HOT WATER SYSTEMS
In 2009, as a part of the National Partnership Agreement on Energy Efficiency, COAG committed to phasing out electric resistance hot water systems from 2010. Under the 10 year National Hot Water Strategy, Australian households will transition to low emissions hot water systems. For households with a peak electric water heater or wood fuelled water heater the Victorian government offers a rebate for the installation of a natural gas or LPG water heater that has a high efficiency rating. Both the federal and state governments offer various incentives for solar hot water heaters
In Australia, water heating products are the second largest users of energy out of all household appliances, using 23% of household energy. Energy consumed for water heating is also the second largest source of household greenhouse emissions in Australia, emitting 24% of greenhouse gasses in the average Australian household. Victoria experiences similar rates as those at a national level (DPI 2010).
Of the 2,089,900 households in Victoria with hot water systems, most used gas (68%) as a source of energy. In Melbourne, 76% of the 1,503,000 households with hot water systems used gas compared to 47% of the 586,900 households in regional Victoria.
Electricity as a source for heating water in households had a higher proportion in the statistical region of Inner Melbourne (33%), compared to Melbourne overall.
Across Victoria 2.8% of households used solar energy for their hot water systems, although regional Victoria had a higher rate (5.1%).
For the 57,700 Victorian households with a solar hot water system, 53% had a gas booster and 40% had an electric booster. Newer dwellings (two years old or less) had a larger proportion with a gas booster, at 91% (10,300 households), than older dwellings, at 44% (20,200 households), but older dwellings still made up a larger number.
Most Victorian households had not purchased nor replaced their hot water system in the 12 months prior to October 2009. 5.6% of Melbourne households and 11% of regional Victorian households had purchased or replaced their hot water system in that period.
In Victoria, whether a household had purchased a hot water system correlated in some respects to the size of the household, the age of the dwelling and the hot water system energy source. For household size, 15% of households with six or more persons had recently purchased a hot water system, which is larger when compared to the 5.4% of one person households. Dwellings two years old or less had a rate of 17% with a recent (in the prior 12 months) hot water system purchase but only 6.8% of older dwellings had done the same. Almost half (44%) of households with solar energy as the source for their hot water system had purchased a hot water system recently when compared to Victoria, at 7.2%.
In Melbourne, households with LPG/bottled gas as a source of energy also had a high proportion (28%) of recent hot water system purchases.
DPI (Victorian Government Department of Primary Industries) 2010, National phase out of greenhouse intensive domestic water heaters, <http://new.dpi.vic.gov.au/energy/energy-policy/energy-efficiency/water-heaters> last viewed 5 May 2010.