Frequently Asked Questions

Throughout the process of exploring if solar energy is a good fit for your organisation, our solar experts can answer any queries you may have.  Below are some of the most common queries.

Which organisations are behind the Big Solar Switch?

The Big Solar Switch is a joint venture between Community Buying Group (CBG), the buying alliance for the community sector and energy specialists Moreland Energy Foundation (MEFL). This program has been developed exclusively for charities and the not-for-profit sector and uses the strength of aggregated purchasing to reduce the cost of installing solar PV systems.

Why should we participate in the Big Solar Switch?

We make solar accessible and easy – and it’s a free service! Expert advice, guaranteed discounts, extended warranties and a range of other benefits have also been secured and are currently being offered to the not-for-profit sector for a limited time.

We’re here to help the not-for-profit sector by:

  1. Working with you to identify the best sites for solar within your portfolio.
  2. Provide an initial solar feasibility assessment and estimated costs on those sites.
  3. Obtain solar PV quotes from our selected panel of trusted solar PV installers and provide recommendations and analysis on the quotes received.
  4. Ensure that panels, inverters and components are of high quality and negotiated competitive price.
  5. Manage the relationship with the solar PV installers.
  6. Ensure the complete installation for measurement and reporting.
  7. Negotiate a preferred partner feed-in-tariff for participating organisations with electricity retailers.

What happens if I forget to register by the deadline?

This offer is limited both in time and quantity and Community Buying Group will work with the sector to ensure a fair and equitable opportunity for all organisations to access this offer.  If you miss the deadline for your sector, please contact the team immediately to see if the allocation has been exhausted.

Where can I get funding for my organisation?

There are LOTs of grants programs and green loans from banks and financial institutions.  We’ve pulled together a list here.  We’d also like to highlight our friends at Powershop who have funding for community projects through Your Community Energy. The Corena Fund provides funding for community organisations to fund new renewable energy installations.

Do I have to proceed?

The process is free and you are not obligated to proceed at any stage.  We do need your help to ensure we can provide the right advice.  What we’ll need from you is:

  1. Provide a copy of your electricity bill (including the usage graph if possible). All data is to be handled in accordance with our privacy policy https://www.mefl.com.au/about-us/privacy-statement/
  2. For large sites (electricity usage above $2000 per month) please provide a copy of your interval data (only relevant is a Smart meter has been installed). This can be obtained by calling your energy retailer.
  3. Confirm the number and type (residential or commercial) of properties to be quoted.
  4. Following discussions with us, confirm a preferred system size (eg: 4kW) in order to facilitate the initial desktop evaluation.
  5. You commit in good faith to the process of obtaining quotes with the intention of installing solar PV on your building stock.

What is the best value guarantee?  Does this mean you are the cheapest? 

We want you to have solar installed that works All our suppliers and parts are accredited by the Clean Energy Council and Australian Technology Association meet our solar experts rigorous guidelines.

Why do we get three quotes?

Through a detailed tender process, apanel of the three best solar PV suppliers in the market were selected and have been thoroughly vetted and their components assessed for quality (such as the Australian standards set by the Alternative Technology Association).  You will get three quotes to compare and the solar experts will talk you through each quote.  Solar quotes are very specific to your installation and the type of system which is best for your organisation.  The team will advise what is best for your organisation and we don’t prefer one supplier over another. Completely impartial advice which looks at what is best for your organisation.

Should I get a battery?

Answer coming soon!

What is the Big Church Switch?

Answer coming soon!