Think solar power before building
Advice from Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority website: solar.energywise.govt.nz
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 consumer.org.nz or compare power prices on powerswitch.org.nz.