16 Mar 2011

Auckland Council considers solar heating plan

9:15 am on 16 March 2011

The Auckland Council is considering a renewable energy scheme that would involve installing solar hot water systems in 250 homes and businesses.

Auckland residents install an average of 275 solar water heating systems each year - less than 10% of the total across the country.

The council is looking at increasing that through a solar water heating pilot scheme, similar to one in Nelson in 2009.

Under the programme, households and businesses could get a heating system installed by an agreed supplier and defer the payment through finance.

The chair of West Auckland environmental group EcoMatters, Iris Donoghue, says such a scheme would be very popular, especially if the repayments could be made through rates.

She says the main barrier stopping people from investing in solar technology is the hefty one-off payment they usually have to make upfront.

The council's Environment and Sustainability Forum will consider the proposal for the pilot scheme on Thursday.