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Solar water heaters uptake in Australia – Issues and barriers

Urmee, T., Walker, E.ORCID: 0000-0003-2762-2961, Bahri, P.A.ORCID: 0000-0003-4661-5644, Baverstock, G., Rezvani, S. and Saman, W. (2018) Solar water heaters uptake in Australia – Issues and barriers. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, 30 . pp. 11-23.

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Despite the abundant solar insolation in Australia there has not been a matching increase in the use of solar water heaters (SWH). Due to the current relatively cheap price of energy in Australia the upfront costs of an SWH are a strong barrier, especially when installation, plumbing, and roof-strengthening costs are taken into consideration. The maintenance and repair costs, especially for pumps, valves, connectors and tanks can be perceived to be high. There is also a lack of knowledge of the benefits and usage of SWH, which is particularly problematic when a failed hot water system is being replaced and the need is urgent. To improve matters would require an easy way to compare the overall costs compared to non-SWH systems; an easy means of providing temporary hot water to a household during installation. An improvement in customer service would also counter negative perceptions obtained from users who have had issues with their SWH. There is no single barrier or solution to this issue, but there is much scope for improvement and uptake of SWH in Australia. This paper investigates the various technical, economic, social and policy barriers that have prevented the uptake of SWH in Australia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd.
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