Riddells Creek Sustainability Newsletter

2 April 2008


Filed under: Solar Hot Water — Lyn H. @ 3:53 pm

Media Release from the Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change and the Minister for Resources:

Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Gavin Jennings and Minister for Energy and Resources, Peter Batchelor, today announced a $33 million package to encourage households in regional and rural Victoria to switch to solar hot water. Residents in regional and rural areas will now be able to claim a rebate of up to $2500 back from the Brumby Government for the installation of a solar hot water unit. “This rebate is part of our plan to support households across rural and regional Victoria to shift from gas or electric hot water systems to solar hot water which is more energy efficient and cheaper to run over time,” Mr Jennings said. “We recognise that for some people the cost of installing solar hot water means making the shift is a challenge and that’s why we are providing up to $2500 to help cover those costs. “It means that an upgrade to hot water will now cost less than the normal replacement cost of an electric gas or gas hot water system which is around $1000.” The introduction of the rebate coincides with the end of the Network Tariff Rebate which finishes at the end of this month. Mr Jennings said the solar hot water rebates would be made available for the installation of electric/solar systems (where reticulated gas is not available) and gas/solar (where gas is available). “The new $30 million program has been introduced due to the success of the solar hot water rebate scheme for new homes,” Mr Jennings said. “Under the new scheme homes across rural and regional Victoria will be able to replace their gas or electric hot water systems with a solar hot water system at a personal cost between $500 and $800. “Over the next three years we’ll actively encourage regional and rural Victorians to shift to solar when replacing their hot water systems. Country Victorians who make the change to solar hot water and take up the rebate can expect to save about $245 off their electricity bills each year – a significant saving.” The Network Tariff Rebate (previously called the Special Power Payment) was a temporary measure introduced in 2002, to assist customers through the transition to full retail competition in the electricity market after the Kennett Government privatised the electricity network. It will conclude on March 31. A three-year extension was put in place in February, 2005 in recognition that country households were still paying more than their city counterparts due to higher distribution costs. Mr Batchelor said the Network Tariff Rebate had delivered on its aim to support electricity customers in regional, rural and outer suburban areas during the early transition to a privatised electricity market. “Energy retailers are now delivering better prices for customers and Victoria is considered one of the most competitive electricity markets in the world,” Mr Batchelor said. “In 2003, the average differential between country and city power pills was around 4.5 per cent. Today that gap has closed to less than 2 per cent. The benefits of retail competition are now being realised. “Since the rebate was introduced more than 1.1 million Victorian customers have shared in over $320 million as a result of the rebate.” Mr Batchelor said while its value differed across customer groups – the average Network Tariff Rebate had been about $29 per customer per year – around $7 a quarterly electricity bill. “Competition in the Victorian energy retail market is vigorous and typical bill savings for customers who switch from their standard offer to a competitive tariff are at least five per cent, which is greater than the saving offered by the rebate,” Mr Batchelor said. The Brumby Government will provide $2.4 million to run training programs for regional Victoria’s 1400 plumbers and an e-Learning program to provide on-going professional development to assist with installations as part of the solar hot water rebate program. There will also be active promotion of the rebate across Victoria. Mr Batchelor said the rebate program would encourage the establishment of a solar hot water industry in Victoria involving local manufacturers, assembly, distribution and installation. The rebate will take effect from July 1 this year and run until June 2011. It is expected to help save households between 50,000 and 72,000 black balloons each year over the life of the hot water system.

20 March 2008

The Best Solar Hot Water

Filed under: Solar Hot Water — Julie @ 9:22 pm

The best deal we have researched on installing a solar hot water system is through the Ballarat sustainability group (Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions Inc).

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For information go to their website, and scroll down to the section on solar hot water.

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