From kitchen table start up to a multi-award-winning business, this is the inspiring story of how a librarian, Jenny Paradiso, and IT specialist, David Hille, decided to launch their own solar business and change the world for the better.
The idea was sparked in 2008. The couple had their first baby on its way and were looking for an affordable, reliable solar solution for their family home. They were troubled by the limited expertise and high prices of many of the solar companies they spoke with, so they decided to go it alone; and it wasn’t long after that that they realised they could turn their experience into a business.
In 2009 Jenny and David entered the solar industry, with a vision of making solar achievable for more Australians. Along with the birth of their first child, Suntrix was born.
Working from their kitchen table, most of the initial business was generated by referrals from family and friends but demand for solar was growing quickly, aided by some great government incentives. In just one year, the company’s revenue increased 30-fold and Suntrix was well on its way to becoming one of Australia’s fastest growing SME’s.
Having successfully established themselves in the residential market of Adelaide, Suntrix started selling solar to businesses in 2011. Their first project was for the Anglicare Parish of Edwardstown.
In 2013, Suntrix won 2 significant awards. The company was named Telstra South Australian Business of the Year; and its 86kW commercial solar project for Salisbury North Football Club won a NECA Award of Excellence. Suntrix also became a founding signatory of the Clean Energy Council’s Retailer Code of Conduct that launched in the same year.
With this solid foundation, Suntrix launched into Victoria in 2014; promptly winning a 135kW installation across multiple sites for the Metropolitan Fire Board. This was also the year that Suntrix installed its first storage battery solution.
In 2016, Suntrix won its second Telstra award: Jenny Paradiso was named the Australian Telstra Business Women’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Jenny said: “To win the national title was a real coup for South Australia…there is still that misconception that SA can’t compete with the eastern states. It’s so good to be able to prove that we can and that we are”.
More awards have followed, making Suntrix one of the most awarded solar companies in Australia. Last year’s NECA Excellence Award for a 100kW floating solar island project in East Lismore was the perfect way to introduce Suntrix to the NSW market with a dedicated team-member established in Sydney.
There is no doubt that the future is looking bright for Suntrix. But are Jenny and Dave changing the world for the better? Let the facts speak for themselves. Since 2009, Suntrix has installed 34MW of solar – which equates to 127,800 panels; and a reduction of 750,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
What makes Suntrix unique? Jenny says “We are here for the journey, not just the transaction. Our core values – to continuously improve, love what we do, never give up and do the right thing – guide our business each and every day. They underpin how we conduct ourselves internally and with our customers, suppliers, partners and shareholders. I cannot wait to see what the next 10 years will bring.”