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In 1976, current Going Solar principal Stephen Ingrouille called a public meeting in Carlton, Melbourne, which led to the establishment of a community group called the Alternative Technology Co-operative (later named the Alternative Technology Association). The goals of the Co-op – in promoting renewable energy – were to establish a newsletter, a magazine, a radio program, a workshop and a retail outlet. All of these goals were achieved, with the retail outlet becoming Going Solar.
Going Solar started near the Queen Victoria Market in 1978 as a small retail outlet for self-sufficiency products and books. In 1979, Going Solar was one of the four founding members of the Appropriate Technology Retailers Association of Australia (ATRAA).
By the early 1980s, as well as continuing with retail, Going Solar had become a leading wholesaler.
In 1998, Going Solar organised the first Sustainable Living Fair at Musk, near Daylesford in Victoria. The second Fair was held at Hanging Rock. From this Fair, the Sustainable Energy Foundation (later called the Sustainable Living Foundation) was formed. In due course, the Fair became the Sustainable Living Festival.
In the mid-1990s, Going Solar established a projects division to provide design consultancy on more complex and innovative solar systems.
In 2002, Going Solar moved into the 60L Green Building in Leicester Street, Carlton, and expanded its consultancy services to include Environmentally Sustainable Design in buildings, cities, transport and tourism, as well as renewable energy systems. The decade also saw a rapid expansion in the installation of commercial and domestic solar power and hot water systems.
Today, Going Solar continues to be an innovative, award-winning designer and installer of high-quality solar electricity and hot water systems, as well as a consultancy on Environmentally Sustainable Design for projects large and small. Meanwhile, our retail showroom and shop is still going strong after 39 years, allowing us to connect every day with people who share our passion for sustainability.