Friday, July 13, 2007

Solar systems to face more scrutiny

"The government is addressing the poor state of solar hot water installations in many homes.
Parliament is concerned at growing evidence many system installations are substandard, with Energy Minister David Parker telling the Commerce Select Committee that about 80% of installations are done without building permits because consent fees are too high.
Parker says the government is to rectify the situation by standardising the consent process which will encourage councils to lower their fees.
He says a cash grant scheme will also be launched for solar water heating suppliers which meet quality standards.
National Party energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee says while the emphasis on encouraging solar water heating is laudable, steps must be taken to ensure the installations are of high quality.
Brownlee says there should be a body monitoring standards and he believes the Building Act should be looked at to ensure the problem is fixed."

Source: TV1 Business News
Gary Moller comments:
I tried to arrange a meeting with Nick Smith, the National Party Environmental Spokesman, early in December of last year. It was a frustrating exercise; there was little sign of interest and nothing since. I wondered why?

However; it is good to see that the National Party is finally sitting up and paying more attention than before.

The building consents matter will finally get sorted out. However; it looks like National along with the others is quite content to leave the thousands of early adopters high and dry. If you don't have a building consent, it looks like National is not going to help you out. The Government has been actively encouraging you to install these systems and it was the responsibility of the installers to at the very, very least to advise you that you must have a buliding consent before doing the installation.

Gerry Brownlee's laudable statement also fails to make any mention of the widespread problem of corrosion and fading. Is this a convenient oversight of the inconvenient truth, or simply failure to properly read the reports? Why is there no product recall?

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