Solar water heating industry standards and qualifications
For the solar water heating industry to continue to grow, it's important the public has confidence in the products offered in the market, and in the installation of those products.
EECA works with the solar industry to review product standards and installation standards.
We also provide below information on solar industry training and accreditation.
All the components of any solar water heating system installed in New Zealand should meet the Standard AS/NZS 2712:2007.
This Standard specifies performance-based requirements for the design and construction of both components of solar and heat pump water heating systems, and packaged systems.
In a packaged system, the complete set of matched components (including collector, hot water cylinder, and ancillary equipment) are supplied from one source. This is designed for integrated operation and is tested as a system.
A custom-built system is assembled, often on-site, from an assortment of parts. For example, you could use an existing hot water cylinder as part of the system.
The components of either a packaged or custom-built system must each comply with the relevant tests of AS/NZS 2712:2007.
Standard AS/NZS 2712:2007 is available from Standards New Zealand.
The Standard was revised and published in September 2007.
Solar water heating systems installed in New Zealand must comply with the New Zealand Building Code.
It is the legal requirement of the homeowner to ensure a building consent is obtained, however the installer should assist them with this. Lack of a building consent could invalidate the building's Certificate of Compliance and the house insurance.
Clause G12 of the Building Code sets out the requirements for system installation, including the requirement that a system must be installed in accordance with Standard AS/NZS 3500.4 (Plumbing and Drainage Part 4: heated water services). This standard is available from Standards New Zealand.
Code of Practice
The Solar Association of New Zealand (SANZ) has a Code of Practice that SANZ-approved installers are expected to meet.
The Code integrates formal technical standards with best practice and also covers aspects of the relationship with purchasers.
The Code of Practice for the Manufacture and Installation of SWH Systems in NZ is available from the Solar Association of New Zealand website.
The Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Act 2006 put in place a licensing system regulated by the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board (PGDB). The system is based on ongoing competency assurance.
The PGDB is working through the details of how and when the system will be implemented.
Solar water heating suppliers and designers may choose to become accredited through the SANZ accreditation scheme.
The solar industry accreditation scheme is intended to give the public confidence that solar water heating suppliers and designers are capable and experienced.
Accreditation is by an independent Accreditation Administrator and must be renewed every two years. It can be revoked if the criteria are no longer being met.
To find out more visit the Solar Association of New Zealand website.