by Rachel Purchase EcoGeneration — November/December 2010
Each week, Prem Pankckar, Project Manager of Renewables and Distributed Energy at Sustainability Victoria, generates a report detailing the financial savings and emissions reductions Melbournian’s could have achieved through the use of solar hot water systems. EcoGeneration asked Mr Panickar to produce such a report for a twelve month period. The results highlight the fiscal and environmental benefits of using the sun to heat water.
How the Solar Report results are calculated
The solar savings percentage is based on computer simulations of the difference between the amount of energy used by a solar water heater compared to a conventional gas or electricity water heater for the same load, used by an average water heater, for an average family in Melbourne. The figures are then averaged for the week or month.
The potential savings of greenhouse gases if all Melbournians used solar hot water heating is calculated by taking the number of gas and electric water heaters in Melbourne dwellings according to 2005 figures produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and multiplying it by the amount of greenhouse gases produced by a conventional water heater for Melbourne. This gives the amount of greenhouse gases produced in an average week or month.
A seasonal factor is applied to account for differences in cold water temperature and amount of water used to give the total greenhouse gases. The amount of potential greenhouse savings is calculated by multiplying this total greenhouse figure by the savings percentage for the week. Thus indicating the benefit if all gas water heaters were replaced with gas-boosted solar water heaters and all electric water heaters replaced with electric-boosted solar water heaters.
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See more reports
The weekly Solar Report is available on the Sustainability Victoria Resource Smart website. Free weekly reports can be provided free via arrangement with Prem Panickar, as can custom made reports. For futher detail contact Prem Panickar on 03 8626 8867, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to Sustainability Victoria, between 1 September 2009 and
31 August 2010, use of a solar hot water heater (where gas and electricity is currently used) would have saved Victorian’s 72 per cent on hot water costs. Further if all Victorian homes had a solar water heater in use during this period, it would have cut the states greenhouse gas emissions by 1,958,430 tonnes.
Sustainability Victoria is an agency of the Victorian Government set up to help communities, businesses and governments implement policies and programs that promote environmental sustainability
To this end, Sustainability Victoria runs educational programs on sustainability within all industry sectors, including schools, state and local governments and community groups. Sustainability Victoria also conducts research and produces publications to raise awareness about environmental sustainability.
The Sustainability Victoria Resource Smart website is a portal for households, educators and businesses alike to find out the latest in effective and sustainable use of environmental resources.