In Blog

Mark and Wendy Cavanagh

It’s 2016, more than twenty years since I finished my electrical apprenticeship, and more than seven years since I started my business as a sole trader installing solar. I pinch myself sometimes – I now own and operate a thriving Solar and electrical contracting business with 20 staff. It’s a business I’m really proud of. How did I get from there to here?

The Journey

In 1992, straight out of school, I went to college to study to become an Electrician. The following year I started my apprenticeship with SEQEB (now Energex). Four years later I left in search of a wider experience.

I worked with two small Brisbane-based contractors, Genesis, and Dimix, then larger contractors, Brandons and Fallons. Somewhere in between, I squeezed in a degree in Theology, because it somewhat matters.

I never wanted to be ‘just a sparky’ – there had to be something more rewarding. I wanted to do something meaningful with my time and also incorporate the skills I had learnt in my trade.

In 2007, the year I married my wife, I realised the huge future potential of solar. So I left my job in 2008 to start an Electrical Contracting business.

2009 was an eventful year! I had my first child who we aptly named Hope, and I formed MC Solar & Electrical. With attention to quality and customer satisfaction we grew rapidly – in fact, we grew too fast. I found myself subcontracting for solar sales companies that didn’t hold my ethics. So in 2012, we scaled back and decided we would focus on designing and selling solar, and only installing the jobs we sold.

This was a huge challenge and a huge risk. I was naturally good at designing and installing solar and building teams of quality tradesmen, but I knew nothing about selling. I somewhat naively figured a good product would sell itself.

I employed Shawn, an architect who loved solar and honesty but who also knew nothing about solar sales. The theory worked; if you believe in the product you sell, then you can easily sell it – solar done right will sell itself!

The twist

For a Solar business owner, I’m unusually passionate about new and emerging solar technology. As my business developed and I found myself able to hand over daily responsibilities, I’ve had time to follow my passion of researching new products. However, I found the lack of educated, non-biased solar product information on the internet frustrating. Getting a true picture of new solar products is hard work. Then it occurred to me: why should it not be me that publishes helpful solar material? So began my blogging obsession. The discipline of blogging comes with the benefit of making sure my research on any given product is thorough. It allows my sales staff to feel confident that the product that they offer is genuinely well thought through. And it gives us credibility in an industry where credibility is scarce.

The reason

Since we began in 2009, we have grown rapidly to become one of the most competitive and reputable solar companies in the South East Queensland Solar market. More importantly, I love my girl Hope, and my main dude Caleb. I adore my beautiful wife Wendy, who I so supportive of my work, and patient with me as I sit up late at night trying to express in writing my latest Solar learnings. I’m looking forward to the next seven years!

Mark Cavanagh

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7 Comments on Mark’s Story

Andrew Greenfield said : Guest Report 4 years ago

Hi Mark, I'm a volunteer with the Gold Coast chapter of a national think tank called Beyond Zero Emissions ( Our volunteer group is looking at what we could be done to accelerate the installation of solar on commercial and industrial sites. Would you be willing to have a short chat with us and share your experience and what you see as barriers or opportunities we could work on? Myself and another volunteer could buy you a coffee or if you prefer we could just do a phone call. You've done an outstanding job on the website, btw, well done. No tricks here, just some vols who want to help drive the transition to a zero carbon Australia. Hope to hear from you. Regards, Andrew

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Albert Nunez said : Guest Report 5 years ago

A colleague recently sent me a link to our blog post on SolarEdge. Good stuff. Thanks for your candor and sincerity in reporting. I was wondering if you ever have done any work with SunDrum Solar PV/T+HP systems? Let me know what you think if you have or if not, let me know if you would like to know more. Thank you again. I think that I will stick with SMA and Tigo for the time being.

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SAMUEL said : Guest Report 5 years ago

I love this website and Thank You for providing an honest review and love your work. Wish you are in sydney, NSW and we would love to engage you to be our installer.

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Mark C said : administrator Report 7 years ago

Hi Ian, Thanks! The Fronius "Smart Meter" branding often causes confusion. A "Fronius smart meter" is completely different from an energy provider "Smart Meter". So yes, you will need a Fronius Smart Meter to view consumption on Fronius Solar.Web.

Ian Dutton said : Guest Report 7 years ago

Mark, What a great success story. "From Little things, big things grow". Love reading your honest reviews they have helped my gain personal knowledge of this industry and its products. I do have a system enquiry though. I live in Sydney so ... If I replaced my faulty inverter with a Fronius inverter and my energy provider supplied a net meter, would I still need to buy a Fronius Smart Meter to view via the Fronius web portal energy consumed from the grid or excessive energy pumped to the grid.

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Hadj Khalil said : Guest Report 7 years ago

I have contacted with Mark quite of times, he is impressive , and very well-educated, i am here wishing his ten years marriage celebration at coming 2017. Good luck,mate.

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Don Fraser said : Guest Report 8 years ago

Thanks for your reviews Mark. I have sold my business after 15yrs in Solar hot water & power but work for a local Solar Company in the Bayside area doing sales. I really enjoy your inverter reviews which helps me keep up with all the changes that are happening in our industry. Keep it up.

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