Solar Panel System


December, 2019

Sunshine is making a difference at Woodlawn United. It is now more than twelve months since Woodlawn installed 140 Solar Panels to our rooftop. While the cost of the project may have been scary, turning that challenge into opportunity outweighed our fear. Not only would it make a difference to our long term planning to save on expenses but most importantly, it was necessary for Woodlawn United to take some steps to help contribute to reducing our carbon foot print and to help in some small way the climate change issues before us in the world today. 

NS Power installed the new bi-directional meter at the church on November 6, 2018. This meter indicates kilowatt-hours (kWh) sold to WUC by NS Power (reading #1) and kilowatt-hours sold to NS Power by WUC (reading #2).  On November 6, 2018 both readings were zero (0).  Jim read the meter one year later on November 6, 2019 with the following readings:
Reading #1 is 529 (x 60 = 31,740 kWh sold to WUC). 
Reading #2 is 554 (x 60 = 32,700 kWh sold to NS Power). 

Therefore, over this one-year period the Church is ahead by about 1,000 kWh or a credit of approximately $160!!

This good news story was achieved with the help and support of the Congregation of Woodlawn and the support of the United Church of Canada Faithful Footprint Program. The initial cost of the Project was $139,000. and through fundraising of selling panels or accepting many donations by members of the congregation and the lower interest cost of financing by the HRM’s Solar City Program, we were able to make this project a reality. Eighteen months after we started planning the project, we are pleased to say that we have $36,000 left to pay on the cost of the project. 

If you would like to contribute in any way to the outstanding cost of this Solar Panel Project Fund, there are brochures on the welcome table of the Narthex or you can find information on line. Contributions in memory of love ones, in honour of love ones or a contribution to help make a difference in the world are gratefully appreciated. Christmas is a time for celebrating good news. May God and his son Jesus Christ continue to lead the Woodlawn Congregation in 2020 the way he has for the last 135 years on this corner in Woodlawn.

Thank you for your support and God Bless from the Trustees Team.


We live in a time where the necessity for clean energy and energy efficiency has never been more important. Reducing our carbon footprint has become part of how we now live our lives. This includes solar energy as a quickly rising asset in design and development of new architecture, worldwide. 

Across Canada, United Churches are doing their part to address the climate crisis by getting their own Church in order by working to reduce their own carbon emissions, by measuring their energy use and reducing their climate pollution, in ways that save money and strengthen congregational renewal.

The United Church of Canada is committing to reducing its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, in line with the Paris Climate Targets, with an initial focus on buildings – one of the church’s largest source of emissions. 

As people of faith we recognize that to bring truly inspiring climate leadership to our communities, we must practice what we preach. Together we can renew our congregations, care for the planet as stewards of the earth, save money, and stop climate pollution. This benefits our world now, and for our future generations of children and grandchildren. 

As congregants and good stewards of the earth, we have a responsibility to uphold the values of our United Church mission. Woodlawn will become a trailblazer in the community for Energy efficiency and carbon reduction. We want to be leaders and teachers setting examples for other churches, members and our community.


Hot off the Presses!  The project was featured in the Chronicle Herald on September 17, 2018.


Facts on the Solar Electricity System for Woodlawn United Church

  • A solar electric, aka, photovoltaic (PV), system is being installed at Woodlawn United Church 
  • 140 PV modules (or solar panels) will be installed on the south-west roof of the church 
  • Under bright sunlight these modules will produce up to 48,000 watts of electric power 
  • The PV modules produce direct current (DC) power, which is the type of electric power produced by batteries 
  • The DC power produced by the PV modules is fed into inverters, electronic devices that convert the DC power into AC power (240 VAC), which is the type of power used in our homes, businesses and churches (AC = alternating current) 
  • The AC power produced by the inverters is fed into the main electrical panel 
  • The power produced by the PV system will vary according to the amount of sunlight available during daylight hours 
  • If we produce more power than we use the excess is fed into the Nova Scotia Power grid through the electrical meter.  
  • This will cause the electricity meter to run backwards 
  • The PV system is designed to produce 60,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in a typical year, which is the amount of electricity consumed by Woodlawn United every year 
  • The intention is to reduce the electric bill to zero, other than for the fixed monthly charges that will remain the same
  • If the church reduces its consumption of electricity, and/or the PV system performs better than anticipated, then Woodlawn United will generate a surplus of electricity over the year 
  • Nova Scotia Power will reimburse Woodlawn United, once a year, for any surplus generated at a rate per kilowatt-hour that is equal to the rate at which Woodlawn United pays Nova Scotia Power for electricity 
  • This system of generating and consuming electricity is called “net metering” – Woodlawn United will be billed for the NET of kilowatt-hours consumed less kilowatt-hours generated 
  • The PV system has no moving parts, requires no maintenance, and has an expected lifetime of 50 years, possibly more! 
  • The output of the system will be monitored by an internet-based system, such that the Church officials and the installation contractor can view the operation at anytime and anyplace 
  • The PV system was designed by and is being installed by 2 companies: Thermo Dynamics Ltd. and Doctor Solar, Dartmouth companies that have been involved in the   design and installation of solar energy equipment for over 37 years 

Solar Energy has been on Woodlawn United’s radar for many years. During the Accessibility project it was considered, but due to feasibility at that time, it was postponed. This year, the City of Halifax established a new Solar City program to help give residents, churches, and Not for Profit property owners the ability to become our own power producer. With up front project coverage and a fixed 4.75% interest rate over 10 year maximum, the possibility of this project was realized. 

More information on Solar City can be found on the Halifax Website .  


We acknowledge that we live, worship and work on Indigenous land. We are committeed to Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and recognize that includes aligning ourselves with the values of living with care in Creation.  


      We are a congregation of the United Church of Canada, a member of the Worldwide Council of Churches.