Australia’s Solar Hot Water Uptake Soaring

Australia’s Environment Minister Peter Garrett stated today that more than 6,000 Australians have already applied for the new $1,600 Federal Government solar hot water rebate under the $3.9 billion Energy Efficient Homes Package.
The increased interest in solar hot water systems hasn’t only helped create jobs in a challenging economy, but according to the Minister, "Solar hot water can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your power bills and help you cut down your impact on climate change – it makes all kinds of sense."
The solar hot water rebate helps people replace their old hot water system with a flat plate or evacuated tube solar hot water unit or heat pump system. In addition to the Federal Government’s rebate, some states also offer additional rebates and financial incentives; plus Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) also accompany each qualifying system that can then be sold or used as a further point of sale discount through some suppliers.
Mr Garrett said the Government aims to issue more than 300,000 solar hot water rebates over the next three years. 
Electric hot water heaters are one of the biggest points of energy consumption in a family home and around half of the homes in Australia have them. Electric and gas hot water systems account for approximately 20% of a household’s greenhouse gas emissions. By installing a solar hot water system, householders can dramatically reduce these emissions and also save up to 75% on water heating costs.
"This rebate is great news for households, businesses and the environment – it will help us weather the economic downturn and make our way to a low carbon future," Mr Garrett said.