"Dealing with MASH to get our 6.6kw system installed was a seamless and hassle-free experience. Good for the environment and for our energy bills." - James Allebone, Woodend, November 2020
John and Airlie Loughran run a bed and breakfast business in the beautiful, elegant Rochford Schoolhouse (built 1857) on their property. All of their devices are dependent on electricity as well as the pump for the water. With the grid being prone to blackouts, they chose a battery storage system to provide the necessary resilience which gives them peace of mind that their residents will not be impacted.
John heard about the MASH Solar + Battery program through the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group newsletter as he is a member. He participated in Zoom sessions on battery and solar run by MASH and Cola Solar and felt confident to proceed with MASH.
Coming from a professional background in the tertiary education sector, John demands that things work well first time around. He was extremely pleased with the welcome, the quick responses and attention to detail from Cola Solar and MASH. The fact that MASH have a Community Bonus and support the uptake of solar for local community groups was icing on the cake.
John couldn't be happier with the installation and being able to monitor and manage the Tesla battery from his iPhone. Everything about the process and the clean energy he is producing and storing "makes [him] feel good".
John and Airlie plan in the future to install an Electric Vehicle Charging Station for their bed and breakfast business that will run directly from their battery and solar system and benefit from the growing eco-tourist industry.
"We attended a MASH Zoom info meeting which we found very beneficial. MASH took out the need of us having to do the homework, something we weren't that keen to do as we aren't solar experts and don't intend to be! The process was very simple and we are delighted with the installation. Now, we're keen to see the savings on our first bill. MASH really does make going solar simple and easy. We were so impressed that we recommended MASH to our bowling club - the Dunolly Bowling Club - and they've had a 10kW solar system installed through MASH too." - November 2020
"We moved from Beaumaris to Daylesford around seven months ago. We’d been looking for the right property in Daylesford to retire to for about five years – and we are delighted with where we live now.
"Getting solar panels was one of our top priorities when we moved in. We’re here for the long term so we want a home that’s energy efficient with low bills. Plus we want to do our bit for the environment. We’ve moved to a beautiful area and we want to keep it beautiful.
"We read about the Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy in a local paper and liked the sound of the community aspect, particularly how there’s a give-back to community groups and schools with free solar. Community is important to us, that’s one of the reasons why we’ve moved here. We want to do what we can to support that.
"We got in touch with the organisers and they put us onto the solar provider, Cola Solar. They were very efficient and easy to deal with. The installers turned up on time and were very helpful. The panels look great.
"We’re just waiting for the Electrical Inspector to come before the system is turned on. We can’t wait for that. It’s going to be a good feeling to know that when we switch on the lights that we’ll be running on sun power." - November 2020
“We had been thinking of getting solar power for our small farm since moving to Bridgewater three years ago but where to start? Who should we go with and how would we make sense of all the deals?
"Luckily, Cr Colleen Condliffe happened to mention the MASH Community Solar Bulk-Buy which is a program run in partnership with Loddon Shire Council.
"We were put in touch with the MASH solar provider who guided us through the Victorian Government’s solar panels rebate and was always ready to answer any questions we had. Each step was supported by clear emails we could refer to and an easy-to-read quote.
"A very generous interest-free payment plan and the knowledge we were buying at a co-operative community bulk-buy rate was some of the appeal. Also, we liked that our purchase would contribute towards the free installation of a solar power system on a community building in the shire.
"Now we, and our neighbour, are happily looking forward to a big drop in our power bills." - November 2020
"We recently had solar panels installed, with the purchase arranged by MASH and the installation work undertaken by Cola Solar. The process from our initial contact to discuss options through to the final inspection was conducted professionally and smoothly. We found the advice from MASH staff and the Cola Solar team very helpful, including advice on the application process for the Victorian Government Solar Rebate.
"Our decision to instal solar panels was motivated by the desire to be environmentally responsible and contain our consumption of and reliance on the use of fossil fuels. The Victorian Government incentives support and encourage the installation of panels and this made our decision easier. We commend the MASH team for their dedication to the Macedon Ranges." - November 2020
"We like MASH solar bulk-buy because it is community driven and for us, this is one of the attractions of moving to Castlemaine. MASH was also recommended to us by friends of ours in Castlemaine who bought their solar system through the program and had a good experience.
"We were pleasantly surprised by the prices of solar through MASH. With our new electrically heated pool getting installed, plus a workshop with power tools, we knew that getting solar was going to help cut our electricity bills.
"Right from when we contacted MASH everything was easy. The MASH solar provider, Cola Solar, were great at communications and the whole process went smoothly. Everything happened so quickly. Cola Solar even helped us with the Solar Homes rebate application process and that was great. We were delighted with all aspects of the customer service we received.
"We chose a 5.2kW solar power system with a Fronius inverter as our home is on three-phase power. We hit a snag when we found out that Powercor, the network distributor, would not allow any excess solar power to the grid. The team at Cola Solar explained the implications of this to us very clearly and showed us that the payback would still be good as we’d be using most of what we produce. Also, they explained that when, eventually, Powercor does put in place the necessary infrastructure to allow us to export to the grid that setting this up with our inverter will be simple and wouldn’t require any more system components.
"We can highly recommended going solar through MASH and their solar provider, Cola Solar." - November 2020
Thanks to MASH we were aware of the solar bulk buy scheme in the Macedon Ranges and the benefits resulting from it. Not only to our own household but the wider effect of using solar to reduce carbon emissions etc. Once we contacted them and were introduced to their installation company “Cola Solar”, the whole process was so smooth and easy. We have never had a project run so efficiently, from keeping us in the loop right throughout, to the final installation, all done on time and exactly as explained to us. We are already seeing the benefits, halving our monthly electricity bill plus a solar contribution credit, and we are not yet into full summer! - October 2020
It is fantastic to know that 100% of our power needs are now met by our 6.6 kW solar and Tesla Powerwall battery system. I have become addicted to checking the Tesla app to see the power flow. The only grid involvement is from our system to the grid, once the battery is fully charged. - October 2020
All our tenants had to do for us to get the Solar Homes $1,850 rebate was to sign the Solar Homes Tenant Landlord Agreement which states that the tenant gets full benefit of the lower bills. The tenants were very happy to sign the agreement. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain as we were paying the full cost. The Solar Homes application process was very easy and straightforward and MASH’s solar provider, Cola Solar, were very professional, quick and very good on the communications side of things.
We were extremely happy with the results of engaging with MASH and their commercial solar installer, Cola Solar. The process was straightforward because the information and guidance from MASH was genuine and gave us confidence to proceed. MASH has done all the hard work and due diligence that is often intimidating when choosing a solar solution. I would not hesitate in recommending engaging with MASH and their partners.
“Thank you for the information session. I learnt a lot and feel much better informed and will be more confident when we are in a position to get solar power.”
"I attended one of the online meetings hosted by the MASH team and looked at a recorded battery info session also. I found these extremely helpful in ironing out our queries and found most people also had similar queries. Once again thanks to your team for getting us into more sustainable power and trying to do our bit for the future."
"I chose to go solar with MASH because I liked the idea that my solar installation was going to help community groups and schools get free solar power. Now, I'm looking forward to generating my own solar power - and also to hearing which community group or school is going to benefit from the next MASH community bonus system."
“The communications with the MASH solar supplier were good and the installation met our expectations. We are able to monitor how much solar power is being produced and consumed as well as seeing how much power is being exported or imported from the grid in real time.
"The solar installers did a good job on the day, installing our new 2.97kW solar PV system through the MASH community solar bulk-buy. They turned up early, worked all day and were really professional."
“We've just had a 5.13kW solar PV system installed as part of the MASH community solar bulk-buy. The communication from the solar company was good. Buddy Norris, the installer was terrific and gave us lots of tips on how to use our system effectively.”
"I like that the MASH project is community-based and provides economies of scale in terms of buying power. It was also useful to have the technology explained in laypersons language."
"I wanted to be supportive of the renewable energy push and in particular support the uptake of batteries in order to help more people become self-sufficient and not rely so much on the grid. Now with my MASH solar system and Tesla Powerwall 2 battery, I expect that 7-8 months of the year I will be self-sufficient in terms of my electricity needs."
"The MASH info meeting in Castlemaine and was impressive. I could see that their research on components was very solid. I decided to invest in as a large a system as I could afford. I think in the future, decentralisation of power will become very important. With the large amount of sunshine in Central Victoria, the MASH system will be producing a lot of power very quickly."
"The installation was smooth. The MASH team installed a week early - and it took them only two and a half hours. Really impressive work."
“We like MASH because we’re confident that they have done the homework for us and researched the market properly. We had the system installed just over 3 months ago. Already we’ve noticed a big difference in our electricity bills. They were around $130 a month and now they’re less than half that."
"My reasons for choosing MASH are that the economies of scale just make sense for everyone and I love the idea of being able to contribute to solar power for schools and community organisations that otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it."
"We went with MASH because we like that the MASH supplier and solar systems have been endorsed by the Alternative Technology Association. We also like that MASH gives back to the local community with free solar for schools and community groups."
“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 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 attracted to the idea of being part of MASH because of the community aspect and the focus on CO2 emissions reduction."
“My MASH installation has gone really smoothly. The whole thing was very efficient and well organised. The MASH supplier and installer was totally on the ball and there were no issues at all. I have already recommended MASH to my friends and encouraged them to join in.”
“I highly recommend MASH to anyone who’s thinking about investing in solar for their home."
“We have two children so we see it as a great opportunity to discuss energy usage with the kids, and why it is important to look after the environment. Solar is something tangible that they can see. We want them to be aware that electricity and gas does not grow on trees and there are ways of being less wasteful with power.”
“The MASH solar supplier have been great to deal with. All the information they provided was very helpful and my enquiries were answered promptly and effectively.”
“I like to support collaborations at a community level and was impressed by the ethos of MASH, its commitment to CO2 emissions reduction and not-for-profit status. Producing your own solar power is the cleanest form of renewable energy. It’s a no brainer in my opinion!”
We put a 5kW solar system on our coach house with MASH. We were really delighted with how MASH has organised everything and how smoothly it has gone. Well done MASH!
We are absolutely delighted with our MASH experience. The MASH installers were totally focused on the job, completely professional and a delight to have on site. Our installation went exactly according to plan.
We're rapt to know that our bill savings should be around $700 each year - that's going to make a difference! We just bought a little portable air conditioner because we've now got solar. We put it on yesterday and it was terrific to be able to run it for free and keep cool.
A huge thank you to you and the other wonderful people behind MASH. I wouldn’t have had the confidence - or time - to learn about how to install any solar system without your organisation’s support. You guys really made it possible. Thank you for following through on such a great vision.
The installation went very smoothly, it looks great and we’re rapt that we’ve finally managed to go solar.
We thought for a long time that we couldn't have solar due to the shading on our roof. But then MASH came along and we heard about the new technology that helps to minimise the impact of shading on panel performance. So we thought 'great' and got on board.
And we're glad we did. Our electricity bill is about 25% lower since we had the panels installed. Plus we are doing what we can to make our beautiful 1850s home more sustainable for the future and to reduce our carbon footprint. We think it's a 'win win' all round!
We loved that it was a local installer and we found the process really easy and friendly. We also loved that MASH is a local organisation that is championing such an important issue.
We're really happy to be part of the success of MASH and looking forward to seeing round 3 being even more successful.
I just think it’s the right thing to do. The community gets something out of it as well in the end, putting solar on organisations that perhaps wouldn’t be able to do it themselves.
I think it’s a good all round program. It’s one thing the community can do to say to the government, well, regardless of what you do, this is the way that it’s going to go.
Electricity is very expensive – everything here, the machinery and so on, runs on electricity. The bills keep going up and up and up, so we wanted to slow it down. We've also put panels on our home.
It’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it? Put the panels on and start saving money.
We try to be a little bit community minded. I don’t know if MASH was dearer or cheaper – I didn’t go into that sort of research.
I have no doubt I could have bought a cheaper system, but we bought the premium – because I only ever want to buy it once. It’s one of the advantages of waiting for a while is that we could afford to get it done right.
The installation went very smoothly despite patches of rain. The whole experience was a very positive one for me and I can't praise everyone involved highly.
MASH organising the bulk-buy brought us over the line. That’s because MASH is reasonably priced and simplified the process. We haven’t had to worry about anything; it’s all gone smoothly. We like MASH because it is local and we know the people behind it.
MASH is a terrific example of something that’s working successfully so we are very happy to be part of it. It is a community effort to change things so instead of feeling helpless we feel we can contribute a bit.
It is important to us that MASH is a community project and that the community can benefit from it. We went to one of the MASH community meetings and made up our minds then and there to go ahead.
All the environmental issues can sometimes feel overwhelming. Putting solar on my roof is something practical I can do, that helps.
From meter readings so far, Linnet says they are saving more than $25 per week on their bills. What has also helped is that they have shifted their power usage to daytime as much as possible when they are generating their own power from the sun.
I believe every roof in Australia should have solar panels. That's why I put on a 3Kw solar panel system.
With gas being so expensive, we want to ‘de-gas' our home over time. Our new MASH 3Kw system is a great step towards this goal.
For me, ‘going solar’ was really about what kind of world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren.
We would like to endorse the benefits of participating in a locally run scheme which is really well co-ordinated.