Solar Hot Water Installations Begin

Solar Hot Water Installations Begin

The first of 160 solar hot water systems – and counting – has been installed for the Solar New England Region Project.

“The Knable family of Armidale are officially the first family to have their evacuated tube solar hot water system installed under the community Project,” said Adam Blakester, Convenor of the New England Sustainability Strategy.

The Solar Project is the first major initiative of the New England Sustainability Strategy and has raised the profile of this sustainable technology, made solar hot water significantly more affordable by bulk-buying and installation in partnership with Endless-Solar.

Most experts agree that converting to solar hot water is the most effective action a household can take to make their home more sustainable, reduce their power bills and reduce greenhouse emissions.

“We decided to go solar for many reasons,” said Dennis Knable. “Saving money and lightening our environmental footprint were key. Also important for us was getting a high quality system, with warranties, that was installed by local people. Lastly, after checking out every type of system we could think of – solar, heat pumps, gas, instant, etc. – we chose evacuated tube solar for its low impact on the Earth and our wallet.”

“The Project has also increased green collar skills and work opportunities for plumbers and their apprentices,” added Blakester. “The Knable's solar hot water system was installed by Hone's Plumbing who is one of more than twenty plumbers that were trained by the Master Plumbers' Association under the Project. The electrical work was handled by Vince Williams.”

“We joined the solar program for a couple of reasons,” said Adam Hone, proprietor of Hone's Plumbing. “First was the opportunity to become established in the sustainable hot water industry which is the way of the future. To be competitive in business today you really need to keep up with modern technology. Also, this Project is so positive, it is good for our local economy and more importantly is helping with the world's greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Our goal is to make the New England a 'solar region',” continues Blakester. “This project builds on our solar power project. As at today there are more than 160 residents signed up for solar hot water and our goal is for 400 systems in total – equal to 1% of the residents of the New England Region.”

The Solar Region Project is a community enterprise involving regional networks and organisations such as the New England Credit Union, Southern New England Landcare, TAFE New England Institute and Talloires Declaration Committee, to form a comprehensive project team of expertise and promotion.

Residents can find out more about the Solar New England Region Project and the highly affordable high quality Solar Hot Water System and rebates available at www.ness.wikidot.com or by calling Liz Gardiner, Regional Coordinator, on (02) 6778-7249.

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