220 Leicester St, Carlton VIC 3053

What is Going Solar?

Going Solar is the venture to shift Graduate House one step closer to being an organisation relying on renewable energy resources for the daily functioning of the activities, and functioning of the Union. Going Solar aims to adopt an environment friendly energy use practice by installing 88 Solar Photovoltaic Units (PV) on the roof of the southern and central wings. This venture is a part of our commitment to advance the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The cost to purchase and set up these panels is $51,000 AUD. Based on this proposal, Graduate House has engaged an Australian Energy Company to implement this project subject to funding.

Going Solar is installing 88 Solar PV Units (solar panels) on the roof of Graduate House.

As a post graduate residential college hosting over 120 residents at any one time, the Graduate House consumes a large amount of energy. (Graduate Union is already in compliance with the environmental rules and regulations of Victorian and Commonwealth Government).

In alliance with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, Graduate House has opted to use Solar Photovoltaic Units (PV) as a primary energy source. This will help reduce our carbon footprint and help us become more environmental friendly.

How did we get here? 

As a Union focused on advancing education for social good, we work with our residents to improve the College an environment at large.

Fatima Yaseen, one of our residents conducted an environmental audit on the Graduate House as part of her Environment Management course. By examining five aspects of the house, she provided a report highlighting recommendations and measures to help advance our sustainable practices.

As part of measures already adopted to save energy, she noted that:

“A solar panel is used to heat up the water in the Stella Langford wing. Once the water is heated by the solar power, it goes to a reserve tank which keeps the water hot for the residents.”

Her recommendations regarding energy use are:

“Similar to Stella Langford, solar panels can be introduced for heating water. It would be cost efficient to introduce it in the old wing first as the number of bathrooms are less than that of the main building.”

Based on this proposal, Graduate House initiated research into this idea and is actively fundraising for this cause.

Benefits of Going Solar

  • Solar PV systems convert sunlight directly to electricity making it more environmentally sustainable compared to conventional energy sources.
  • Graduate House’s average daily electricity consumption ranges from 725kWh to 1521 kWh. We can control our energy usage and bills as the Solar PV systems helps make energy domestic.
  • Power bills are reduced
  • Reduces carbon footprints
  • it would be more cost effective to have solar panels for self-consumption (not to grid).
  • Solar PV systems are durable and chances of service interruption are reduced.

By giving to this fund today, you not only help meet the target required to facilitate the venture, 'Go Solar', you also help keep the fund in perpetuity. A small portion, 5% of your donation will be transferred to the endowment fund to meet its target, generate interest and keep the fund running in perpetuity. As The Graduate House expands, this endowment fund will provide resources for more solar panels or new ventures.

All donations to this venture is tax deductible. 

Learn more about The Graduate House and browse through a list of our other crowdfunded projects.

FAQ

How is energy currently used at Graduate House

The major portion of energy is used by the residents in the college. All the resident rooms use electricity for lighting and air-conditioning. The main building residents have fans and mini fridges in their rooms. Graduate House provides communal washing machines, dryers and ironing facilities for the residents separately for the old wing and main building. The Stella Langford apartments have electrical cookers, micro-ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers. The residents also use electricity in their rooms to operate electrical equipments like laptop, speakers, hairdryers etc. The residents’ kitchen is well equipped with electrical equipments such as dish washer, micro-ovens and several fridges for storing residents’ groceries.

Each of the hallway, dining room, conference room, reception, library and other public spaces are well lit and room temperatures are well-maintained. The main building and Stella Langford wing have elevators for commuting. The electricity is further used for proving hot water to the residents. Graduate House pay electrical bill approximately from $40000 to $50000 for every three months.

What are the current measures Graduate House adopts to save energy?

  1. The LED bulbs are used for lightening up the public areas and residents’ rooms.
  2. The lights in hallways, entrances, reception and kitchen have motion sensors. They automatically turn off at night if none is in the room.
  3. In order to save energy, each room’s air conditioner will only operate when the room key is inserted in the power socket. Mr. Daniel Clark (2015) informed that though the initial investment was huge, it turned out to be a cost effective venture. This measure kept the energy bill moderately low.
  4. In Stella Langford wing, apartments’ energy connection is related to the key card. When the resident inserts the key card in the energy saving device on entering his room, electricity connection is switched on and when the key card is retrieved, the electrical connection is turned off for every electrical equipment (other than the refrigerator) within 5 minutes.
  5. A solar panel is used to heat up the water in the Stella Langford wing. Once the water is heated by the solar power, it goes to a reserve tank which keeps the water hot for the residents.

What is the timeline of this venture?

Go Solar will start in line with the Diamond Jubilee redevelopment plan of Graduate House. Installing solar panels is one of the projects with the rebuilding campaign. Once the construction of the building is done, the solar panels will be installed. The estimated completion of construction is set be complete sometime in mid 2022.

How are the funds allocated for this venture and the entire redevelopment venture of the Graduate Union?

The funds raised in this campaign feeds into the Diamond Jubilee Fundraising Campaign for the redevelopment of the Graduate House and is reflected in that crowdfunding venture.
The main redevelopment project includes smaller individual ventures, such as this venture that are being crowdfunded for, for the main redevelopment.
You can donate either directly into the main redevelopment fundraising campaign. However, donating through this venture ensures that funds will be allocated for this venture – Going Solar.

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Taking a step closer to being a sustainable building by installing solar panels on the roof tops of Graduate House for environment friendly practices.
Step 1: Specify your contribution amount for Go Solar