Think so­lar power be­fore build­ing

Ad­vice from En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency and Con­ser­va­tion Author­ity web­site: so­lar.en­er­gy­

Real Estate Outlook - - Sections & Howhome -

A prop­erly de­signed and in­stalled so­lar wa­ter heat­ing sys­tem can slash a power bill. It can pro­vide be­tween 50 and 75 per cent of a house­hold’s yearly hot wa­ter needs.

Things to con­sider:

The de­sign and lo­ca­tion of your house are im­por­tant. They de­ter­mine how easy it is to have so­lar wa­ter heat­ing in­stalled, and how well the sys­tem per­forms. You’ll need a sec­tion of roof that faces due north, or close to due north, has good, all year-round sun, is large enough to ac­com­mo­date col­lec­tor pan­els, which are usu­ally be­tween 2 square me­tres and 7 square me­tres, and is near the hot wa­ter tank, your bath­room or laun­dry. It’s gen­er­ally more ex­pen­sive to in­stall so­lar wa­ter heat­ing in an ex­ist­ing house than in a new one. In an ex­ist­ing house you may need to add pipes in parts of the house that are hard to ac­cess. You may also need to add struc­tural fram­ing in the roof so it can carry the weight of the wa­ter tank, if you choose to have it on your roof. If you’ve de­cided to in­stall a so­lar wa­ter heat­ing sys­tem, you may be el­i­gi­ble for gov­ern­ment fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance of $1000. There are two op­tions for fund­ing: A con­tri­bu­tion of $1000 to­wards the cost of a loan to pay for a so­lar wa­ter heat­ing sys­tem, or a grant of $1000 to­wards the cost of a sys­tem. Only sys­tems pub­lished by the En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency and Con­ser­va­tion Author­ity are el­i­gi­ble for fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance. The author­ity pub­lishes par­tic­i­pat­ing sup­pli­ers’ sys­tems that have been tested to New Zealand Stan­dards and per­for­mance mod­elled. The cost of the sys­tem, in­clud­ing all in­stal­la­tion costs and build­ing con­sent cost, must not ex­ceed the thresh­old for that sys­tem set by the author­ity. How­ever, even if you pur­chase a sys­tem for higher than the thresh­old price, it may still be a good de­ci­sion for your house­hold and a cost ef­fec­tive pur­chase. The author­ity pro­vides an on­line cal­cu­la­tor to as­sist with the de­ci­sion and a step by step guide to fund­ing, buy­ing and in­stal­la­tion of an ap­proved sys­tem. For more in­for­ma­tion visit con­ or com­pare power prices on pow­

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