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What are the Anthill Cool Company Awards?
The Cool Company Awards were launched in 2006 as a way for Anthill to acknowledge and celebrate Australian organisations that are doing things differently to bring about positive change. Cool Companies stay one step ahead of the rest. They breed leaders who are rule-makers and rule-breakers. They are trend-setters in attitude and action. Quite simply, they are … cool! More.
Company: Energy Matters
Categories: Big Kahuna
The idea of selling solar-energy panels online was nearly unheard-of when a group of University buddies gathered around a kitchen table in 2004 to kick around how it could be done.
Today, the idea has evolved into Energy Matters, one of Australia’s leading sellers and installers of sun-borne energy. The company has embraced its role as trailblazer, serving as a vocal advocate for renewable-energy legislation and being available when the media needs an expert sound bite. Company reps attend rallies, push an online petition to nationalise the feed-in tariff and generally pass on any news they feel their customers need to know.
The website ranks among the 2,000 most visited in Australia. It passes along news about renewable energy (with traditional text and with nifty faux-newscast videos) and provides instant-quote tools for solar projects.
Energy Matters remains one of the nation’s few online sellers of solar products. It has long-established relationships with suppliers worldwide and has set up a network of dependable installers throughout Australia. Despite competition from solar suppliers such as Solarshop, NU Energy and Clear Solar (and, recently, broader businesses such as Harvey Norman), Energy Matters more than holds its own.
The company caters to all manner of customers who want to shrink their electricity bills and carbon footprint, including tech-savvy DIYers who enjoy building their own systems. Energy Matters also has taken on large commercial projects such as a 200-kilowatt array on some Sydney warehouses and a system at Australia Post’s Melbourne CBD headquarters.
As a matter of fact, Energy Matters originally targeted the DIY customer with components sales. But as government incentives increased for residential and commercial solar use, the company began selling systems and making staff available to offer project quotes.
Energy Matters’ website has a long reach — in October, it has 227,726 visits from 205 nations. The site’s information about government rebates was particularly popular.
The company uses Webex for staff development, and has an iPhone app called the Solar Analyser that allows installers to size up a project site. The app can be used by customers, too.
As for staff motivation, staff is recognized with prizes, mentions in a newletter — and beer. In one instance, a director said he need a project done quickly and would give his team the rest of the week off once it was done. Well, they didn’t finish til Friday, but by 2 p.m. the director and team were tipping ’em back at local watering hole the Maori Chief.
Energy Matters describes itself as “the Fonzie of solar — started by young entrepreneurs who were sick of working for others and wanted to make a difference. We have a deep respect for our community, strong environmental ethics and share our knowledge with anyone who will listen.
“It doesn’t get much cooler than a company that is helping to cool the globe! Eyyy!”
Sydney rally for solar power
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