MASH – the campaign for More Australian Solar Homes – is a highly successful community solar bulk-buy for homes and businesses in Central Victoria. Over 950 households in the City of Greater Bendigo, Mount Alexander, Macedon Ranges and Hepburn Shires – plus a growing number of businesses, schools and other organisations – have gone solar with MASH since we started installations in September 2014. It is organised by the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, a not-for-profit organisation based in Castlemaine that works across Central and Northern Victoria to support local government with climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. MASH is recognised as one of Australia’s leading examples of a successful community solar bulk-buy.
MASH helps make solar simple
The MASH bulk-buy offers high quality solar PV systems and batteries, backed by solid warranties and installed according to best practice industry standards. It also provides great value, with lower prices negotiated as part of the bulk-buy. The MASH supplier is selected through a competitive public tender process overseen by the
Alternative Technology Association, ensuring that customers can trust the quality and value of what is being offered.
What’s more, there’s a ‘give back’ to the community in the form of free solar for community groups, kindergartens or schools in the region – typically around 5kW for each 100 solar rooftops installed.
MASH: Benefits to residents, communities and the environment
The level of interest and uptake for solar through MASH continues to astonish. Householders, in particular, seem to really get what MASH stands for – a way of buying a high quality solar and batteries at discounted prices from a trusted source, where there’s also a benefit to the local community.
Here is what MASH has achieved since September 2014, when the first installations took place:
- Over 950 new solar rooftops
- Over 4.2MW of installed solar power capacity
- $850,000 per year off residents’ electricity bills (approx)
- 6,600 tonnes CO2 emissions cut annually (equivalent to around 1300 cars off the road)
- Eight free solar systems donated to schools and buildings used by community groups
- High levels of customer satisfaction
Supported by Local Councils and Sustainability Groups
“One of our friends who’s involved in the Mt Alexander Sustainability Group referred us to MASH. We are very happy with the installation. The MASH installers spent time at the end showing us how the Tesla Powerwall app works so I rapidly got a handle on understanding the energy flows between the solar, the battery, home consumption and the grid. I have to admit that I’m finding it fascinating! I’m getting a really clear idea of how power is being used in our home and how the battery is contributing towards our energy requirements. It is surprising how quickly the battery recharges, even on cloudy days. So far we have not drawn on the grid for any electricity.”
It was a key decision point for us that MASH has such a strong community benefit, in terms of donating free solar to community groups and schools. We were going to get solar anyway, but hearing from Jo Kaptein at the MASH project that we'd probably be eligible for the new State Government rebate was like getting an early Christmas present. We're rapt!
“MASH is a fantastic initiative for our community. Council is proud to support this important program.”
“Hepburn Shire Council is pleased to be a partner of the Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy program [the sister bulk-buy of MASH]. We are confident that the MASH organising team has done its homework thoroughly by going through a full public tender process to find the best possible solar suppliers with the best possible solar and battery systems.
We believe that this bulk-buy provides households and businesses in the Shire with high quality solar and battery systems that represent good value for money. There’s also a win/win for the community, with up to $20,000 in free solar for community groups should the bulk-buy achieve its target of 200 new solar rooftops in Hepburn Shire. We know that the bulk-buy will support local jobs. Any CEC Accredited local installers in the Shire are urged to get in touch with the MASH team if they would like to be involved as a sub-contractor carrying out installations for this bulk-buy program.”
“We are proud to partner with MASH to grow residential solar in 2018.
"For our shire to reach zero-net energy in the next couple of years we need as many households as possible to go solar. 19% of homes have already switched to solar and we hope that through this partnership we will become one of the leading shires in 2018.”
Council is pleased to be a partner of the MASH solar bulk-buy in the City of Greater Bendigo. We commend MASH to residents as it already has a track record of delivering high quality systems at competitive prices.
Solar can help cut your power bills and, with MASH, there is a strong community benefit too – a free community solar system for every 100 Bendigo homes installed.
"Council welcomes the MASH community solar bulk-buy in our Shire. Over 300 residents in Macedon Ranges have chosen to install a MASH system since November 2015. The program has been well-proven for its quality and value.
"It also delivers a tangible benefit to our community in the form of free solar systems for community run buildings for every 100 homes installed. We encourage residents interested in solar, including battery storage, to take a look."
"The uptake of MASH by households in Macedon Ranges is tremendous. We are pleased to continue our support of MASH as it enters this fourth exciting round which includes not only solar PV systems but also high quality battery storage at bulk-buy prices."
"We encourage anyone interested in going solar – from a brand new system to adding storage to your existing array – to consider MASH. The program is delivering tangible benefits for the people of the Macedon Ranges, our community and the environment."
"MASG is pleased to continue its support for the MASH solar bulk-buy as it enters its fourth round. MASH has proven to deliver high quality solar PV systems at competitive prices and has been responsible for a marked cut in CO2 emissions.
"We recommend that anyone looking to go solar – or add battery storage to their existing system – considers what MASH has to offer."
Is the CVGA (the organiser of MASH) making any money out of bulk-buy?
The not-for-profit Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance (CVGA) receives a small commission on each installation in order to make a contribution towards the costs of marketing and administration of the MASH project.