Why Shinehub and the Geelong Community Solar Program?

Dan CowdellNews

As a not-for-profit community group Geelong Sustainability is committed to boosting the uptake of renewable energy in our region. We want to assist local residents to better understand their options, so they can make informed decisions. The greater Geelong region has only 16% of households with solar, which is much lower than many other areas around Australia where solar uptake is now exceeding 30%.

For a number of years now we have wanted to bring the benefits of a bulk-buy to the community as we have identified that there are a number of challenges that people face when it comes to getting solar. Trust is a huge issue and generally residents don’t know who to trust or how to find a reputable solar installer.  Confusion over technology, what brands to choose and what system sizes is all too often overwhelming and leads to so many residents not proceeding.  Finally, the Upfront Cost of investing in solar has been a huge barrier for some households to access solar and can lead to many residents being left behind during this clean energy revolution.

Our aim was to develop a program that could counter each of these challenges that our community is facing, we wanted to make the process of getting solar easy for residents, and so over the past six months we have looked at a lot of different bulk-buy models and have been researching the ways different communities run these kinds of initiatives. We researched in depth six different bulk-buy models, and we conducted a number of interviews, reference checks and comprehensive due diligence process. The result, we were very impressed with the Shinehub approach.

The Shinehub Solar 2.0 model is an innovative approach to a community bulk-buy that incorporates free information sessions about solar and batteries and gives residents the option to join a “people powered” purchasing scheme to install solar and batteries in their homes or small businesses.

The Shinehub process allows multiple local solar companies to participate in the program, supporting local business growth with a streamlined installation process and certainty of upcoming jobs and premium installation rates. It also ensures quality of installation with only fully certified battery trained local installers and a stringent quality assurance process. Read more about trusted local solar companies here.

The Geelong Community Solar Program aims to make solar and battery technology affordable, accessible and reliable for everyone. ShineHub independently reviews all the best solar technology from a wide variety of suppliers and negotiates community pricing in order to make top quality solar highly affordable.

Vicki Perrett is president of Geelong Sustainability. On 14 May 2018, she opened a meeting at Geelong Library launching the Geelong Community Solar Program.

We have worked with the Shinehub team in partnership to create the Geelong Community Solar Program-

  • We referred the best local solar companies for the program,
  • We’ve developed the solar packages and purchase options together,
  • And we partnered with many other community organisations to run the program throughout the Geelong, Surf Coast, Golden Plains and Colac Otway regions.

We are incredibly pleased that with Shinehub we have been able to build a community program that provides a great customer process, easy to understand materials, and expert 1 on 1 consultations.

A program where we can all benefit with “people powered” group discounts, a variety of solar and battery options, and payment options for everyone including no upfront cost options so it's affordable and accessible to us all.

The program has quality built into every step – utilising only battery trained and certified local solar installers, independent engineering for each system, a quality assurance process, and extra layer of warranty protection.

The community is also supported with a portion of every sale going back to fund initiatives by local groups like Geelong Sustainability, Surf Coast Energy Group and Scouts Victoria. Geelong Sustainability and Shinehub have also committed to donate a 3kW solar system to a disadvantaged household for every 50 people that signup to the program. Your participation in the program is not only saving you money but it’s giving back to the community as well!

The Geelong Community Solar Program is an important first step in our effort to make community energy a reality, so that we can all power our lives with solar and together, step forward into a clean energy future.

Click here for more information about the Geelong Community Solar Program

Watch the short film about the Geelong Community Solar Program.