1. During 2013, the AWUC community expended significant resources on splitting the electrical board into two and the installation of 120 solar panels (30kW output). The solar panels took up around 75% of the overall cost of $52k.
2. The need for this work was partly in response to a desire to contribute to environmental
sustainability and partly in response to a generous bequest of $20k for solar panels, and
a number of other gifts. In particular, the wonderful support from Adult Fellowship and the Catering Group.
3. During the course of scoping solar panel options, it was identified that in mid 2013, SA
Power Networks altered the trigger point for when an electrical consumer
moves from a ‘usage’ based tariff to a ‘peak demand’ based tariff. For AWUC, the
immediate impact was an estimated change in electrical charges from around $20k PA to
around $40k PA (both without solar). A consequence of this was that if solar was installed with no other changes, whilst electricity usage would reduce, the cost would increase.
4. Arising from extensive and lengthy investigations, in the second half of 2013, the Church Council decided to proceed with splitting the electrical board into two in order to avoid
triggering the ‘peak demand’ based tariff. The board split and new meters to measure
electrical usage are summarised as follows:
a. Meter A. This comprises all air conditioning units and the front of house lights. The solar is connected to this and in particular, offsets the high demand from the air-conditioners (when they are used).
b. Meter B. All other electrical services, such as general lighting, kitchen, power points and office computers.
5. Post the solar install and with the split board, the expected annual electrical operating
cost to AWUC is around $7 – 10k, a significant reduction.
6. With the changes, we will need to take care with the simultaneous use of all air seven
conditioners, in particular on very hot or very cold days.
7. As a significant undertaking by the AWUC community, the panels and split board were
dedicated to God’s service as part of Sunday worship services on 9 March 2014.
(Taken from the 2013 Annual Report)