A DECISION to phase out electric hot water systems has been overturned, leaving consumers with more options when installing a water heater.
Late last year NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher announced the reversal of Labor’s decision to phase out electric hot water systems.
The previous Labor Government signed up to the federal government policy of banning the installation of electric hot water heaters in new houses in December 2010.
Stage two of the phase-out, which involved banning electric systems in existing houses, was intended to come into force last year.
Long-time Nowra electrician Bob Dix is one of the largest installers of electric hot water systems in the Shoalhaven.
He said the decision to keep electric water heaters as an option would be a relief for many local homeowners struggling with the cost of alternatives.
“We install hundreds of hot water systems every year,” he said.
“There are too many people who can’t afford solar.
“You’ll pay about $1200 for an electric hot water system and that should last about 15 years.
“The technology in hot water systems really hasn’t changed; it’s about the same as it was 30 years ago.
“They are basically just a tank, an element and a thermostat.
“However they are more efficient with the insulation now,” he said.
South Coast MP Shelley Hancock welcomed the decision to overturn the plans to ban on electric hot water heaters.
“Approximately two thirds of households in NSW do not have the option of gas hot water from a reticulated system, meaning consumers without gas options would be forced to invest thousands of dollars on alternatives including heat pumps or solar heating,” Mrs Hancock said.
Mr Hartcher said only seven per cent of NSW households had solar heating and the majority did not have access to reticulated gas.
“Enforcing Labor’s policy where consumers would have to invest about $4000 on alternatives would be inequitable and unfair,” Mr Hartcher said.