BRIEF – 26 October 2009 – One in every two Australians want to switch to solar hot water in the next two years, according to a survey by Newspoll commissioned by solar hot water supplier Solarhart.

Newspoll surveyed  1062 home owners aged 18 to 64 to find that 55 per cent intended to take the plunge, up from the 8 per cent of householders that currently have solar hot water.
Environmental scientist and commentator, Tim Flannery,  said the results were exciting.

“Australians are among the highest greenhouse polluters on a per capita basis in the developed world, caused largely by the burning of fossil fuels for energy,” Professor Flannery said.

“Electric water heaters are a major contributor to the problem, accounting for roughly a quarter of household energy consumption.  By comparison, using a solar water heater saves about 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year,” he added.

Solahart’s National Manager, Stephen Cranch said the company expected the uptake would rival that of the internet and mobile phones.

“It’s also good news for Australian workers as it will create hundreds of new jobs in the industry,” Mr Cranch said in a media statement.

“Generous Government rebates are enticing droves of people to choose solar hot water systems, with most of the home-owners looking to change living in states that offer higher incentives, such as News South Wales and Victoria,” said Mr Cranch.

Mr Cranch said the combination of State and Federal rebates was between $1600 and $2800 when  solar hot water systems replaced electric water heaters.

“These rebates are on top of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) worth around $1000 (depending on system selected and the market price of the RECs) and in some cases a fully installed solar hot water system is around the same price as an electric water heater,

“Electricity and gas price hikes are also driving the shift and this is only set to escalate.”