Solar Use at 61% in W. Australia

Western Australians are leading the nation in the use of solar hot water systems for new homes, and the Government is offering AUD 1 million (US $782,393) in incentives to see more homes go solar.

Energy Minister Eric Ripper said in the last three financial years the average annual growth rate in solar hot water system take-up for new homes was 61 percent in Western Australia (WA) compared with 30 percent for the nation. “The onset of hot, sunny weather is a reminder of our abundant solar energy resources,” Ripper said. “Renewable energy is a good way to cut household bills and slash greenhouse gas emissions.” Ripper said 2,420 households have taken advantage of incentives of up to $1,000 to install solar hot water systems since the Government introduced a rebate scheme in 2001. By going solar, households could cut greenhouse gases by up to four tons a year and slash their energy bills by up to AUD 550 (US $430.28). Homeowners can qualify for AUD 600 off the purchase price of a family-sized gas boosted solar hot water system; $300 off the purchase price of a family-sized electric boosted solar hot water system that is fitted with a timer and installed in a new home; an additional $200 incentive for first home buyers; and an extra $200 for householders living in regions off the Western Power electricity grid.

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