropriate equipment and associated installation practices to install the main types of solar hot water units.

Graduate Profile:

On successful completion of the programme, students will be able to:

- Demonstrate knowledge to undertake the design and installation of residential and simple commercial applications, including using solar energy as a pre-heater to commercial heat plant;

- Demonstrate an awareness of the safety criteria associated with the installation of SHW units;

- Demonstrate an awareness of the structural integrity and weather tightness issues associated with a roof mounting of a SHW operation;

- Demonstrate knowledge of the relevant building codes and building concepts associated with SHW installations, and an awareness of the process to obtain Building Consents and ensure compliance.


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