MASH+ News

Mayor launches new solar panels project in Shire

Mount Alexander Shire Mayor, Cr Michael Redden, has launched a new solar power project, Mount Alexander Solar Homes, or MASH+.  MASH+ is a bulk-buy arrangement for local households in Mount Alexander Shire and nearby areas, using high quality solar panels and inverters, heavily discounted prices and as much local involvement as possible.

According to Cr Redden “We are supporting this initiative because we want to help all households in our Shire benefit from the financial benefits of going solar and as a Shire we want to help cut our CO2 emissions.  We are pleased to support another not-for-profit solar initiative in our Shire.  Climate change is a pressing concern for everyone and the more that we can do to address it, the better.”

The project has been organised by The Hub Foundation, a not-for-profit company which is associated with the Hub office and restaurant building in Castlemaine.

Hub Foundation manager, Neil Barrett, says he decided it was a great time to promote solar for five reasons.  “Prices for solar panels have come down enormously over the past few years, people want solar but don’t trust the many people calling them on the phone, the technology is well and truly proven, the government may take away the subsidy within a few months and, above all, the planet needs it.

“And there’s a sixth reason also”, says Barrett: “You can earn a higher rate of return on your money than you do from almost any other investment. That’s because the savings on your power bills are so high and the cost of the panels so low.

“The MASH+ project is very local. We’re working with the highly respected electrical contractor, Stephen Breheny.  Stephen and his staff have done over 400 solar installations in the Shire over the past six years and they’re widely respected.

“Currently 26% of the Shire’s houses have solar panels. We’re hoping to raise this to 36% which would put us up there amongst the nation’s leading solar regions.

On the 10th and 16th of July the Foundation will be holding information sessions in Castlemaine, Campbells Creek and Maldon, for interested people.

And the plus in MASH+? That’s there to tell you it’s not just about solar power. As part of the price, participants in the project also get an energy assessment and a voucher for an energy efficiency kit from a local supplier.

For more information, call Neil Barrett on 0455 589 065 or visit