Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Zero subscribers to govt solar power scheme TV3 News

A government scheme aimed getting more New Zealand home owners to use the sun to heat their waters has failed to attract a single taker.

$15 million was set aside last year to subsidise home solar panels – but no home-owners have taken the offer up.

Here is the link TV3 News video, including a cameo by Yours Truly!
Gary Moller comments:
Again I take issue with statements by Janette Fitzsimmons. For a solar water heating system to be able to last more than a few years - let alone 20 - then the price paid has to be a factor. Solar panels are placed in the most exposed places - atop roofing, exposed to howling gales, salt-laden water, frost and baking heat - and intense UV in New Zealand.

I have heard this time and again from people within the solar industry that the only way the price will come down is by skimping on the quality of the materials. To date, the evidence of the New Zealand situation is that there are few solar water heating systems that are of a quality of materials and installation that will last more than a few years without showing signs of significant deterioration (This website is bountiful with examples and reports of the current shortfalls).

Incidentally, the Chromagen system that featured in the TV3 news item is quite expensive to purchase; but on close inspection, the quality of construction and attention to detail is obvious. Although it is still early days, no Chromagen units have yet been found with faults or signs of deterioration.

Go solar: But shop around and be prepared to pay more in order to get the quality necessary to get years of trouble-free performance.

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