Hub News, MASH+ News

Lisa Chesters, Federal Member for Bendigo, commends Hub Foundation

Friday 7/11/14: The Hub Foundation and Stephen Breheny met with Lisa Chesters,  ALP Federal Member for Bendigo, on Friday to update her on the progress of the MASH project and she had this to say:

“I commend the Hub Foundation on the fantastic MASH+ project, aimed getting more solar panels on household roofs in Central Victoria. MASH+ is an exciting way for our local community to reduce power bills, make a positive contribution to climate change, and create jobs for local installers. It’s another example of Central Victoria leading the way in community based renewable energy projects. Our region is setting the benchmark for being able to power ourselves. Renewable energy just makes sense.”

Thanks Lisa for your support!

Hub News, MASH+ News

MASH participants in 3rd bulk order to have their solar panels up by Christmas

Wed 29/10/14: MASH round #1 participants who pay by Friday 7 November will have their solar panels installed by Christmas 2014, according to Stephen Breheny, installer for the MASH solar panels bulk-buy project.

Friday 7 November is the payment deadline for inclusion in the third MASH solar panels bulk order. This order will bring the total number of systems ordered under the MASH solar PV project to 150.

A fourth bulk order for an additional 50+ rooftop solar panel systems will be placed before Christmas. The payment deadline for this order is Friday 19 December.

“Solar panel systems in the third bulk order will be installed by Christmas. Those in the fourth bulk order will be installed in January and February 2015 assuming favourable weather conditions and no events occurring that are beyond our control”, said Stephen Breheny.

Prices will be held at the current advertised rates for both these orders. However, due to adverse currency fluctuations, it is likely that orders placed in the New Year will be at slightly higher prices.

If you have not already placed your order, please get in touch with Stephen Breheny to arrange payment in time for either one of these order dates. Stephen can be contacted by email at or by phone on 0415 507 777.


Hub News, MASH+ News

Interest high in switching to a greener electricity company

Dissatisfaction with the dirty three energy retailers – Origin, AGL and EnergyAustralia – is proving common amongst participants in the MASH+ solar panels bulk-buy. The Hub Foundation is receiving a steady stream of enquiries from people who want to move to a green electricity retailer that publicly supports the Renewable Energy Target and generate all, or most, of their electricity from renewable sources.

Greenpeace has recently published ‘The Green Electricity Guide’, an independent study which they say has been developed to “help inform Australians about which electricity retailers really are as ‘green’ as they say they are.”

“Up till recently, Australians concerned about where their electricity comes from and who is selling it haven’t had much of a choice. And in some states and territories that’s still the case, with no choice at all”, according to the Green Electricity Guide.

“But increasingly many of us have the choice to purchase from a range of electricity retailers with very different environmental credentials. There is a growing difference between the old retailers which still remain dominant and rely on burning fossil fuels in the power stations they own, and a newer breed of more forward-looking companies that are providing cleaner energy in smarter ways.”

Here in Victoria, we are fortunate to have the greatest choice of green electricity retailers. The top four green retailers in Victoria, as identified in the Green Electricity Guide, are:

  • #1 Powershop
  • #2 Diamond Energy
  • #3 Momentum
  • #4 Red Energy

The seven criteria that all retailers were ranked on can be viewed here, they are:

  1. Investment in renewable energy
  2. Emissions intensity
  3. Greenpower options
  4. Whether they offer a good deal for solar
  5. Position on Australia’s Renewable Energy Target
  6. Coal seam gas investments
  7. Whether they are prepared to rule out purchasing electricity generated from burning native forest vegetation

The electricity companies that get a green rating in this report receive high scores on most of the above 7 criteria. “They typically generate all or most of their electricity from renewable sources, do not invest in or undertake coal seam gas activities, do not burn native forests for electricity generation and mostly are advocates of expanding Australia’s Renewable Energy Target”, according to Green Electricity Guide.

Hub News, MASH+ News

100 cyclists at Ride to Work Day Brekkie 2014, Castlemaine

Wed 15 Oct, 2014: Around 100 people donned helmets and rode to the Hub Plot in Castlemaine this morning to enjoy the Ride to Work brekkie and show their support for cycling.

Braving the frosty morning, the cyclists enjoyed the delicious food provided by CAKE Catering and The Good Table – an inspired granola yoghurt combo and homemade foccacia with vegies from local wicking beds.. There was plenty of bike-themed interest too, with people having a go on the electric bikes from the Bike Vault as well as bike jokes and awards from MC, TimTim.

Everyone was encouraged to hear Jason Taylor, Director Sustainable Development at Mt Alexander Shire Council talking about the positive steps being taken to implement the council’s walking and cycling strategy. It was also good to see representatives from Castlemaine’s Walking and Wheeling Action Group (WAWAG) at the event.

“We were pleased to have so many people come to the brekkie and help to make it such a lovely community event,” said Heather Barrett, Director of The Hub Foundation. “The feedback we got was really positive; there’s no doubt that cycling is alive and well here in Castlemaine.

“Cycling is so much better than driving on so many counts. If this event encourages just a few more people to ride more regularly, then we will consider it worthwhile”, continued Heather. “Of course, more can and should be done to make cycling safer in and around Castlemaine.”

Hub News, MASH+ News

Ride to Work Day in Castlemaine

If you never ride to work, sometimes do or brave the elements every day, Wednesday 15 October 2014 is a great day to ride your bike to work.

To start the day in style, join other cyclists between 7-9am at the Hub Plot on Templeton Street, Castlemaine for a delicious free breakfast and bike-themed fun.

There will be awards for the best decorated bike, the greatest distance travelled to the event and the funkiest bike. There will also be free bike safety checks, a chance to try an e-bike and find out what plans are afoot to make Castlemaine a more bike-friendly town. (Free brekkie for 1st 100 to register; paid-for options available for others).

“Biking to work is a really positive way to start your day, build exercise into your daily routine and it helps make you more alert”, says Jo Kaptein of The Hub Foundation.

“And there’s a huge plus for the environment because for each kilometre you ride your bike instead of driving, you are saving around 0.3 kg of CO2 emissions – that’s a bit more than a standard pack of butter. Definitely worth it, we reckon!”

“It really doesn’t matter what your work is – an office job, outside job, ‘looking after kids job’ or student – the main thing is that you give biking a go and want to join in”, says Jo Kaptein.

The Hub Foundation, Castlemaine, and MASG (Mount Alexander Sustainability Group) are hosting the breakfast. It is free of charge for the first 100 people who register at

This event is sponsored by Mt Alexander Shire Council and the Bike Vault. Food will be prepared by The Good Table and CAKE Catering using locally sourced ingredients, including vegies from the footpath wicking beds. Coffee is provided by Coffee Basics.

Please register online at in order to claim one of the 100 free brekkies or by calling Jo Kaptein at The Hub Foundation on 0455-589-065.

car fat, bike lean pic