Solar Stories - Solazone
SOLAZONE ON THE SUNSHINE COAST: A LOCAL COMPANY PROVIDING LOCAL JOBS AND COMMUNITY BENEFITS
Passionate about solar, Ernest started his own solar business in Melbourne in 1983. In 1988, Ernest moved to the Sunshine Coast, QLD, and opened his second office, where he still lives today.
Thirty-one years of involvement in the solar industry has given him a real understanding of the “solarcoaster” – fluctuations in the solar industry caused by changes in Government policy.
“Solazone has gone through lots of ups and downs with changes in Government policies. These changes always have a huge effect on our staff.”
“At our biggest, we had 16 staff members working for us in Australia. But, now I’m down to six.”
“I recently had to let a few staff go because it’s been quiet since the Queensland Government’s policy changes to feed-in tariffs.”
Like many small solar businesses, Ernest is concerned about any changes to the Renewable Energy Target .
“We’re suffering at the moment – all solar businesses are – as we try and figure out what’s going to happen with the target.”
For Ernest, solar is not just a business issue – it’s a community issue.
“Solazone’s business is really important to our community here on the Sunshine Coast.”
“All of our employees are locals. And, when someone buys a system here, there’s layers of people – sales, admin, installation, electricians, plumbers – who are all from the community. All the money spent is actually invested back into the community.”
“Not only that, but they have apprentices – young people who are learning a trade in a growing industry who will be able train other people. It gives them a real future.”
“That’s why it’s really important for our community on the Sunshine Coast that our business and the solar industry keep going.”
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