Nice Sun, shame about the clouds
In New Zealand, solar rays are an abundant energy source. Many homes are exposed annually to 20 – 30 times more energy from the sun than they use in electricity or gas.
You can get, at the moment, from the government a $1,000 towards the cost of a loan to pay for a solar water heating system or a discount of $1,000 off the cost of installing a new system
Reduce your energy costs and carbon footprint
A solar water heating system can provide between 50 and 75 percent of your yearly hot water needs. It can be effective anywhere in New Zealand, even in less sunny areas. Over time, it can pay for itself through lower power bills. By using solar water heating, you’ll also be helping to reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions. It can be nice to know that no matter how much electricity/gas goes up you will can have plenty of hot water without worrying too much about the cost.
For an average household an effective solar water heating system will:
- cut about 2500kWh from your annual electricity use
- save between $350 and $450 a year, depending on the cost of your electricity or gas supply.
- save about 2 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year (assuming a mix of coal and gas fired electricity generation is avoided).
- Raise the value of your home. Every time there is an announcement of an increase in gas or electricity prices your home is going to look mighty attractive compared to others. Members of the Green Party will be lining up to buy it (maybe).
The basic solar heating systems consist of the following components:
The size of the system depends on how many people are in the household, which then determines how big a water tank and collector panel size you will need are approximately
|Number of people||Tank size (litres)||Collector panel area (m2)|
|3-4 people||200-270||2.5 to 5|
|5-6 people||270-360||3.75 to 6|
You will normally have between 1 and 3 solar panels with an area between 2.5m2 and 7m2.
It is cheaper to put solar heating in as the house is being built rather than after.
To have solar heating there is a few things that you must have.
You may need to add supports in the attic to carry the weight of the water tank if you are going to have it in the roof.
I will be giving out more details next time, but I would like to hear from the solar industry on the pros of their system and the problems/deficiencies with the other types.