Solar hot water at community-scale

The Local Government implements a set of integrated measures to deploy solar hot water in private buildings and facilities in the community within its jurisdiction, using its regulatory power as the main leverage to approve, or amend, a municipal building code which requires (new) buildings to use solar hot water (SHW) systems - Solar Ordinance.

Motivation / Relevance

The energy consumption for the production of hot water can be significant in different community sectors, having an impact on their energy bill.

As an example, in São Paulo (Brazil) water heating is estimated to account for approximately 40% of the city`s electricity consumption, including both residential and commercial use (e.g. swimming pools) [1]. The production of hot water in households represents more than 10% of the final energy consumption in the European Union (13%) [2], and in the USA (18%) [3].

Typically, water is heated by using fossil fuels and/or electricity. This presents an opportunity for renewable solar energy use, through readily available technologies.

Main impacts

  • Growth of the local market for solar hot water systems and contribute to complete value chain activation (equipment providers, installers, certification bodies, etc.)
  • Reduce overall costs of the technology in the local market
  • Induce greater deployment in other societal/economic sectors

Benefits and Co-Benefits

  • Reduce fossil fuel consumption and dependency /increase share of renewables
  • Reduce the energy bill of households and businesses
  • Contribute to job creation and security (technically qualified workers for installation and maintenance, etc.)
  • Economic growth (development of new sector of activity)
  • Enhance the city profile as green and sustainable
  • Improved air quality where fossil fuels are replaced
  • Reduce community´s GHG emissions (by displacing fossil fuels and electricity)