Jenny Paradiso and her husband Dave Hille, founded solar PV solutions firm SunTrix in 2008, after a frustrating search for solar electricity for their home.
“We just found many solar firms didn’t really know a lot about solar,” Ms Paradiso said.
“(Their product) was also really expensive for what it was. Dave did a lot of work and we found a solar supplier overseas and a local electrician to install the system for us.”
Having helped family and friends they formed SunTrix. The company specialises in solar Photovoltaics (PV), selling and installing solar systems and products. Despite having no industry experience – Ms Paradiso was a librarian and Mr Hille worked for an internet service provider – the couple persisted with their business.
She said the questions they had continue to be the queries of South Australian residents and businesses wanting to invest in solar electricity.
Ms Paradiso said there were two incentives offered in South Australia – the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) and Small Technology Certificates (STCs).
The FIT is an SA government initiative that pays you for any “extra” electricity your solar system feeds in to the grid, while the STCs are a federal government initiative reducing the overall cost of your solar investment.
As of January 1 this year, a part of the STC called the STC multiplier was abolished for small-scale systems – six months ahead of its original scheduled abolition. Ms Paradiso said this had negatively affected solar business and users.
“A lot of solar companies are struggling at the moment and I think it’s going to tip a lot of them over the edge,” she said. “I think the (Federal Government) showed a complete disregard for businesses.”
“They are not supporting the renewable energy industry as a whole.”