BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

Written on the 11 February 2011

BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

FROM its origins in a small office under Lliam Ricketts’ house, solar power company Future Sustainability has grown its client base to 3000, driven by a passion to deliver energy efficiency.

THE triumvirate of John Degotardi, Peter Britten and Lliam Ricketts expect $15 million revenue for FY2011, supplying a wide spectrum of products such as solar hot water, energy efficient lighting, thermal insulation and water tanks.

“Solar power is currently an amazing commercial investment. It returns 13 to 20 per cent, has paybacks well under 10 years, underpinned by 25-year product warranties on panels and up to 25-year warranties on grid tie inverters,” says Degotardi.

“We have a genuine love for the built environment, its various income streams and what creates real capital value for the client. If an energy efficiency solution does not make commercial sense we do not recommend it.

“We are driven by what can be achieved. The Australian people and government support this industry and there is a genuine desire for clean renewable energy and carbon reduction to prevent climate change to provide a positive tomorrow for the next generation.”

He says the defeat of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) was a backward step, but applauds the Solar Flagships Program and is confident of long-term support for the industry.

Degotardi and Britten were working in property valuation before getting involved in Future Sustainability, while Ricketts has a background in sustainability and electronics, having started out with water tank business Versatanks.

“The most significant challenges for the business has been attaining solid supply lines in high demand markets and apart from that at the most basic level it was making our first sale,” says Degotardi.

“I remember it was this feeling like, ‘well we have done this guys, we just made our first sale, this could work’. We knew it was an industry that would be good to be a part of, but we had taken a big risk with payments from our professional services jobs.

“The next challenge was how many more sales could we make before we could move out of this six by two metre non-air conditioned office?”

He highlights the commercial sector has only responded to solar solutions in the last year, highlighting a need for greater efficiency in large scale renewable technology.

“We need to continue investing more money into viable, affordable green energy. Future Sustainability reinvests substantially in product development and second generation technologies and we hope to achieve greater efficiencies in both renewable technologies and making existing building product more energy efficient in the principle fields of lighting and air conditioning (HVAC).”

For a full profile list on Brisbane’s 2010 Young Entrepreneurs, including interviews with all of the finalists, get a copy of the special annual edition of Brisbane Business News – out now in more than 500 greater Brisbane newsagents.


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