Hub News, MASH+ News

MASH Solar Participants Meet Lisa Chesters

Date: 16 December 2014

A local landlord, a tenant, representatives from Campbells Creek Bowling Club, a Yandoit resident and others gathered this morning at The Good Table restaurant in Castlemaine for a coffee and a chat with Lisa Chesters, Federal Member for Bendigo.  The idea of the gathering was for Lisa to hear from a cross-section of the community about going solar with MASH, the Mount Alexander Shire Solar Homes community bulk-buy project organised by The Hub Foundation.

Felicity Faris echoed the feelings of virtually all those present saying,

“The purse-string factor was a consideration. But for me, ‘going solar’ was really about what kind of world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren.”

Worth pushing Powercor

Problems with Powercor, the electricity distribution company for much of our region were a hot topic. Nikki Marshall from Yandoit said her application for a 2Kw system was knocked back by Powercor for technical reasons.  But applying to Powercor for reconsideration is really worth it; MASH heard only today that a couple in Preshaw Street in Castlemaine have just had their application for a 4Kw system approved by Powercor after it was initially rejected.

Bowling Club gets ‘solar-smart’

Barry Ellis from Campbells Creek Bowling Club organised a 5Kw, 20 panel system from MASH and really did his homework to get the club’s power bill down.

“We weren’t happy with Origin so we shopped around using the website, and switched to another retailer who offered us 30% savings off our electricity and 25% off gas.  Our next step was to go with MASH for solar and also put timers on our fridges.  We’re monitoring our electricity usage closely to help us understand how we can be more efficient.  But I have to say that I’ve taken the timer off the beer fridge because the beer just wasn’t cold enough!”

Local landlord puts MASH solar on 3 properties!

Vic Say, a local landlord said,

“I get a million phone calls from solar companies each year and I just don’t trust them. But I trusted this community organisation, the Hub Foundation. I put three solar panel systems on – two on rental properties and one on my own home.  I would like to see a landlord/renter think-tank organised by the Hub Foundation to properly work out the sums to show how solar could be a win/win for both landlord and tenant.”

“MASH a stand-out example for rest of Australia” – Lisa Chesters

MASH is on track to increase the number of solar households in the Shire by 20% by the end of February 2015 and solar capacity in terms of kilowatts by 25%.

Lisa Chesters said “Mount Alexander Shire is one of the few communities in Australia doing a community solar bulk-buy on this scale. It’s a stand-out example for the rest of Australia.  My congratulations to all MASH participants for getting behind this initiative of the Hub Foundation.  I’m going to do everything I can to help spread this great story.”