Energy Matters Sponsors Australia’s First Solar Decathlon Team

National solar provider Energy Matters is supporting students from the University of Wollongong in their participation in Solar Decathlon China 2013.

Team UOW Australia is the first Australian team selected to take part in a Solar Decathlon; a U.S. Department of Energy initiative that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.

The competition has been running for 10 years and 2013 is the first time a Solar Decathlon will be held in Asia.

“We are proud to be sponsoring Team UOW Australia in this very important competition,” said Energy Matters CEO, Jeremy Rich.

“The Solar Decathlon not only provides participants with crucial hands-on experience as they prepare to enter the clean energy workforce, it gives us all a glimpse of the sustainable and energy efficient solar homes of the future.”

While all other Solar Decathlon entries have been new homes, Team UOW’s ‘Illawarra Flame’ entry demonstrates the transformation of a typical Aussie ‘fibro’ house into a sustainable, net zero-energy home. Team UOW Project Manager Lloyd Niccol says since just 1-2% of Australia’s housing stock is replaced each year, improving the efficiency of existing homes provides the greatest potential for immediate improvement.

“We are looking into how we can adapt our houses with new and existing technologies, such as photovoltaic thermal systems and water filtration systems, to provide the housing sector with examples of how we can future-fit our houses for a more environmentally conscious future,” Mr Niccol said.

Team UOW will construct Illawarra Flame at the TAFE Illawarra campus. After it is completed, Illawarra Flame will be disassembled and then transported to Datong in June; where it will be reassembled and made ready to compete against other leading university teams.

Team UOW’s progress can be viewed at IllawarraFlame.

About Energy Matters

Energy Matters is one of Australia’s largest companies solely dedicated to solar energy. Founded in 2005, Energy Matters has installed more than 15,000 solar power systems on homes, schools and commercial buildings throughout the nation. The company believes in giving back to the community that supports it and lobbies to ensure all Australians can gain accessible to clean energy. Energy Matters has also been active in providing education on renewable energy in schools and colleges throughout the country. The Energy Matters web site can be viewed at