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"Who Doesn't Feel Good Knowing Their Hot Water Was Heated By Sunshine?"

I chatted to a friends who recently installed a solar powered hot water system as part of renovations on their home in Wellington, New Zealand.

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Friends of mine are in the throws of renovating their home and installed a solar powered hot water system. Their plumber had recommended a system and they did some research and crunched the numbers.

"I knew I'd have to spend more up front than on installing a traditional system," Ian tells me, "but I taking a long term view, I could figure out we'd break even in 7-10 years and would be making savings after that. It also adds to the resale value of our home. And who doesn't feel good knowing their hot water is heated by sunshine?"

Since they've installed their new system, the operational cost to heat their water in summer months is zero. Over the rest of the year, they monitor the weather and supplement electric heating when required.

Ian mentioned they sought information on insulation to provide further cost savings on their power usage from New Zealand's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). Their site is packed with information and they promote various initiatives via television advertising.

How might we help folks grasp the long term savings from upfront costs of switching to renewable energy? How might we help communities consider making collective change rather than just individuals? How might we envision community funding for switching to renewable energy?

Here at OpenIDEO, we're always keen on human-centered insights. Real insights start with real people, right? Try out our Interview Toolkit for pointers.



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