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Council cuts solar water heating consent costs

6 November 2008

It is now cheaper to gain building consent to install solar water heating panels, in an effort to encourage energy saving systems. 


Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the subsidy has been made possible by the sale of carbon credits, from using gas from the Burwood landfill to power QEII. Rates will not fund the scheme. 


“This is the first of the 28 innovative, forward-thinking initiatives outlined in the Council’s Sustainable Energy Strategy, that will be implemented in coming years.” 


The Council has found a well-prepared application for building consent to install a solar water heating system costs about $550 to process. The $200 subsidy, made possible by the sale of the carbon credits, reduces the cost of processing these applications to $350. 


To help people prepare satisfactory applications, the Council has provided a comprehensive checklist on its website: 


Council staff have also met with industry members to discuss the requirements, and will keep them informed of future developments. 


“Almost $1.6 billion was spent on energy within the Christchurch City boundary in 2006 – that’s more than the entire health budget for the area.  


“We want to make it as easy and affordable as possible for people to switch to solar-powered water heating, to strengthen Christchurch’s leading position as a sustainable city,” Mayor Parker says. 


The Council has committed $30,000 of its carbon credits funding to this initiative during the 2008-09 year, equating to 150 subsidies. 


Further carbon credits funding has been allocated during the next five years, increasing in stages to $40,000 per annum. 


Until 1 July 2008 obtaining consent for a solar water heating system cost a flat fee of $165. This was increased to a minimum fee of $425, as each application was costing up to $700 to process, and in some cases more.


To learn more about solar water heating, visit the Christchurch Energy Efficiency Show Home at 10 Leander Street, Papanui, or 



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