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A joint initiative of Australian, State and Territory and New Zealand Governments. Product Profile workshop Solar Water Heaters Department of Industry.

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Presentation on theme: "A joint initiative of Australian, State and Territory and New Zealand Governments. Product Profile workshop Solar Water Heaters Department of Industry."— Presentation transcript:

1 A joint initiative of Australian, State and Territory and New Zealand Governments. Product Profile workshop Solar Water Heaters Department of Industry and Databuild Research & Solutions On behalf of the E3 Committee

2 Introduction Michael Whitelaw and Warren Baldsing on behalf of E3 Committee Alison Scott, Databuild Research & Solutions Purpose of session – Present some key findings to inform discussion and feedback

3 Agenda Background: – E3 Committee – Interest in SWHs Product profile investigation – Key findings – Potential implications Workshop session on key questions for stakeholders

4 Introduction and Background

5 Introduction and background E3 = Equipment Energy Efficiency Jointly run by: – Australian federal, state and territory governments and the NZ government Aims to: – Improve energy efficiency of appliances and products – Improve productivity – Reduce energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions – Save consumers and businesses money from reduced running costs over life of products

6 E3 How does E3 achieve these aims? – Consumer information policies: Providing information to help consumers make good purchase decisions such as: – appliance labels – comparison tool – new ‘App’ – consumer guides – Targeted interventions: Conducting compliance with associated penalties Setting minimum standards to ensure the direct creation of energy efficiency improvements

7 E3’s interest in solar water heaters Water heating is a significant contributor to energy use and costs – Solar Hot Water has the potential to help address this – There is evidence to show that it can provide significant savings ($$, energy) – Substantial consumer, government and manufacturer investment has occurred in this technology However: – Various government and academic reports have raised questions about the actual savings that installed solar water heaters are delivering

8 E3’s Interest in solar water heaters (2) Keen to understand actual performance of SWH technology to realise their potential: – Opportunity to improve water heating energy efficiency – Issues and challenges faced in the market Explore whether policy interventions or other actions: – Are warranted or desirable ‘Nothing’ may be the preferred outcome – Should or could be undertaken by: E3 Other parties/ organisations

9 Reporting and discussing progress Report publicly on its market investigations and testing to date Discuss some fundamental questions the investigation has raised with stakeholders Provide an opportunity for stakeholders to participate Provision of written responses to E3 on these issues Reflect on all feedback and propose any next steps Followed by At this stage, E3 wishes to E3 will then

10 Product Profile Solar Water Heaters

11 Water heating Widely used across householders, businesses and government Second largest source of household energy use Fuelled by range of methods with variable costs to consumers * BIS Shrapnel 2012 TypeAustralia*NZKey consumer notes %$ Electric3676Substantial energy cost increases over past 5 years in Australia and forecast to rise in NZ Gas4621Energy costs have increased over past 5 years Heat pump30.2Heat pumps are efficient and can have an upfront cost barrier Solar122.6Suitability will vary between dwellings

12 Solar Water Heating Represents a good alternative to traditionally fuelled water heaters: Efficient Supplies more heat- energy than the energy it consumes Cost-Effective Uses significantly less energy than traditional water heaters Tried & True Proven technology with a degree of consumer recognition

13 Types of solar water heaters 2 main types of solar water heaters

14 SWH market Sales have fluctuated over the past few years *BIS Shrapnel 2014 Sales in Australia* Water heater typeMarket share % Electric27 Gas44 Solar25 Heat pump4

15 Drivers of growth SWHs Replacement rate & pace of construction Purchase & installation costs Expected savings in energy costs Consumer perceptions of energy prices Access to reticulated gas Financial incentives & rebates Regulations

16 E3 market investigation Comprised 3 main elements Review Of existing literature Independent testing Of different types of SWHs (focused on residential installations) To industry recognised standards Some monitoring Of SHWs ‘in- situ’ To investigate field performance of some products

17 Key Findings

18 What affects SWH’s performance? Factors impacting on performance Location & climate Solar levels Incoming water temperatures Installation quality Thermostat & control settings Water usage pattern Heat loss Heating efficiency Means of operation Efficiency of SWHs can vary according to a number of factors …

19 Key issues highlighted Relating to: Independent & claimed energy savings Modelled & ‘real life’ energy savings Modelled & ‘real life’ energy savings Non- compliance & Standards

20 Independent and claimed energy savings Independently assessed energy savings were slightly lower than those claimed. Based on testing that was: Consistent Testing of all product components - rather than tailoring each test to give the ‘best’ result Standardised The standard ‘energy savings’ model method Neutral Using the default Clean Energy Regulator (CER) ‘instruction’ file - measurements and calculations rather than manufacturer supplied file

21 Climate zone differences Tests showed that the performance of SWHs varies according to climate – Expected / claimed energy savings and hot water may not be achieved particularly in colder climates Furthermore, the tests were conducted in warmer temperatures – Differences between claimed and tested results may be greater in colder months.

22 Modelled and real life energy savings The table shows the difference between what is actually happening in terms of modeled and real life energy savings: – There is variability in the performance between different SWHs – The modelled results are also not as accurate – Expected energy savings may not be achieved SWH System Energy consumed (kWh) ModelObserved Model E1 (SE250) Model E2 (SF415) Model E8 (TF300) Reference ESWH

23 In the field it was observed that one SWH, provided energy saving of only 12% compared to an electric water heater Energy savings observed in field tests

24 Points to note Energy losses and (frost) damage potential are inadequately addressed by model and related claims There appears to be little, if any, checking of compliance There is auditing of manufacturer/supplier inputs by the Clean Energy Regulator – But no full independent testing or associated compliance checks in Australia or New Zealand

25 Literature review and consumer feedback Tests were complemented by a literature review and consumer feedback that identified: – A degree of non-compliant / poorly operating SWH components – Some SWHs are poorly installed – Concerns about information on SWH performance, suitability and energy efficiency being Inconsistent Unreliable Difficult to find or understand

26 Impact of poor information Expected energy savings and hot water may not be achieved if: Claimed energy savings higher than independently assessed savings Independent results higher than those in ‘real life’ situations Lack of adequate information limits purchasers’ ability to: Make informed decisions on SWH purchases Identify most suitable SWH for their circumstances There is a clear gap between the savings that consumers and businesses are told to expect and those that they actually receive

27 What are the potential implications? Purchasers struggle to make best decision for needs due to information issues Energy savings not realised - Particularly in colder climates - Less $$$ saved Poor rates of consumer satisfaction with performance of SWHs

28 Workshop session Key questions to discuss

29 Closing Comments Post-Session Questions & Feedback Collation of Information Subject: Solar Water Heaters Product Profile Closing date extended to 3 rd October 2014

30 Potential questions Market Performance issues Information needs

31 Market Sales of water heaters are ongoing: Replacement New dwellings Things are changing: Energy prices The RET Review (Australia) Which technologies do you think consumers will favour in the next few years?

32 Performance issues Claimed energy savings were too high? Results from energy savings model were higher than actual performance? Is it a problem that… And if so… Is there a case to formally examine policies to address the shortcomings?

33 Information needs What is the minimum amount of information required to enable consumers to make an informed SWH purchase? – Size of tank – Efficiency of collectors – Operating costs – Energy savings – Emissions levels – Climate and dwelling -related information, e.g. relevance and/or suitability – Ability to compare with other, e.g: brands and water heater technologies What, if any, other information is highly desirable? To what extent is the current information on expected ‘energy savings’ important to purchasers?

34 Closing Comments Post-Session Questions & Feedback Collation of Information Subject: Solar Water Heaters Product Profile Closing date extended to 3 rd October 2014


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