The Queensland Government is reported to be considering a requirement that all new houses be fitted with non-electric hot water systems. The reason is to reduce greenhoue gas emissions.
Eligible technologies include solar (gas or electric boost), gas hot water systems, heat pumps etc.
Over 60% of Australian homes have electric hot water, the most emissions intensive option. This figure is in the order of 80% in Queensland. All of the other state governments are becoming increasingly active on the greenhouse issue in recent months with the recent trend being for most states to have similar policies on greenhouse matters, particularly those relating to renewable energy.
Focusing purely on fundamentals and the engineering aspects and hoping this eventually might translate to the share price, QTM (Quantum Energy) is a major potential winner from moves to reduce emissions.
QTM makes heat pump water heaters (considered to be solar by governments) that save 60-80% (typical average 70-75%) of electricity use under all operating conditions. They will even heat in the middle of the night with snow on the roof with NO need for any kind of boosting. (Even under this worst case scenario they are still heating the water with around 60% “free” heat.) The system extracts heat from rain, snow, air, sun – whatever surrounds the outdoor panels.
The small amounts of electricity used can be supplied at either continuous (standard) or cheap off-peak rates with the system storing heated water just like a conventional electric water heater. This system thus has a considerable advantage over conventional solar technologies since there is far less need for storage tanks in high volume use applications (commercial) where solar is often impractical for this reason.
Physical size of the units is about the same width as a conventional off-peak electric hot water service but a bit taller. The outdoor panels go anywhere (even on the wall) and can face any direction since direct sunlight is not essential (though of course it’s better to get direct sun if possible). As for aesthetics, the panels come in various colours and tank goes somewhere convenient on the ground, under the building etc. The system is practical to install in most buildings.
Cost is in the order of $3000 installed for a household system (much less when the various government rebates are included). The company also has significant export sales. Major installations include the Grand Chancellor Hotel (Hobart) and numerous public buildings, Department of Housing properties, resorts etc. around Australia and overseas.
In the case of commercial systems, rebates available to the consumer are now in the order of 80% of the purchase price.
Disclosure: I do not hold this stock at the time of posting. My knowledge of QTM is the technical aspects of the product and its competitors NOT financials of the business. The technology is regarded as well proven, is in production, and is not subject to development risks. Judge for yourself if it suits you but most certainly NOT a short term trade. Speculative depending partly on policy.
You could also take advantage of government proposals (if they eventuate) by investing in other solar hot water companies, domestic geothermal energy companies (there are practical household / commercial geothermal heat pump systems although they are not yet common) and to some extent gas distribution too.