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Women in Solar - Bobbi McKibbin

Bobbi McKibbin primary campaign image
Bobbi McKibbin primary campaign image

“There's more to solar than climbing a ladder”

Have you ever considered a future in renewables? Neither had Bobbi McKibbin until a change in roles led her down an unexpected path and into a career building the future of energy. 

Bobbi is a doer. When life knocks her down, she dusts herself off, gets up and dives into something new. It’s that spirit that in 2020 sees her running a solar pv company based out of Benalla, being a member of Solar Victoria’s Industry and Consumer Reference Group and encouraging more women to follow her into the solar industry.

“15 years ago, I was made redundant from my dream job selling health insurance. It doesn’t sound like a dream job but I just absolutely adored the people I worked with. I would have stayed forever, but they were getting ready to sell the company off and there were a lot of redundancies, and unfortunately, I was one of them”, she says.

After the redundancy Bobbi worked for a program in New South Wales focused on educating consumers on how to reduce their energy usage. This led to other roles in the same space and a burgeoning understanding of and a passion for promoting energy efficiency.

“It was at a time when electricity prices had tripled in a short space of time, she says.

“And I fell in love with the whole concept of - let's just do things smarter. What we're doing just makes no sense whatsoever with how we build houses, how we use energy, how we produce energy. If there's a better way to do something, why aren't we doing it in a way that’s going to have less impact on our planet, lower people's costs of living and improve their quality of life? So, I got into solar and fell in love with it.”

It’s this love of solar that Bobbi now share with others.

“With solar, I'm working with people, hearing their stories, and then helping them achieve their goals,” she says.

Installing solar PV can help households take control of their energy costs and help tackle climate change and with Solar Victoria’s rebates for solar PV, solar for rentals, solar batteries and solar hot water, there has never been a better time to save with solar.

“Only 1% of installers are women”

Bobbi’s involvement in the solar industry has deepened to include sitting on the Solar Victoria ICRG, giving the solar industry a voice in policy decision making.

“I wanted to make sure that industry had a solid seat at the table to help shape the future of it, says Bobbi.

“Because Solar Homes is a 10-year programme, we want to see it flourish, we want to see it be all the things that it can be. It’s really good to have our input valued. it's quite exciting being able to be there and help with some of the decision making or the feedback process”.

It was an unexpected redundancy that led to Bobbi entering the solar industry 15 years ago but she’s now keen for more women to follow her lead in choosing a career in the solar industry.

“Only 1% of installers are women and we are now doing some work now to try and improve that”, she says.

“We've just launched a women's network called AWISE - Australian Women in Solar EnergyExternal Link . We want to build a network that women can connect to, and build skills and support one another. Hopefully, we can encourage other women to join the industry. We want people to see that solar offers all sorts of different roles – it’s not just tradies. There's more to solar than climbing a ladder.”

Reviewed 03 March 2021

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