St Joseph’s Parish – Solar Electricity and Solar Hot Water

West Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria

  • Design Phase Commencement: December 2002
  • System Commissioning: July 2003

Client: St Joseph’s Parish

Project Goals

Provide solar hot water and grid-connected solar electricity for an elderly residents’ community.


St Jo’s represents our first provision of services for an Intentional Community, in this case providing PV grid-interactive system design and installation on eight units. There is also a ninth PV system on the community-use building. Another feature is the design and installation of solar hot water systems for the eight units.

This Intentional Community provides independent living for elderly residents in roomy, north-facing villas. Some of the residents are quite elderly and although they know the solar equipment is on the roofs, they have little comprehension how the systems work or that the renewable energy systems are providing a considerable proportion of their hot water and electricity needs.

A key feature was the aesthetics and keeping the installations looking tidy. To this end, the hot water tanks were mounted at ground level with the water being circulated by small, efficient pumps.