Tasmania: Hobart City Council is offering ratepayers a $500 incentive to install a gas-boosted solar hot water system.
Western Australia: Rebates are offered to households who install environmentally friendly, two or more panel gas-boosted solar water heaters. Rebates of $500 are available for natural gas-boosted solar water heaters, while $700 rebates are available for LPG-boosted solar water heaters used in areas without reticulated gas.
Australian Capital Territory: A rebate of up to $500 is provided to households for the installation of five star gas or solar hot water services that replace electric hot water services.
Queensland: No state government rebate scheme is offered, however installations of gas-boosted solar hot water systems in the state may still attract Australian Government RECs.
A boosted gas industry
Manufacturers and retailers of hot water systems have said that the uptake of gas-boosted solar hot water systems has increased over the last year, attributing increased sales to the federal and state government incentives and an increased level of awareness of environmental issues by consumers, plumbers, builders and retailers alike.
According to Hills Solar, the renewable energy hot water market has grown considerably over the last twelve months, moving from 7 per cent to almost
10 per cent of the total hot water market nationally. “One of the supporting factors is federal and state regulation, which aims to increase the uptake of renewable energy hot water products and high efficiency gas in both new homes and existing homes,” Product Manager Dominic Beshara says.
Rinnai Marketing Communications Manager Mike Officer says the company’s sales of gas-boosted solar hot water systems has increased by well over 100 per cent since 2007 due to the introduction of building regulations requiring ‘greenhouse friendly’ water heater systems along with the federal and state government rebates.
Further regulation of the industry looks set to continue reducing the installation of electric storage systems, says Steve Linton from Dux Hot Water.
“There are proposed federal electric storage bans for 2012, and even earlier in some states, which means that solar and heat pump systems will become mandatory in a lot of installations. For areas with access to natural gas it looks as though there will still be the option of installing a five star or greater rated product,” he says.
The positive impact of governments’ solar hot water rebates is also being felt in the gas distribution industry.