Ray of hope for church power bills

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Ray of hope for church power bills

St Peter’s Catholic Church at Youngtown is reaping the benefits of having solar panels installed on its roof earlier this year.

Some 31 panels were put on the church roof in May.

Parish priest Fr John O’Connor said the move was in keeping with the messages in Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical, ‘Laudato Si’, in which the Pope called for swift action on climate change and lamented the relentless exploitation of the environment.

Fr John said that many churches worldwide were heeding the call, with 2,000 Catholic churches in the United Kingdom alone now running on renewable energy.

The solar system at St Peter’s cost $19,500, but the bill was reduced to $14,000 with a government subsidy.

Fr John was delighted to report a saving of $1,500 on the winter quarter power bill compared with the previous year.

“Times are tough and people are struggling to survive anyway,” Fr John said. 

“It makes sense to reduce our running costs in any way possible.

“If we lower the running costs we do not have to keep making demands on people.”

In another renewable energy move, the fluorescent lighting in St Peter’s Church, part of the Kings Meadows Catholic Parish, has been replaced with LED lights.

“They are far more efficient than fluorescent ones and they are almost guaranteed for life,” Fr John added.

Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall at Devonport also has solar panels and parish priest Fr Mike Delaney estimated that this had resulted in a saving of about $1,000 this year.