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South Waikato DC encourages solar water heating

=Jeanette Fitzsimons
Government Spokesperson on Energy Efficiency


12 March 2008 Media Statement

South Waikato DC encourages solar water heating

Government Spokesperson on Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Jeanette Fitzsimons, today congratulated South Waikato District Council for its initiative to encourage solar water heating by waiving building consent fees.

"I am delighted that South Waikato District Council is taking this positive step to encourage homeowners to install solar water heating. Building consent fees for solar water heating vary significantly across councils and can be a price hurdle for homeowners considering installing a system."

South Waikato District Council is among five councils to commit to zero consent fees for solar water heating. Other councils to have committed to the initiative are Hamilton City Council, Waitakere City Council, Westland District Council and Carterton District Council.

"I strongly encourage other councils to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by following the example set by South Waikato District Council."

Hot water accounts for around $800 of an average household energy bill. A well-designed and installed solar water heating system can save up to 75 percent of a household's annual hot water bills. Solar water heating systems, including cylinder, typically cost between $4000 and $8000 installed.

South Waikato District Council is further setting an example by preparing to install solar panels at the South Waikato Indoor Heated Pools in Tokoroa. This follows a feasibility study funded by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) under its "Grants for Public Buildings" scheme which supports public sector organisations to independently evaluate and make informed decisions about solar water heating.

The Government is encouraging solar water heating as part of its broad approach to promoting energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy. The programme includes a website (www.energywise.govt.nz/solar) where consumers can get independent information about how to assess whether solar is the right solution for their homes, and a $500 grant for homeowners towards installing a complying solar water heating system, Ms Fitzsimons says.


ENDS

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