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  1. Product Profile workshopSolar Water HeatersDepartment 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 At this stage, E3 wishes to • 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 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

  12. Solar Water Heating • Represents a good alternative to traditionally fuelled water heaters:

  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

  15. Drivers of growth

  16. E3 market investigation • Comprised 3 main elements

  17. Key Findings

  18. What affects SWH’s performance? 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 • Non-compliance & Standards

  20. Independent and claimed energy savings • Independently assessed energy savings were slightly lower than those claimed. Based on testing that was:

  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

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

  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 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?

  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 3rd 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 Is it a problem that… Claimed energy savings were too high? Results from energy savings model were higher than actual performance? 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 3rd October 2014