New Zealand Recognizes Solar Water Heating Importance

The Government of New Zealand is doubling to $400,000 the incentive funding for purchasers of solar water heating systems.

Wellington, New Zealand – May 25, 2004 [] “The Government’s increased recognition for solar water heating in its budget is a vote of confidence for all home owners to install a system” said Roy Netzer, the Chairman of New Zealand’s Solar Industries Association. “This is another example of how the solar water heating industry and government are working together to encourage homeowners to think smart about their sources of energy.” How the funding for 2004-5 is to be used will depend on an evaluation of the current financial support initiative and other possibilities for promotion. This funding is in addition to other funding being provided by New Zealand’s Government through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority for solar industry capacity building. According to the Solar Industries Association, New Zealand’s solar water heating industry has been growing a 50-60% annually, based on the total number of systems being installed. “Surely more people recognize that using free solar energy is the smart choice and the annual energy saving pays off the system, however, on the bigger scale, the solar industry needs to grow ten fold before it will contribute a significant amount of energy savings to the overall energy balance of New Zealand,” said Netzer. “There are now 108 accredited installers around the country who can supply a range of accredited products,” Netzer said. “Those products are suitable for residential homes, farming and commercial applications such as food outlets where [large] quantities of hot water are required. Solar water heating is a smart choice because it’s the natural choice.”

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