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Solar panels installed at the Uniting Church Centre Photo: Supplied

Congregations encouraged to embrace solar

James O’Callaghan reports on a sustainability initiative undertaken by the Queensland Synod office which is seeing great benefits for the environment and the reduction of energy bills.

More Queensland congregations are expected to take up solar power following the launch of a Synod solar scheme and the encouraging outcomes from the installation of a 100 kilowatt system at the Queensland Synod office in Brisbane.

According to Queensland Synod Director of Church Enterprises Stuart Christ, solar panels installed at the Uniting Church Centre in late 2018 are already providing benefits.
“So far we are saving more money than was first predicted,” says Stuart. “In this case solar is providing us a terrific return on our investment.”

A reduction in energy bills of 15 per cent was just one of the positives associated with installing solar panels; an increase in property value, a reduction in carbon footprint, and credits from unused power were also compelling reasons behind the installation.

The solar panels were installed by GEM Energy, a multi-award-winning energy efficiency and renewable energy services provider.

GEM Energy CEO Jack Hooper says solar technology is mature and proven to work reliably.

“Going solar shows a commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility which has the potential to grow a bottom line through lower power bills,” says Jack.

“The economic case for investing into clean, renewable energy has never looked better. Now is the right time to take advantage of the many benefits of going solar.”

The new Synod Solar Investment Scheme will allow congregations to invest in solar energy, which Stuart says is something everyone should be considering.

“Installing solar panels can be a terrific financial decision and a real ‘no brainer’ in some situations. It is also a sound decision for the environmental as well!”

Congregations utilising the Synod Solar Investment Scheme will immediately benefit with a reduction in overall electricity cost. Congregations will also contribute the equivalent of 360 planted trees per year on average to the environment.

To find out more, contact a member of the project team via email ucasolar@ucaqld.com.au or visit

Congregation members are encouraged to discuss solar power with their minister and church council before contacting the Queensland Synod office.

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