Australia’s solar revolution has seen many companies fall by the wayside; but Energy Matters continues to power on after a decade of operations.
The Energy Matters business name was registered on January 31, 2006.
During the last decade, a slew of Australian solar firms failed even before the installation warranties those companies provided had expired.
10 years on and the Energy Matters web site is also still one of Australia’s most popular online destinations for solar power information.
The team has witnessed a huge amount of change in the Australian solar industry over the years – and has often been at the forefront of that change.
You Can’t Sell Solar Panels Online
Energy Matters was one of the first Australian companies to sell solar panels online. It was also one of the first retailer sites to offer a solar news service, an online system builder and quoting system, plus various other tools.
Max Sylvester is one of the original founders.
“Some laughed at us when we decided to sell solar panels and full systems online, believing it couldn’t be done. But we were certain the web would play a crucial role in really pushing along Australia’s solar revolution. As it turns out, it was a belief well-founded,” says Mr. Sylvester.
Advocacy And Recognition
The company has been the recipient of a number of awards over the last decade, including recognition in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and Australian Business Awards.
In addition to helping tens of thousands of Australian households and businesses slash their power costs by making the switch to solar, the company has supported various initiatives on behalf of Aussie battlers on issues relating to electricity costs and energy independence.
The firm also played an important role in solar quality standards in Australia. Energy Matters helped developed and was a founding signatory of the Clean Energy Council Approved Retailer program.
Expansion Into Wholesale, Commercial And In-House Products
As well as its retail operations and solar advocacy work, Energy Matters’ wholesale and commercial solar arms grew rapidly during the decade.
During a six-month period in 2014, the company installed more capacity in the 10-100kW range than any other installer in the nation and has installed a large number of commercial solar projects 100kW+ in capacity.
Energy Matters was also the springboard for other projects and products, including SunLock – an Australian designed and manufactured solar panel mounting system. Today, SunLock is one of Australia’s leading solar module racking products.
A New Chapter, A New Solar Revolution – Energy Storage
The firm’s energy, creativity and success caught the eye of an international solar company; which acquired the Energy Matters group of companies late in 2014.
Since then, the company has continued with high-profile installations. These include a 1.25MW rooftop solar panel system installed at Casuarina Square shopping centre in Darwin, Australia’s largest commercial rooftop.
“While a great deal has changed over the years, a passion for solar remains and Energy Matters has come full circle in some ways,” states Mr. Sylvester.
“Among the first products we offered were deep cycle batteries for off-grid systems; which were very popular. Via our parent company, we’re now one of a handful of Tesla Authorized Resellers in Australia,” he said.
“We’re proud to be among the first companies in Australia and the world supplying and installing the revolutionary Tesla Powerwall home battery system.”
Mr. Sylvester says interest in Tesla Powerwall has been phenomenal.
“Many Australian solar households are investigating the potential of making better use of their solar power – by storing it. There’s no doubt energy storage is the next solar revolution and Tesla Energy is one of the companies leading the way.”
According to a recent survey, 81% of Australian households that have installed or are considering installing solar panels are also looking into home battery systems.
Solar More Accessible Than Ever
Something that has certainly changed dramatically over the past decade is the cost of going solar says Managing Director Wilf Johnston.
“In 2010, Energy Matters was selling 1.5kW solar power systems at around the same price that will today buy a system with more than three times the output.”
In addition to lower costs, solar has also become more attainable through zero-deposit payment plans, power purchase agreements and leasing – another aspect where Energy Matters was an Australian pioneer.
The team is looking forward to another successful decade of innovation and seeing Australia move closer to a 100% renewable energy powered future.
To celebrate its 10th year, Energy Matters is currently offering special deals on a range of systems; including packages featuring the Tesla Powerwall home battery and the new Fronius Solar Battery. Energy Matters has also launched a competition offering a fully-installed Tesla Powerwall battery system or a major cash prize.
To learn more about Energy Matters’ history and achievements, view this timeline (PDF).