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Solar Water Heating Ind. Welcomes Energy Target

17 October 2002
Press Release

Solar Water Heating Industry Welcomes The Government’s Renewable Energy Target

The solar water heating industry supports the renewable energy target released by the Government yesterday.

Mr Nick Williamson of the Solar Industries Association said that “With the recent increases in the price of electricity, solar water heating systems are now a very sound investment and suppliers are preparing for an expected increase in sales. The industry is confident that with the assistance outlined by the Government that it will be able to achieve it’s contribution to the target.”

Mr Williamson referred to results from recent research that indicated that “42% of residential electricity costs arise from heating water and 50-70% of hot water costs can be saved by installing a solar hot water system. This is a financial payback of 12-15% per annum depending on household energy use. The saving is even higher for motels, rest-homes or hospitals. “

The Solar Industries Association (SIA), which represents manufacturers, importers and installers of solar water heating systems, has already responded to the Governments support for solar water heating as outlined in the Government’s National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy so it is already on path to meeting the target.

SIA also welcomes the support for renewable energy industry associations announced in the target document. “SIA is working through a three year Action Plan with a goal of increasing the public awareness of solar water heating as an essential component of every house and commercial building, and developing the market so that 10,000 solar water systems per annum are being installed by 2005.”

Primary amongst the activities being undertaken is clarification of the standards that systems are expected to meet in New Zealand. Modern solar water heating systems are built and installed to high standards but customers need to know what those standards are. The standards are for both manufacture and installation of systems and provide assurance to purchasers that the system they buy will last for at least 15 - 20 years without any need for attention.

To provide assurance to potential purchasers that their system meets the appropriate standards, the Association has also established an accreditation system. In future purchasers of solar water heating systems will be able to use SIA accreditation as a guarantee that their purchase meets the relevant manufacturing and installation standards.

Background information is available from the Solar Industries Association website www.solarindustries.org.nz.

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