Solar installation
Solar installation
Uniting Church Logo

Wesley and St Aidan's Uniting Church

Canberra Central Parish

in Forrest and Narrabundah

Wesely Logo

01/08/2010 Brochures on Solar Equipment Used By Pyramid Power:

The Solar Panels

The 10 Kw Inverters

05/02/2010 ABC News Item about possible changes to Feed-In Tariffs in the ACT

There was a news item on 05/02/2010 about the possible change to fee-in tariffs on 01/07/2010.

 10/06/2010 Letter about solar panels from Gordon Ramsey, Presbytery Chairman

TO: churches in and near Canberra

Subject: Message to Churches - Faith Groups Solar Bulk Buy

I urge you to promote the involvement of people within the Presbytery in the Canberra-based Faith Groups Solar Bulk Buy, first proposed by SEE-Change, because there is an underlying benefit for groups to form and pool their individual interest. In short, for every 30 systems organised by Presbytery, the preferred supplier will provide one 1.5kW solar grid power system to an eligible community project nominated by Presbytery. As things currently stand, the Presbytery is likely to have 60, or possibly 90 or 120 systems. Please also involve friends, family, community groups, etc, and churches, with this well-priced bulk buy, and they can count to the group total. The offer is open until 30 June 2010.

Apart from obvious environmental benefits, grid-connected solar electric systems return a financial benefit to the owner through the difference between the higher "Feed In Tariff" and the lower domestic consumption rate we pay for electricity. The tariff pay-back period is about 4-6 years. Various government benefits can also be accessed including the Green Loan (4 years interest free, up to $10,000).

Please see the extensive information available on the Presbytery web site and contact the organiser, Peter Ellis, Tel: 6254 0262, to get further information or express your interest.

Gordon Ramsay

Presbytery Chairman

12/02/2010 Emails from SEE-Change sent to interested people after the Wesley Meeting

From: admin see-change <>
Date: Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 11:55 AM
Subject: Next Steps - Solar Communities
To: SEE-Change <>, H Palethorpe <>


In order to ensure all participants of the Solar Communities – SEE-Change Interfaith Group receive the current Feed-In Tariff rate (50c kwh), which may change at the end of June, we would like to speed things along from this end.

Consequently, after much deliberation, we thought it prudent to pass on the details you gave to us at the Public meeting on 27th January, directly to Pyramid Power. We are extremely mindful of your privacy however and urge you to request Pyramid Power ( remove your name from the list if you have any concerns. Alternatively you can contact Anne at our office on

Your privacy rights are of the utmost importance to us and we have secured a guarantee from Pyramid Power that they will:

1) Maintain your confidentiality,

2) Remove your name should you request it,

3) Only use this list for the purposes of this Interfaith Project,

4) Not on-sell your details.

They are keen to start planning small public meetings for each cluster as soon as possible, so you will need to nominate a co-ordinator for your group promptly, if you plan to take advantage of the free 1.5kw system/30 installation process.

Finally, we are still receiving a number of requests from people keen to join the initiative (and more are welcome to join) and Pyramid would like to link them with a near-by cluster so that your cluster is in a stronger position to receive the free 1.5kW system. In order to do that they need the name of your cluster coordinator. Please send the details of your coordinator to Pyramid Power ( and to SEE-Change ( You will be given a priority response from Andy Brown, the designated Pyramid Power staff person who will deal with the Interfaith bulk buy.

We look forward to the prompt start of this process, and are always keen to receive feedback on or

We also look forward to signing you up as a member of SEE-Change if you have not already done so

Yours sincerely,

Helen Palethorpe and Vanessa Morris

6162 2320

Downer Community Centre,
Frencham Place, Downer
PO Box 7025, Watson, ACT 2602

From: on behalf of admin see-change []
Sent: Wednesday, 3 February 2010 2:13 PM
To: SEE-Change; H Palethorpe
Subject: SEE-Change Interfaith Solar Initiative
Hello everyone

Thank you very much for coming to the meeting last Wednesday evening and for your interest in the SEE-Change's Interfaith Solar initiative. We're delighted you are considering installing photo-voltaic cells on the roof(s) of your faith organisation or on your own household roof.

We met with Pyramid Power yesterday and can inform you about the next few stages of the process if you are ready to proceed to purchase.

1. Make contact with Pyramid Power. Visit their website Click on the ‘Interfaith” tab at the top of the page. (The web site is being upgraded and will be ready late this afternoon or tomorrow). Please note: you must make the first contact with Pyramid Power, they will not be contacting you.

2. Follow their '5 simple steps' list on their site, to help you go through the process with the ease.

Yesterday we clarified with Pyramid Power the issue of forming “clusters” in order to benefit from their offer of a free 1.5kW system for each 30 systems installed. They assured us that individuals can contact them and deal with them directly. However, if “clusters” can be formed the offer of a free 1.5kW system is available for your church or a community organisation of your choice.


a) What do we do first?

If you wish to proceed on an individual basis, contact Pyramid Power. They will send out an information package.

If you wish to take advantage of the free 1.5kw system for your faith group's roof, you'll need to appoint a co-ordinator, who will then be the main contact for Pyramid Power in the beginning.

b) What do we do if we are a small faith group with fewer than 30 members?

You have a choice: either you go ahead as originally planned and don't receive the free 1.5kw system - OR SEE-Change will help bring smaller groups together. It may mean that the free 1.5kw system will not go onto the faith group's roofs, but the combined parties choose another not-for-profit's roof instead, but we can talk about that down the track.

c) What will organiser's responsibilities be after they've recruited the 30 systems?

They will be the person who communicates with Pyramid’s appointed bulk buy manager Andy Brown at and with the members of the bulk buy “cluster”.

Finally we thought you'd be reassured to know that Pyramid Power will be running two sessions for each 'cluster': one to answer further questions and give a full briefing for new arrivals. The second for those who want to sign on. They will be approximately 6 weeks apart.

About SEE-Change. (SEE stands for Society, Environment, Economy)

SEE-Change has organised this bulk buy with a group of volunteers in order to take community, grass-roots action on climate change.

We rely solely on government funding and membership fees, so we would greatly appreciate you joining SEE-Change if you take part in this bulk buy. Membership entitles you to our newsletter, free or discounted entry to all SEE-Change events, voting rights on SEE-Change Inc (our central steering committee) and the opportunity to join us on an incredible journey to help transform our city.

Climate Change can be an overwhelming subject - and governments can't do everything - so we've decided to take responsibility, get on with it, and feel good in the process. And we'd love you to join us.

SEE-Change is a local community organisation made up of people such as yourself, who are committed to transforming Canberra into a sustainable community. Our members' Vision is to 'inspire, inform and support action to reduceCanberra's ecological footprint' and we are thrilled your community has been inspired to join our community for the betterment of our planet's long term health, as well as your own faith organisation!

We are made up almost entirely of local volunteers and our members contribute in a wide range of ways. Some run hands-on workshops to demonstrate how we can grow our own food, preserve fruit and veges and compost home scraps. Some host 'Over The Back Fence Tours' where you can visit their gardens, and homes, to see how they are 'reducing their ecological footprints' and saving money in the process. Others are renting out bike trailers or running Interfaith Solar Bulk Buys.

If you choose to join SEE-Change, you'll receive updated information on all of these events and more. Annual membership is $25 per household (for up to three adults),$10 for low income earners or $50 for an organisation (Church etc). Please see attached forms or visit our website at and click on to learn more. We also hope to have forums up soon on solar issues, so stay tuned.

Feel free to contact the SEE-Change office at ( or Helen ( if you have further questions or concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Palethorpe, Convenor, SEE-Change Interfaith Solar Bulk Buy and
Vanessa Morris, Executive Officer
02 6162 2320

Downer Community Centre,
Frencham Place, Downer
PO Box 7025, Watson, ACT 2602

01/06/2011 Micro Scale Feed-In Tariff Closes

Published: June 1, 2011, 9:19 am
Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, has announced the closure of the Micro Generator component of the ACT Feed-In Tariff Scheme.

Mr Corbell said that the Legislative Assembly agreed in February 2011to changes to the scheme to ensure that the cost to consumers was maintained at a reasonable level.

"To do this the government set capacity caps on both the Micro and Medium Generator categories within the Scheme," Mr Corbell said.

"As at midnight last night (Tuesday, 31 May 2011) the Micro Generator category was closed as the legislated cap has been reached.

"The scheme has delivered all and more than was expected of it with unprecedented numbers of applications over the last few months. This rapid increase in take-up has been driven by the large reductions to Commonwealth rebates from 1 July this year.

"The closure of the Micro category does not spell the end of the feed-in tariff. Consistent with its long held policy position, the government sees the future of renewable generation in the ACT as being at a larger scale.

This scale of generation improves cost efficiency. We are the only jurisdiction in the country to look beyond the household rooftop towards a more sustainable industry.

In February 2011 the government introduced a Medium Generator category (for installations greater than 30kW and up to 200kW) with an allocated cap of 15MW.

"That cap remains largely uncommitted, householders who are still interested in investing in renewable energy can join one of the community groups that are forming to create community owned generators," Mr Corbell said.

"Later this year, the government will also introduce legislation for a large-scale generation feed-in tariff, with 40MW to be allocated to large generators (solar farms scale) by a reverse auction process in the next 12 months.

"The government will protect people who have proceeded in good faith and have already committed to an installation.

"Any householders or businesses who have entered into a contract for a solar installation and had paid a deposit before midnight last night can still be accepted into the scheme.

Mr Corbell said he proposed to adopt the same transitional arrangements recently applied by the Commonwealth to similar programs. Specifically, a customer can still access the closed scheme if that person:

entered into a valid contract before the program termination date/time;
can produce evidence that a monetary deposit had been paid to the contracted supplier prior to the termination date/time; and
can provide a Statutory Declaration to this effect.
It is expected that once all outstanding applications are processed that more than 6,000 ACT houses will be generating clean renewable energy on their rooftops contributing to the Territory's ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

The government has produced a guide to assist community groups organise themselves as generators.

Later this year the government will bring forward legislation to establish the first of the ACT's large scale renewable energy generators.

Statement Ends/ 1 June 2011

Media Contact:

Luke Austin 026205 1121 0400 080 420

01/04/2011 Feed-In Tariff Rate To Remain Unchanged

Published: April 1, 2011, 9:23 am
Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

Minister for Energy, Simon Corbell, has today announced that the premium rate for the micro-generation category of the ACT feed-in tariff scheme will remain unchanged at 45.7c per kilowatt hour, providing certainty and stability for the renewable energy industry and consumers.

Mr Corbell also announced that the new medium generator category payment percentage would remain set at 75% of the micro-generator category rate, a price of 34.27 c per kilowatt hour.

"In making these decisions I am mindful of the undertaking I made last year that as far as practicable, the Micro Premium announced then would remain for a 2 year period. I did this to establish certainty for investors and for industry players. This decision to leave the premium rate unchanged honours that commitment" he said.

Notwithstanding the advice received from the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission recommending a decrease in the Premium, I have taken into account the possibility of a reduction in the strength of the Australian dollar internationally and the impact that would have on the price of solar technology."

"There is also some doubt as to the final outcome of the Federal Government's decision to establish a carbon price as well as changes to Federal Government solar rebate schemes."

These outcomes are not yet clear and it is prudent to not act prematurely. It is important to note that a further review of the premium rate can occur, with appropriate notice, should further information emerge that significantly changes the factors that apply to the ACT scheme."

The first two years of the feed-in tariff scheme have proven successful with more than 4100 installations already on roofs in the Territory which equates to approximately a 7MW solar renewable generation plant for the ACT.

"The Government has released a community guide to assist groups in the ACT to invest in renewable energy technology," Mr Corbell added.

"Canberrans previously ineligible as individuals can now form a group and take part in the scheme, and the guide will assist them in this process," Mr Corbell said.

"The ACT Government is committed to creating Canberra as Australia's Solar Capital, and the decision today to maintain the premium rate for micro-generation confirms that position."

The guide is available on the Department of the Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water website at or alternatively, those interested can contact Canberra Connect on 132 281 to arrange for a copy to be posted to them.

17/02/2011 Feed-In Tariff Extended To Include Medium Scale Generation

Published: February 17, 2011, 5:12 pm
Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

The ACT has again set an Australian-first by passing legislation to allow for medium scale solar installations to access the ACT's highly successful feed-in tariff, Minister for Energy, Simon Corbell, said.

"The passage of the Electricity Feed-in (Renewable Energy Premium) Act 2008 into law today takes Canberra another step towards becoming Australia's solar capital," Mr Corbell said.

"This legislation is very important for two reasons; firstly to give the solar industry the certainty it needs to invest in medium and large scale generation, and to ensure the ongoing success of the feed-in tariff scheme into the future," Mr Corbell said.

"We have already seen a high level of uptake in the micro generation category, with more than 3,500 installations on roofs in the ACT, and I am confident that there will be similar enthusiasm from the wider community to embrace the scheme.

"The amendments will be instrumental in supporting the growth of renewable energies in the ACT and the resulting emission savings and economic opportunities," Mr Corbell said.

Key aspects to the amended feed-in tariff legislation include:

  • re-naming the existing household component as Micro Generator;
  • creation of the Medium Generator and the Community Based Generation categories;
  • introduction of capacity caps for both new categories (15 megawatts each);
  • provide for a mechanism by which the Premium Price applicable to each category may be set and reviewed; and
  • extend scheme eligibility to include not-for-profit community organisations.

"These amendments will enable both individuals and community organisations greater access to the scheme and a greater ability to do their part in reaching our greenhouse gas emission targets," Mr Corbell said.

"With these amendments, individuals occupying rental or structurally unsuitable properties will be able to more easily participate and community groups can develop co-operatives to collectively develop shared generators.

"To support the development of co-operative generators, my department has developed the Solar Pays Community Guide.

"The Community Guide provides information on the ‘what' and ‘how' of collective generators and will be an important and useful tool for community groups.

"The Government will also introduce separate legislation later this year to support the development of even larger scale facilities and will then follow this process with an auction for the first 40MW tranche."

"The Government will monitor closely the changes in market activity, and will respond accordingly to ensure that the clean economy continues to grow in the ACT."

For more information on the ACT Feed-in Tariff Scheme, visit

Media Contact:

Patrick Cronan 6205 0401 0432 758 224

02/02/2011  Our solar panels are feeding power into the grid

Our 162 solar panels are now feeding power into the grid. Since being switched on at lunchtime on Monday 2 August 2010, we have averaged almost 100 Kwh per day into the grid. This figure is expected to double in summer. In the first 6 months of operation we have generated 24.3 Megawatt-hours of electricity worth $11,105.00

01/08/2010 Our Solar Panels are now installed

Photo by David Thiem

14/05/2010 News about Exemption of solar feed-in-tariff credits

Friday, 14 May 2010 14:20

“The Australian Government’s decision to exempt solar feed-in-tariff credits from the income test puts pensioners’ minds at ease,” said CPSA Policy Coordinator, Charmaine Crowe.

“Pensioners participating in solar feed-in-tariff schemes were very concerned about possibly losing some of their pension as a result of being credited for electricity they’ve produced from installing solar panels and feeding electricity back into the grid.”

“Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin has today announced that credits received under the feed-in-tariff schemes will not be treated as income under the pension income test.”

“This is good news for pensioners, who have generally outlaid thousands of dollars to install solar panels because of escalating electricity prices and a commitment to doing the right thing for the environment.”

24/05/2010 Construction Start at Wesley

Construction is now expected to start on Wesley Lancaster Hall on 24/5/10.

02/02/2010 UCA Canberra Presbytery Letter Explaining the Group Concept by Peter Ellis

Faith Groups Solar Bulk Buy

on 2 February 2010

27th January 2010 (updated 2 Feb 10)


I am the UCA Presbytery of Canberra Region coordinator for a bulk buy of solar power systems. Please give this your consideration, and contact me for more information.

PLEASE NOTE that this deal is openly available to people who simply want to align themselves to our bulk-buy group.

Over the last several months a local community action group, SEE-Change, has been promoting its third bulk buy of solar power systems, this time reaching out to “faith groups” in the Canberra region.

SEE-Change (the ‘SEE’ in SEE-Change stands for Society, the Environment and the Economy) is a community, not-for-profit group that supports and inspires people to join together and act in a sustainable way. Its activities are practical, and based on local Canberra realities. In addition, its aim is to create workable project models to be picked up by other community groups Australia-wide. See more at

The SEE-Change Interfaith Committee has announced that six excellent proposals have been received from local renewable energy suppliers, both in terms of the prices for those installations and the strength of their ability to install your solar energy systems professionally and within a reasonable time frame.

The committee then selected three of these companies to outline the strengths of their proposals and to answer further questions posed to them by the committee. From these, a preferred supplier was selected:

Pyramid Power (Pyramid Power corporate brochure 160kB PDF) which began its corporate life in the Bega area of the Presbytery of Canberra Region, and has grown into the Canberra market in recent times. It employs some 65 people within area covered by the Presbytery, sources its product from acknowledged leading suppliers, trains local apprentices under its trades people, and now has three offices including Queanbeyan.

A meeting was held on Wednesday 27 January 2010, at the Wesley Music Centre, where SEE-Change and Pyramid Power presented the preferred supplier’s deal.

Please note that it is still possible for other interested potential customers (either households or faith communities) to join the bulk buy project.



27/01/2010 Media Release for the meeting held at Wesley

SEE-Change organised a meeting at Wesley to brief interested people.

The media release for the faith-group meeting at Wesley on 27/1/10.