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Solar panels on period homes

Solar panels on heritage homes are the perfect blend of old and new

I’ve had no time to complete a big new blog post, so here’s a quick collection of photos of solar panels on period homes.

Solar panels on roof, Maribyrnong

Why? Because I really like the idea of this new technology blended with lovely older homes.

Solar panels on roof, Elsternwick

The announcement of the Yallourn power station closure being brought forward to 2028 is a reminder that renewable energy is slowly taking over, despite the inaction from the Federal Government. Green generation is getting cheaper, and so are the big batteries that make it reliable/dispatchable.

I’d love to see this happen faster, but at least it’s happening. The dinosaurs wanting to keep burning coal are out of luck – simple economics is taking over – and the proliferation of domestic solar panels is a sign of this. Of course governments need to make sure that the affected workforce can transition smoothly too.

Solar panels on roof, Bentleigh

This one I particularly love. This would be what, 1880s? I love this style of architecture.

Solar panels on roof, Footscray

Do solar panels spoil the look? They change the look, but I personally don’t think they spoil it – especially as panels mostly don’t change the profile of the roof.

In some areas, heritage overlays can mean that panels and various other features such as rain water tanks and electric car charging stations can’t be visible from the street or from a public park – or at least require a planning permit.

I suppose protecting heritage buildings is important, but it’s a little unclear to me if they apply the same restrictions for TV antennas and air conditioners.

Air conditioner and TV antenna on roof, Bentleigh

In any case, there’s any number of period homes without heritage protection.

I’m no architecture expert, but it seems to me that if older homes are able to adapt to changing technology and meet modern 21st century requirements, then that means they’ll still be able to be used, and will still be around. And that’s a good thing.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

9 replies on “Solar panels on period homes”

I suspect the situation is more lax in Victoria judging by those examples (some of them so horrible they must surely be illegal or have slipped through a planning loophole), but the general heritage policy is that the panels should not be on a frontage facing a street. Here is some typical detail from a NSW Council:

A couple of Victorian councils I looked up also require approval if the installation faces a street. I would think (hope) that Heritage Victoria would have a policy that councils must follow. Apart from that, go for it – on a section of roof facing away from the street or otherwise invisible to the public.

Interesting, Thanks for posting the pics. I suspect most of the homes you show are just old and not actually heritage. So preserving the old look is probably not that important.
BTW, don’t knock dinosaurs. They were successful for 200 million years – way more than mankind!

Well timed, as I was reading about solar panels do something to improve thermodynamics in homes :-)
PS “new technology blended with lovely older homes” It’s like connecting a VCR to a digital TV.

@TonyP, to my untrained eye, the rules for Inner West Sydney look the same as Glen Eira, Yarra and Moreland in Melbourne – they only apply to homes with heritage overlays.

The question is how many are subject to such overlays?

In Glen Eira at least, it seems to be not many.

@Michael, I’m not sure I’d call a VCR “lovely”!

But I do have a record player plugged into a Sonos audio system – maybe that counts?

I think we’re opposites here, no offence:
I like VCR’s (I have one at home from Grandma), but I couldn’t say if record players are lovely as I don’t know how to use them.

Sign of the times.

Also, ‘Things change, but they dont really change’ is a quote spinning around inside my head right now.

No Govt anywhere needs to do anything, to ensure the spread of green energy, unless to ensure it happens sooner. As with all technology, and other, prices are always beyond the budget of the average person first off, but, will end up becoming so cheap, that anybody can afford to get it. It is sure to happen sooner or later.

here will come a time when, 100% of all homes and businesses will have their own green energy on their property. That time is not far off now.

People who are making the equipment, are all producing, and those who install the equipment, are still working full time, putting in the equipment. As long as that continus,and for as long as this rate is greater than the rate of new homes being built, we are sure to reach 100% solar energy at one point one day in the near future.

As for the current progress, we have solar power, most of the homes around my area clearly have solar power, most of the people I know, have solar power, which deems me to believe we are progressing quite well today.

@Tony – i do not understand the obsession with supposedly “offending” people walking past should solar panels be street facing. In a city like Melbbourne, with a relatively flat layout, and predominantly linear street configuration (E-W, N-S), excluding street facing panels makes little sense – given the vast majority of energy production is derived from being north facing (ie – facing the fuel source, the sun). Your suggestion would wipe out >50% of useful / high yield solar rooftops – which does nothing to further net zero, low carbon, or individual energy independence.

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