Solar water heating coming into its own


The time is right for solar
Solar water heating has been around in New Zealand for several decades, but it’s only now coming into its own, due to rising energy costs, concern about climate change, and improved quality of products on offer.

As the tough times bite, home and business owners want to make every dollar count — not just now, but also into the future.
New Zealanders are increasingly aware that the appliances they buy, their choice of heating systems and design of their homes make a big difference to their ongoing energy bills. Many New Zealanders now also want to make the right choice for the environment.

Builders and architects are playing an ever-increasing role, advising and helping their clients with the range of options when they build or renovate.
Not only can they help them incorporate these elements into the design of their home, but they can also make ongoing running costs a real consideration at the design phase of projects.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has offered ENERGYWISE™ grants for solar water heating installations for the past three years, and has worked with the solar water heating industry to improve product and installation standards, and to help consumers invest in the right system for their needs.

EECA is here to help
There are now more suppliers and installers, more competition and better standards. EECA provides independent information and advice on energy performance and choosing the right system.

We help consumers make choices about the energy efficiency options that are right for them.
The advice architects give clients is important to choices customers make. EECA is making it easier for home owners and businesses to be more energy efficient by providing quality information and research available, as well as grants and funding to help them with the costs.

Choosing a solar water heating option — $1000 grants available
Solar water heating systems are made up of a number of components, including the tank, solar collector (panels), pump and controller or timer.

For residential or small business use, the easiest solution is to choose a packaged system where the components are already matched together.
EECA’s database of packaged solar water heating systems provides an easy way to compare the indicative performance of systems that are eligible for government grants of $1000.
Check out the web site

$1000 grant for heat pump water heaters
New Zealanders have embraced heat pumps as an efficient form of space heating. The same technology can heat water too, and EECA is running a pilot scheme to test the effectiveness of heat pump water heaters in New Zealand conditions.

EECA is providing a $1000 grant to home owners who install heat pump water heaters and help them monitor the energy savings.
This is in addition to the $1000 grant available for eligible residential solar water heating systems. For more information, see

Help to design a solar water heating system
For residential or small business use, the easiest solution for builders or architects is to choose a packaged system where solar water heating components, such as the tank, collectors and controllers, are already matched together.

For larger commercial applications, a bespoke solar water heating system is required. EECA provides free software for building designers wanting a solar water heating system to meet the specific needs of the premises.

This software enables a designer to alter aspects of a system, such as collector type, system load or configuration to see how these changes affect performance.
The software uses New Zealand climatic data. To get a free copy, contact:

• EECA is here to help, with invaluable resources for both you and your client, with the most comprehensive independent information and advice on energy efficiency in the country. For more information visit

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