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22 April 2009
Production of solar hot water systems in Western Australia has soared since the Australian Government announced the $3.9 billion Energy Efficient Homes package, the Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett said today while touring a Perth hot water heater manufacturing plant.
"Today we are seeing the Government's economic stimulus plan in action, with boosted $1,600 solar hot water rebates driving demand, increasing Australian manufacturing and supporting Australian jobs," Mr Garrett said.
"The Energy Efficient Homes Package is a critical component of the $42 billion Nation Building-Economic Stimulus Plan, and will assist more than 300,000 households to install solar hot water systems.
"The Government has received more than 11,000 applications for solar hot water rebates since February, prompting manufacturing plants to increase shifts and convert casual jobs to permanent fulltime employment, including at Welshpool near Perth, where shifts have been increased by 50 per cent.
"The manufacture and installation of a solar water system uses twice as much labour as installation of an electric hot water system which means every time someone goes solar with their hot water system, Australian employment gets a boost,"
"The numbers show this rebate is doing its job - creating work for local industry, converting casual jobs into permanent employment and driving demand for energy efficient technology, helping people save on their energy bills."
Minister Garrett said he was pleased to learn Rheem Australia's Welshpool plant was also set to benefit from a $7 million contract to supply solar water heaters for critical United Nations accommodation.
"Four to five thousand water heaters, manufactured right here in Perth, will be fitted to emergency accommodation in hot-spots throughout the world," Minister Garrett said.
"Australia was an original innovator in solar hot water and it is fantastic to see Australian manufacturing continuing to compete successfully and deliver energy efficient solutions around the world."
The Solar Hot Water Rebate was increased to $1,600 on 3 February 2009 with no means test and will run until 30 June 2012. The rebate is available for people who replace an existing electric storage hot water system with a solar or heat pump hot water system between 3 February 2009 and 30 June 2012. This includes owner-occupiers, landlords and tenants.
Since the announcement of the Energy Efficient Homes Package the Government has received more than 11,000 applications for the solar hot water rebate and more than 8,500 applications for insulation components that will eventually see ceiling insulation installed in around 2.7 million homes across the country.
More information can be found at www.environment.gov.au/energyefficiency.