If you have been following the news, you may have heard that the Hazelwood plant in Latrobe Valley closed its doors just recently. It shut down after supplying energy in Victoria for more than five decades. The closure of the power station caused hundreds of workers to lose their jobs. But the contractors were not the only ones affected by this closure. Thousands of consumers in Victoria can no longer find cheap and coal-fired electricity. Thus, they have to endure the gas and electricity price increase.
The surge in gas and electric costs is not a problem in Victoria alone. It’s a nationwide concern. Aside from the closures of coal fired power stations, Australians do not have the choice but to deal with the inevitable gas price increase. It’s all because Australia is aiming to switch to cleaner energy. It’s a good move towards saving the environment but a decarbonised system costs more than coal-fired electricity.
Instead of relying on traditional power, why don’t we just use lower carbon energy sources? Solar energy is a type of renewal energy that is easy to maintain. Going solar entails a lot of research and preparation. If you are not ready to go fully solar at home, install panels that will provide electricity for some appliances. Start by replacing your electric water heaters’ solar hot water systems. Got questions as to why? Here are reasons you should make the transition starting with your water heater.
- Solar energy helps save the environment. Did you know that the Australian government is planning to phase out inefficient water heaters so the country can conserve energy? The Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency claimed that 50% of the 8 million households in Australia use electric water heaters. Water heaters are known as the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Based on the report by the University of Wisconsin’s Solar Energy Laboratory, a family of four uses an average of 6,400 kilowatt hours of electricity per year to heat their water. That means more carbon dioxide is emitted annually. Help reduce your family’s carbon footprint by using a solar water heater.
- It is more efficient than gas or electric water heaters. A solar water system uses sunlight to warm water. What if there is no presence of sunlight? Australia has winters but you don’t have to worry because it’s generally warm even during winter season. It is rare to have a temperature that is below zero degrees. If you are worried about not getting enough sunlight, invest in a solar heat pump. It works by using the heat in the ambient air around the system, which means you don’t need the sunshine for it to work.
- A solar water heater is an economical choice. You can save thousands of dollars by using this heating alternative. Solar energy is free. You can get enough solar energy even during cloudy days. A majority of cities in Australia have their sunny days. Residents from Northern Australia can take advantage of the warm to hot temperature all year round. Furthermore, it uses solar thermal panels that are cheaper to install than solar PV panels.
It is advisable to work with a registered solar water installer to ensure that the system is properly installed. The panels should be correctly positioned to get the maximum solar heat absorption. A certified solar hot water systems installer is familiar with requirements in your locality. Your solar contractor will also be responsible in the regular maintenance of your solar water heater.
Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication. CC-licensed image by Mass CEC.