by Stephen Palethorpe
In July 2020, St Philip's took a huge step towards reducing its carbon footprint. The Rectory—our minister’s house next to the church—joined over 2 million other Australian homes with solar panels on their roofs.
The solar power and hot water project ensures that almost all of the emissions from the Rectory are offset. The system comprises 24 solar panels producing around 8kW of power, enough for an average-sized home. Also installed was a heat pump hot water system, which will significantly reduce the rectory's gas use.
This project is an important development towards ensuring careful stewardship of both the parish's and the Earth's resources. The panels supplement the emissions-free power that the parish generates through the solar system on the roof of St Philip's kindergarten, in the church grounds. (Although the kinderarten operates separately from the church, it leases the building from the parish).
The solar project will save the parish around $1,500 - $2,500 per annum and reduce our emissions by approximately 9 tonnes annually. After 5-7 years of operation, the system will have paid for itself and then will essentially provide many years of free power to the Rectory.
If you are in a position to contribute to the cost of the solar installation and wish to so, please make a donation via electronic funds transfer to St Philip's,noting "solar panels" in the reference line — or place an envelope in the collection marked "Solar Panels."