Welcome to the team – Jess Christiansen

20 June 2020

We are thrilled to welcome Jess Christiansen to the RACV Solar team.

Jess joins us as Head of Marketing and Communications, bringing a wealth of solar and energy industry experience with her.

Jess has worked for a number of highly respected companies over her career, including solar manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, along with some pretty cool companies in the energy tech space. This breadth of experience across the entire supply chain and broader industry ensures Jess will be a tremendous asset to the RACV Solar team, steering our marketing as we set ourselves up for a period of sustained growth and success.

A lover of wildlife and the outdoors, Jess is driven by a desire to help drive down energy bills for consumers, while working hard to create a more sustainable planet for future generations.

“I’m super excited to be working with Andy and the RACV Solar team! I’ve been lucky enough to work for some amazing companies in the clean energy sector during my career, and when I was given the opportunity to join RACV Solar, it felt like the perfect fit. I can’t wait to get stuck into the role – help to expand RACV’s solar offering and deliver exceptional experiences for our clients and RACV members alike.”

We are extremely passionate about how we communicate with our clients and the market, and believe strongly that it is a key part of our success. We are confident that the future of our marketing is in great hands with Jess, so you’ll be seeing a bit more of her as a subscriber to our mailing list.

Jess Christiansen head shot

Heat Pump Hot Water – the battery you never knew you had.

21 June 2020

You may have seen our previous articles regarding battery storage, allowing you to store your excess solar power during the day, and use it at night.

Did you know that a Reclaim heat pump hot water system can provide a similar benefit, for a fraction of the price?

With solar power, a Reclaim heat pump and some smart software, you can use your excess solar energy to heat your water during the day, instead of feeding that solar back into the grid.

You then have 315 or 400 litres of hot water ready for use at night, saving you from heating it overnight (usually at a cost of 15-19c per kWh). For this reason, we often refer to a heat pump as ‘the battery you never knew you had’.

RACV Solar is partnering with Reclaim to offer $500 off the cost of a heat pump hot water system, now until the end of winter. This applies to both new and existing proposals if accepted by August 31, 2020.

Not only can Reclaim capture your excess solar, but it brings a number of other benefits including:

  • Quiet to run – at only 40dB that’s about the same as your split system air conditioner
  • Uses environmentally friendly CO2
  • Requires only about 1000W to heat water, compared to 3600W for an electric element
  • Has a coefficient performance of up to 5, meaning 1kW of electricity, will produce the equivalent of up to 5kW of hot water
  • Ability to monitor your electricity usage through our Solar Analytics app (optional extra)
  • Hot water fast – ability to reheat ~50 litres in 15 minutes

Contact us today on 1300 447 765 to discuss your options and take advantage of this great deal.

Reclaim hot water heat pump

RACV Solar – coming soon!

19 June 2020

While most of our team has been working remotely, our transition to RACV Solar is in full swing. This means we are rebranding our vehicles, shopfronts, uniforms, and collateral to reflect our new name. Here’s a sneak preview of our new vehicle designs – they’ll be hitting the roads near you in the months ahead.

6 months after completing the acquisition, we could not be happier with our new life as an RACV company. The feedback from our clients continues to be overwhelmingly positive. It has also proven to be a popular move with RACV members too.

We have always believed that looking after our staff and clients is the backbone of our success, so it’s a pleasure to partner with RACV, a company that has always placed the member experience at the centre of everything they do.

New RACV Benefits

During the months ahead, we will be introducing new initiatives and benefits for RACV members. We’ll also be providing greater levels of service and support for our existing customers.

As part of this, we have recently beefed-up our service department. We now have 8 full-time staff, including two full-time electricians on the road. This will allow us to double-down on our commitment to after-sales care, and raise the bar even further to ensure RACV Solar continues to be the most trusted name in solar.

RACV Finance

In other exciting developments, we are now offering finance through our colleagues in-house at RACV Finance.

Install solar or battery storage without an upfront investment (subject to pre-approval). Then use your solar savings to pay off the system over 5 or 7 years.

In most cases, the system will still save you more than your monthly repayments. And once you have paid off the system, the savings are all yours!

Call our team on 1300 447 765 to see if RACV Finance can help you install solar today, with no upfront investment.


More Postcodes for Battery Rebate!

9 March 2020

BREAKING NEWS – $4,838 battery rebate extended to more postcodes across Victoria!

We are excited to announce that nearly 250 postcodes across the state are now eligible for the battery rebate, including much of Gippsland. If you are eligible, you can claim nearly $5,000 off the cost of a battery.

On top of the improved return on investment, battery storage provides the following benefits:

– store your excess solar for evening usage

– provide energy security in a blackout or brownout

– endure your solar panels continue generating power without mains supply

To check your eligibility, go to www.solar.vic.gov.au, or contact our friendly team on 1300 447 765.

Solar Vic battery postcodes Gippsland Solar

Off-grid Power for Wildlife Shelter

9 March 2020

After the devastation of this summer’s bushfires in East Gippsland, we are happy to play our part in the recovery phase – and restoring power is a key part of this rebuild.

Thanks to generous donations from our friends at Tesla, Trina Solar, Clenergy Australia and Fronius, we have been able to donate a portable emergency power system to the Bruthen Bat and Roo Wildlife Shelter.

Tesla provided a pair of Powerwall batteries (with a total of 27kWh of usable electricity) to provide temporary power for the refuge. These batteries are paired with 10kW of solar panels (provided free of charge by Trina), a Primo inverter donated by Fronius, and a ground mounted framing system donated by Clenergy.

Our in-house engineers designed and installed a portable system to power the site, with the entire project scoped and delivered within a week.

This emergency power system will allow the refuge to provide critical medical care to injured animals, including storage of medicine and climate control. When the mains electricity returns, we can simply pack the system up and move it to somewhere else where it’s needed.

This project was a monumental challenge for our team to deliver, but we are thrilled to see the result.


Australian-first Microgrid

9 March 2020

We recently unveiled a microgrid project that’s close to our hearts. A project that is an Australian-first in microgrid development – but is also important as it supplies affordable power for those who need it most.

This microgrid system is installed on an apartment block in Melbourne. It includes 70kW of solar, 54kWh of battery storage, and Solshare energy distribution technology connected to 52 apartments.

The 52 tenants, who all have physical disabilities or other challenges, will now be able to use cheaper renewable energy from the one solar and battery system.

Energy Minister Lily d’Ambrosio helped our team at Gippsland Solar to launch this microgrid project in Preston. It was subsidized by the Victorian Government’s Community Hubs program, and delivered in partnership with our friends at Ovida, Allume Energy, Housing Choices Australia and Australian Energy Foundation.

Our team have raised the bar even higher with this project, and we are proud to deliver the first solar and battery microgrid of its kind in the country.

Even better, we love seeing cheaper renewable energy becoming available to those who need bill relief the most. Rising inequality is a huge social issue, and one that projects like this will help to address.


RACV Solar transition begins!

9 March 2020

Our relationship with RACV is off to a flying start – and we’re not just talking about our snazzy new co-branded hi-vis shirts!

We have also acquired the building next door to our HQ in Traralgon East, allowing us to double our warehouse, showroom and office space. We’ll be increasing our workforce across all regions, and looking to build on Gippsland Solar’s strong foundations as we take things to yet another level.

Since announcing the news in December, we’ve found both existing Gippsland Solar customers and RACV members have been really positive about the potential of this new partnership.

Nice work Aaron, you’re a model employee (in more ways than one!)

Aaron gippsland solar

PLAYING OUR PART IN BUSHFIRE RECOVERY

13 January 2020

The wheels are in motion up in East Gippsland, with the planning and recovery work in full swing.

Thanks to our friends at RACV, we have secured the services of this flat bed truck (including a driver) to assist with the reconstruction across Gippsland. Today’s delivery is full of donated solar panels and electrical infrastructure for East Gippsland, and reflects RACV’s commitment and support for the region.

A summary of the support that we are providing to the region:

– A $25,000 donation already made to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund

– 4 x emergency power packs, made up of 2 x Tesla Powerwall batteries wired into a switchboard and powerpoints, to be deployed into the hardest hit areas within the next week or so

– Over 400 solar panels donated by our friends at Trina Solar and SunPower, as well as the excess solar panels from a recently completed solar farm at Numurkah (donated by the good people at Neoen). These solar panels and hardware will provide electricity for some regions without reliable supply

– Solar inverters provided by our friends at Fronius

– Working with Telstra and AusNet (who have both been amazing during this difficult period) to deploy generators to areas in need of emergency power

– The establishment of an internal Bushfire Recovery team, to explore the ways we can support the region. This may be in the form of financial support, products or services

Any suggestions are welcome, to help us work with the East Gippsland community as we rebuild the necessary services and infrastructure.

Thanks to our staff who have volunteered their time, either to physically fight the fires or assist with planning the reconstruction efforts.

We believe the quality of our people is our greatest asset, and this awful situation has certainly reinforced those beliefs.

We live in a wonderful region, with so many amazing people. This rebuild will be challenging, but it will galvanize the community and only strengthen us going forward.

RACV truck & shop Gippsland Solar

BREAKING NEWS: Gippsland Solar – now powered by RACV!

13 December 2019

We are delighted to inform you that Gippsland Solar is now a wholly owned subsidiary of RACV.

This development is tremendous news for our clients and staff. It allows us to retain our core values and approach to looking after our clients, but now backed up by the strong foundations and history of one of Victoria’s most trusted organisations.

I will be staying on as CEO of Gippsland Solar and RACV Solar, and my passion for this business has never been stronger. Now with the reputation and capital that RACV brings to Gippsland Solar, we look forward to making renewable and sustainable energy solutions accessible to more Victorians.

Our workforce will also remain intact. Gippsland Solar would not be where it is today without our amazing team, and our plans for expansion and growth across the country mean that our employment levels will only increase into the future. Happily, the Latrobe Valley will remain the HQ for our business into the future, and this partnership will direct millions of dollars and many more jobs into the heart of the Gippsland region. It’s a tremendous sign of confidence in the Latrobe Valley and wider Gippsland and will only strengthen the opportunities that exist within the energy transition we have already begun.

We have some incredibly exciting initiatives to announce in due course, which will transform the solar and storage market in Australia. RACV has been investing in the energy space for a number of years (trading as RACV Solar) and have already forged a strong reputation as a reliable and trusted provider of solar power and battery storage systems. This partnership is a strong signal that RACV sees a bright future in energy and the broader home services market and sees us well on the way to becoming the most trusted name in renewable energy.

All product and workmanship warranties will remain in place, and very little will change in the day-to-day operations. We will continue our focus on providing energy solutions for homes and businesses and delivering some of Australia’s largest and most complex projects.

When my wife and co-director Kelly and I founded Gippsland Solar 10 years ago, we wanted the customer to be at the centre of everything we do. We care so passionately for our clients, and this reputation for customer service is what RACV values the most in us. As a member-owned organisation, we believe RACV’s values are perfectly aligned with our own, and we look forward to a period of tremendous growth and shared values.

To everyone that has supported Gippsland Solar in the past 10 years, we are incredibly grateful. Whether you have purchased a Gippsland Solar system, recommended our business to friends and family, or advocated for us in any way, you have all contributed to our journey and strong reputation. We have thoroughly enjoyed this chapter of our story, and we can’t wait to see what the future brings.

Warm regards,
Andy McCarthy
CEO, Gippsland Solar & RACV Solar

Neil Taylor, Nicole Brasz, Kelly McCarthy, Andy McCarthy, RACV Solar, Gippsland Solar

RACV Torquay resort – powered by Gippsland Solar!

22 October 2019

We’ve just flicked the switch on one of our all-time favourite projects; an epic 510kW solar installation on the RACV Torquay Resort. In this highly exposed coastal location, we used WINAICO solar panels, which have exceptional tolerance to high winds and salt-mist.

It was the hardest project we have ever delivered, with hundreds of hours spent following the curves in the roof design, concealing cables to ensure a clean finish, and working around the accommodation and function requirements of the resort. We are so incredibly proud of our team, who battled through the winter weather and delivered a truly amazing masterpiece.

This system is the perfect complement to RACV’s rapid electric vehicle charging station, which our team installed and was launched by Lily D’Ambrosio last month. This Chargefox charging station will recharge all types of EV in 15-30 minutes, and now it will be powered by renewable energy.

It’s an immense honour to be entrusted with delivering these projects for our friends at RACV. They are showing tremendous innovation and vision in the energy space, leading the way to a future of electric vehicles, renewable energy and smart technology.

RACV Torquay Resort