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Solar water heating grows with govt help - Mallard

7 February 2004

Solar water heating grows with govt help - Mallard

A government finance assistance programme to help people buy solar water heating units is showing significant growth in the use of solar water heating in homes, Energy Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

Trevor Mallard said that if the present annual rate of growth of around 40 per cent is sustained, the industry target of 10,000 units sold per year would be reached in about four and a half years. This means about one third of New Zealand homes would have solar water heating units in about 15 years. "This is great news and I'd like to encourage home-owners to seriously check out the help we are offering. Solar energy is a renewable source of energy, which is better for the environment, and also a cost-effective energy option.

"Solar water heating has huge potential to reduce electricity demand, but that depends on New Zealanders’ awareness of solar as a viable option for homes and businesses.

“It is encouraging that in 2004 approximately 2300 new solar water heating systems were installed in New Zealand homes - an increase of 40 per cent on 2003.

“Solar energy has a huge future in New Zealand, as a reliable, economical form of water heating. A family might, on average, expect to save between $350 and $400 per year after installing a solar water heater. Water heating accounts for approximately 30 to 40 per cent of a household's power bill, and a solar water heater can save up to 75 per cent of that. " The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) launched the revised incentive scheme in November last year, to increase the uptake of solar water heating units.

Under the scheme, an ongoing government initiative, money can be borrowed on an interest free basis to pay for the purchase and installation of a system.

More than 24,800 homes in New Zealand currently have solar water heating. The government, through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) works closely with the Solar Industry Association to meet the industry target of increasing annual sales to 10,000 units.


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