This week the team take a look into the future; and more specifically the energy of the future!
We cover off on How just a few tweaks of the current system can help us have a more 'future-proofed' and environmentally friendly approach to our energy consumption!
Listen in as Aaron & John talk with guest, Tom Green of Enginuity Power Solutions, on his new start up business and his passion for creating a better future for this and the coming generations.
This week the team take a look into the future; and more specifically the energy of the future!
We cover off on How just a few tweaks of the current system can help us have a more 'future-proofed' and envornmentally friendly approach to our energy consumption!
Listen in as Aaron & John talk with guest, Tom Green of Enginuity Power Solutions, on his new start up business and his passion for creating a better future for this and the coming generations. Enginuity Power Solutions
Based in Tasmania and serving clients Australia-wide, Enginuity Power Solutions is a forward-thinking electric power company that turns intangible ideas into innovative power systems. We have a passion for optimising our clients’ energy consumption and power quality with highly efficient and environmentally sound solutions that comply with relevant standards and codes. Our foundations are built upon collaborating with our clients for the entire project lifecycle with an emphasis on our three pillars: consult, design, deliver.
Find out more about Enginuity Power Solutions here:https://enginuityps.com.au/Transcript of An Energy Efficient Future (with Tom Green of Engenuity Power Solutions)
Episode: | E82
Show Title: | An Energy Efficient Future
Cast: | Aaron Horne & John McGregor
Guest: | Tom Green
Show Length: | 31 minutes 33 seconds
Tom: In Tasmania, to generate power, it's around 230 to 250 grams of carbon for every unit of energy that we use.
Going once... going twice... SOLD! You're listening to The Property Pod!
Aaron: All right, guys. Welcome back to The Property Pod, your weekly engagement into real estate here in the Hobart marketplace. I'm your host, Aaron Horne, and I'm joined by only one of the team members today, John McGregor.
John: Oh, everyone. It's tragic. [laughter]
Aaron: It's all right, mate... it's all right. We don't have our [uh] our captain, [um] Patrick Berry. He's actually off in Sydney with his son. He was competing in the national BMX trials or something like that across the weekend, we should have known. [John: yeah yeah]
John: Did you see that dumb photo he sent back to where the kid just looked like he did a straight up street fighter kick to the guy's neck? [laughs]
Aaron: I did see that, yeah, so they were at this national event. They normally do events down here in Hobart [um] but yeah, this was his first national and that photo was like yeah it looked like a full 'Mortal Combat' move [John: yeah... yeah] and [um] I was like, "I see your son does this every weekend", he's like, "oh yeah he's really good"
John: Yeah, hats off to those young kids, though, because he said they all just got straight back on the bike and kept racing
Aaron: Most definitely... most definitely. So, yeah... so Pat's away--it's actually unfortunate that he's away today [um] I think he'd really really be into today's topic and today's guest is kind of really trying to push that environmental approach here at the office and going paperless and going carbon-free and…
John: ...it's like as much as you can [Aaron: yeah] but even then, like there's always a limitation on what you can research yourself, so it's always, you know, being able to find an expert to bring in and go well. Did you know that this could happen? you know…
Aaron: Yes, yeah indeed. So today, we've brought in an expert--someone that we've known for years. We're actually crossing off, as we haven't close before how we... how we knew each other and turns out me and [uh] the guest lived on the same street [John: yeah (laughs)]
Aaron: That was news to me today, so yeah.
John: I'm pretty pumped because we've got an old name of ours, [uh] Tom Green from Ingenuity Power Solutions.
Tom: Thanks for having me, gentlemen.
John: Yeah, welcome!
Aaron: Not a problem, my friend. Welcome to the show! Thanks for coming in... thanks for coming in on a [uh] on a bright early morning. It's [uh] it's really good to see you!
Tom: Beautiful drive down from the north of the state this morning, so…
Aaron: I did want to check. Did you drive this morning or did you...?
Tom: I did
Aaron: So, what time were you up to? What time were you up to come...?
Tom: Out of bed at about ten to five this morning... [the other two react and laugh]
Aaron: We told you we're not that professional. We could have done this [John laughs] way later in the day. [John: yeah yeah!]
Tom: It's good--good excuse to get out of bed.
John: I think, sometimes, doing these, though, first thing's good, because your mind's not completely focused during work. It's hard to sort of shift gears between starting something, shifting gears, and then back into it. [Tom: Absolutely!]
Aaron: So let's jump straight into your business. You're a startup-- you've kind of just got off the ground in January you were saying, can you... can you give us some scope on [um] on what you... what you're doing out there?
Tom: Yeah look, fundamentally, [um] I guess I'm an Electrician by Trade, Electrical Contractor, also with an engineering degree, so I guess we're a little bit hybrid in what we do and how we do things [um] so I guess the premise of our business is, I guess, finding what we like to call a future-proof solution through energy efficiency and I guess, the added benefits of that [um] obviously, the bottom line, and to become cheaper [John: absolutely] every unit of energy that we use obviously produces carbon, so there's that environmental impact that we're trying to offset [uh] through, I guess, the technologies and the u[m] implementation of different strategies.
John: Yeah, most definitely. So just jumping from kind of, "I was an electrician" and then "I got an engineering degree" kind of... it's a very interesting [um] kind of leap you know, the stereotype will be you either choose a trade or higher education, many sensors, but then you've integrated both, [Tom: yeah, absolutely] so that's serious... serious amount of work there, mate.
Tom: A little bit of a hybrid approach to, I guess, my education in the [uh] moved away to western Australia, moving into year 11 and 12. [Aaron: yep] [um] finished year 11 in WA and then shipped back to Tassie. [um] The education system is convoluted as we all probably know, and I sort of missed the bite, "would have to have done year 11 again blah blah blah", so i gotta trade [John: Yep, yeah right, okay.] and loved it and it was great, but wanted to continue to push and sort of was opened up to an opportunity to continue studying and yeah, took it.
John: So how did you... what was the... what was the genesis or the odd... the thing that got you inspired to pursue engineering then?
Tom: It was basically the opportunity presented itself [John: all right] nothing more [John laughs] to be... I didn't want to be an engineer; I actually looked at what was involved in the engineering space and was just like, "no, not for me."
John: Yeah, fair enough.
Tom: Opportunity opened up and I took it with both hands and yeah, and then I've sort of found what I believe to be my little niche in the market, so…
John: So, how did that come about? because where did just training as an electrician start?
Was that in the residential space? the commercial space? Where did you spend most of your time there?
Tom: Yeah, in the commercial space [John: yeah] I'm working in the commercial space and then [um] I actually went back to western Australia and spent a bit of time in the mines--
Aaron: --you're in the mines, yeah [John: Alright, yep]
Tom: And then came back and was in sort of the utility space down here and that's where the opportunity in the engineering and I guess my segue into that [um] into that space and that's where I sort of left that when I went into a sales role [John: yeah, okay] then, it's where I've sort of found myself where I am, I guess, today.
Aaron: Yep, it's amazing we're only talking about this kind of... before we started, but you were saying how did you get into this podcast thinking media and all this stuff? [John: just keeps happening] I knew Tom when we were studying. I was studying at uni and you were working in the halls doing some of the [uh] electrical work
Tom: Yeah, doing something... something [laughter]
Aaron: You were working, but yeah [Tom: one way or the other] I was training to be a teacher, you were working there, we were across. Do you remember the old red wine Wednesdays we used to [uh] have back in the day?
Tom: I do remember the red wine Wednesdays
Aaron: I don't remember what happened after them, but they were a lot of fun while we were doing them, but yeah, so we were just discussing before like, "oh how did you fall into this?" and it's kind of one of those experiences where I'd been to WA and did some teaching and come back and was like, "I'm a bit disheartened by the whole experience, i'd love to try something else" and yeah, just kind of opportunity to rose, so it sounds really similar to your story in that you've kind of gone through all these adventures, you were saying I've had lots of random jobs, but it sounds like you've [uh] yeah, crossed many paths yourself, my friends.
Tom: Yeah, you could probably say that.
John: Where then [um] so you've... you've done your spark, you've moved into your engineering field, obviously, being able to specialise in this... in like energy saving space, yes how did that start to translate into your experience with your work? and then, how does that evolve then into creating your consultancy business?
Tom: Yeah, okay. So what it came down to, initially, was power quality so people think you plug in a computer into a power point and the screen works 240 volts, you know, magic. away we go. [John: yep] there's actually, I guess, little pieces that make up all of that power system and the quality of power obviously is efficiency and that was sort of where it all stemmed from was the... the better the quality power, the more efficient everything is. You know, it comes down to the more efficient that the generator from let's say, hydro Tasmania and then the smaller the wires and the poles need to be for trans end or test networks. Now, to move that power from point A to point B, and all the way along the line so there's the sustainability, I guess, in that. That then moved down into, I guess, looking at a helicopter 10 000 feet, you know, coming down, coming down, and then it comes down to well, things are only as efficient as the things that you actually plug into that power point, so there's better ways that we can actually do things that, I guess, [uh] fall all the way down the line of that sustainability and I use "sustainability" inverted commerce, because I really don't like the word.
John: Yeah, why is that?"
Tom: I just don't think that anything that we do is fundamentally sustainable. If you boil down the word "sustainability", it is being able to sustain something or maintain something forever and a day and there is nothing that we do as human beings that is sustainable
John: Yeah, that's an interesting point. So, you think like, even sometimes, the definition of the word is not useful?
Tom: I think the definition's perfect, but I just think everything that we do is not sustainable and I really like the word "future-proof" because it's adaptable as things change, it can adapt and grow with it, so that's sort of the term that we like to coin, I guess, with what we do. It's "future-proofing"; it's not "sustainable"
John: Well, I, personally, I'm not sure about you, mate, but I like the word "adaptable" because it enables you to change. It can be flexible and even something as simple as the idea of future-proofing, this is an odd analogy, but it's just something I can relate to is that I ended up getting a series of music equipment, because I wanted to build a music room, but I thought, "well, I could just get a couple of, you know, [um] you know, stock standard guitars or whatever" but in the end, you know what, I've worked hard, I'm going to get the stuff that I really really want, because now, with the music... the equipment I have, that'll last me for 40 years.
Tom: 100 percent! And if you look at the total cost of ownership over the life of your asset, you've actually offset a whole heap at the front end by being, I guess, somewhat intelligent into the decisions that you made [John: yes] and it's exactly the same with any piece of infrastructure, any appliance, or whatever that we're going to implement into our everyday living, or our workplace, or whatever that is that if you actually sit down, do the numbers, and... and have a look, fundamentally, at what it is that you want to do now, and what it is that you're actually going to try and do in the future, you know, there's... there's a lot to be saved, I guess, from making good decisions at the front end.
John: Yes, this is so interesting, because at the moment I'm looking to design [um] just a simple unit at the back of a property that I have and I think one of the reasons why I've delayed so much is that I want to do it a little bit differently, because it seems to me that say, residential homes in Australia haven't changed at all for a hundred years. How is it then that you see? [um] Is it frustrating, sometimes, to see both in the commercial space and the residential space that with the knowledge that you've gained now, that they're just... it's still not evolving?
Tom: So look, if you look at that, [um] I guess, at base level, you look at let's say a builder or a home renovator going into renovator home and they do something; they pull a floor up or they you know, pull a wall down or something, and it's just... it's wrong and you don't know what's wrong, because there's plaster on a wall when something's been built incorrectly or it just doesn't allow that person to do what they wanted to do... [John: yeah] and that's I guess, really at a high level but looking at that, not few you're making decisions that aren't future-proof…
Aaron: Yeah, kind of a patch for the moment and be like, "I'll resolve that way down or I'll never resolve that"
Tom: That's it [Aaron: yeah] it's not my problem. Now you know what I mean and then those decisions are what we're trying to educate, I guess, in the space that we play in... [John: yes] if that makes sense…
John: Yeah yeah, so you, if you're really more than anything, you're getting the... your client to think further ahead...
Tom: Absolutely! And we're looking to, I guess, bridge that gap so that we can... we can deal directly with a property manager, [John: yeah] we can deal directly with a consulting engineer, bring all of that information together, so that I guess, everyone's got their point of view heard to a degree.
John: Well, what's so interesting is that... so, we've all got different degrees of expertise. Well then, that's why someone like yourself is so useful in a project, because [um] you can connect all the dots to basically allow--enable a company or an individual to, you know, complete their vision.
Tom: Yeah, look at that again. I guess, it's easy to put the blinkers on and be really caught up in I guess, what your job is in that [um] communication [um] channel, I guess, and you know, the trade he might see something that's just going to benefit him a little bit so he wants to push that. He was the homeowner, might want to push something else, you know what i mean, and it's really hard to I guess, sell what it is that you want out of it as well and sort of meet that middle ground.
John: Yeah, exactly. You specifically have had the experience through a commercial space and... and arguably, you could say like, that's where you see the biggest measurable difference to businesses' bottom lines, because you're working at giant levels of scale, right? [Tom: absolutely] [um] but, like in the business, like we have here, you know, it's still a relatively large office, but [um] you know, we're very passionate about trying to do offsetting and you know, as you pointed out, "all I can see, boys, got the led lights in there", you know, little different degrees. How is it that you can... [um] what is it that... it's like people in homes or individuals can start to look for and search for when they're trying to pursue this energy efficiency direction?
Tom: Yeah, so I guess, what's important to boil it down to is that what we're doing when we're using energy, so every, I guess, you look at your power bill and it's made up of units, right? and they're called kilowatt hours, so that's the unit you pay for. Kilowatt hour in Tasmania is around 25 cents per unit, right? All right, so every kilowatt hour that's produced, and this is dependent on which way bass-link operates, so we import power or we export power. In Tasmania, to generate power, it's around 230 to 250 grams of carbon for every unit of energy that we use. [John: okay] [Aaron: every unit of energy...] [John: every kilowatt] so, if we boil that down again, an average home uses around 7 000 kilowatt hours of power per year [John: okay] [Aaron: yep... yep] 7 000 times 230 to 250 grams, you know, we've got hundreds and thousands of kilograms [John: yeah, yeah] so, if everybody at the home level can be a little bit better in the decisions that they make and how they use energy, hey, guess what? There's a... there's a benefit to your bottom line, but there's a benefit to the environment and you know what I mean, and that's becoming responsible. That's future-proofing our decisions. [John agrees] The reason that we're fundamentally focused at the moment on the commercial and industrial space is because that we can make a big difference really really easily [John: yes] So, we're doing a lot of projects at the moment based on, I guess, motor efficiency, electric motors [Aaron: yep] so in Australia, 294 terawatt hours are used a year of that around 45 percent is directly attributed to electric motors [John: wow] that's enough energy to power about 119 million homes
John: bloody hell
Tom: In Australia, I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure it's around 9.5 million dwellings, so there you go, there's some numbers, so we can make the electric motors a little bit more efficient [Aaron: yep] 45 percent of all the energy used in Australia [John: yeah] a little bit more efficient. It's probably gonna be enough energy to power every home in Australia
John: ...just by a small change of the degree and then there's the carbon offset in Victoria, it's about 1.2 kilograms of carbon per kilowatt hour [John: yeah] the coal and that sort of stuff like you know, we're talking significant numbers here
Aaron: Yeah, so it's amazing that you can kind of [um] yeah, just think just like a tiny adjustment through kind of engineering prowess to a motor and trying to get that just that little bit more efficient is [um] kind of attainable to get rich such a big difference across the country. [Tom: absolutely] Is that something that you're... you're pushing to? Like obviously, we're here in Tasmania, but is that something that, like, if you can get the technology sorted here, you can then expand that to a nationwide kind of approach?
Tom: Yeah, absolutely. Luckily enough, that a lot of the conversations that we're having here in Tassie are involved with sort of national and multinational businesses as well, and obviously, everybody's signing charters now and things for that "sustainability" inverted commerce, environmental [um] they're all hacked and all sorts of things, so if we can help at some level, hopefully, that conversation continues on to, you know, some of those big decision-makers in big boardrooms that can really, you know, impact change.
John: Well, that I mean, it's all well and good to sign a piece of paper, isn't it? But then in the end, like, what are you gonna do about it? [um]
Tom: And that's the problem. If you don't know what you don't know. We need to do something, but what can we do? [John agrees] and I guess at the home level, you know, that boils down to, I guess, spending the time to educate yourself, so [um] things like electric panel heaters and things on the wall, what you get there is a one to one ratio. So, for every kilowatt of power you put into that heater, you get one kilowatt of heating on the other end of that, okay? [the other two agree]
Tom: There's obviously a lot of talk and things about, you know, reverse cycle, air conditioning, and things being, you know, the very efficient, you know, mode of heating and cooling a home or a business and things like that. So, you're looking at about a ratio of 3.6, 3.7 to 1. So, one kilowatt in to 3.6 or 3.7 kilowatts of heating out [John: yes] yeah, if we're talking about kilowatt hours, you're putting in one kilowatt hour for the hour to get 3.6 kilowatts of heat out, 230 grams go the other way and we put an electric heater to get the same height. Well, that's one kilo or 230, so we're getting one kilogram of carbon at the other end for the same... for the exact same result.
John: Yeah, absolutely! And even like you take... you break down a couple elements like no one really gets if you... if you're at the roulette table and you're putting 100 bucks--you're risking 100 bucks to get 100 bucks back like you just wouldn't take that bet, would you? [Tom: It's not a good bet]
John: Yeah and it's the thing, you know, people get excited in investing as well. It's like, if you're putting... you've got your savings account, your cash in the bank, and they're paying you [um] like just nothing in interest, we're like, well, where's the gains, you know? But I guess,
Tom: Some dodge coin, one meal
John: Yeah yeah, exactly yeah, that's amazing how passionate my cousin is about that
Tom: But I don't even get it... [laughter]
John: I'm not quite sure he does either [um] but, the... one of the... but so I know like even [um] just take our Residential Tenancy Act for example, and at different levels around the world, they have different levels of scale, but it's very hard to legislate against this as far as I'm concerned, so I'm not going to be advocating that you would ride into law. This is what you need to have, however, it would state that you have to provide some form of heating like, that's about it, you know, and then... but if you... so the minimum would be throwing in a panel heater [um] and I know in an old place, [uh] because, you know, dad, he just... he was really bad for him with reverse cycle air conditions, that wasn't comfortable so we had to have all these panel heaters everywhere and my god, the power bill was ridiculously expensive and the house was still pretty much always cold, [laughter] so it was just a terrible solution, right? and if we were to put in the heat pump, still, I don't even know if that still would have been, obviously, it would have been at least three times better given what you said.
Tom: Yeah, it's actually better than that, because the technology inside equipment like that, it's called inverter technology, so what happens within a panel heater is you've got it set on the thermostat to, let's say, 24 degrees, okay? So, the panel head is on bang; it's on full noise--there's no control. it's on, it approaches that set point, it hits that set point, but it's always going to overshoot, right? So, you're probably going to get to 26 degrees then it turns off-- full noise off, and it ramps back down to 21 degrees and guess what? It's on again-- full noise bang all the way back up, overshoots again, and then it turns off, right? So, it's all energy all the time with a heat pump. What happens it's got an inverter. All right, so what that means is that the motor speed and the compressor speed can ramp up and ramp down, so as you start approaching that set point, it slows itself down, okay, it's not using that one kilowatt anymore, it might be using 0.6 of a kilowatt, because it slowed itself right down and just producing enough to hit that set point and then it ramps itself back off again, so it's not turning on and turning off, okay, so they're actually... when i say it's 3.6 to 1 by the time that inverter does its thing, it's probably way more efficient.
John: Yeah, gotcha. Yeah... yeah, in the end, it's just a fundamentally better tech; better way to heat your home. [Tom: absolutely] yeah, yeah.
Aaron: So, so I guess, just going from there, that's kind of one of those [um] misconceptions that people have out there of [um] say, "I'll go buy the 40-dollar panel heater rather than getting the [um] the big heat pump installed". What kind of other misconceptions are out there around the household that you could just reel off for us?
Tom: [uh] Insulation and double glazing of windows. [John: yeah] Obviously, heat loss is a huge thing and that's heat coming in or heat going out [Aaron: yep] or cool air coming in and out, all those things, right? So, if you fundamentally insulate correctly, that means you need less energy to heat it to a, you know, reasonable [um] and maintain it [Aaron: yep] so again, that heat pump inverter is ramping up and down, but it's doing hardly any work, because once it's warm, it's warm, once it's cool, it's cool. [John: yeah yeah] It stays there. So, those investments as much as on face value, you're thinking, "Oh my, lord! That's expensive." If you really boil that down and you could, I guess, the hard bit is people being able to map that data and going, "this is what you're going to save", no one's going back to bottom line... no one is actually going to do excuse me, put their balls on the line, and go, that's it... that's the number. [John: yeah] And I think that's one of the differences with our business is that when we go in and talk to people, what we're doing is we're going, "this is your return on investment", "this is what you're going to save", "this is the carbon that you are going to offset", and we always make sure that's conservative as well, because there's nothing worse than having that conversation and going, "hey, look at this!" and then all of a sudden, you know, in 12 months time, they're going, "hey, mate".
John: Yeah, yeah, you're not even close to what you promised, yeah"
Tom: Yeah, [um] and so, that's one of the big things and I think that's... that education, is that a lot of people are looking at us when we're, you know, approaching that and going, "All right. Where's the stake knives, mate?" you know, "this is the sales pitch" and that's the hard thing to actually twist that and shift that [um] mentality, I guess, [Aaron: yeah] this is real.
Aaron: Is this... is this kind of like, the solar panels that you kind of get the phone calls about and you're kind of like... like it can't be all [uh] rainbows and sunshine, like you're promising and you prom you want heaps of sunshine for the solar panels, but like, "I'd love to be like investing in that" but it just seems to be this kind of very fairy price--
John: Are you going to get your return on your investment?
Aaron: Yeah, yeah.
Tom: Well, there's that [John: yeah] I'm going to get in trouble if people that I know listen to this, because this conversation comes up with me fairly regularly about solar and i end up bashing the solar industry and I don't mean to, because I think, fundamentally, what it is is fantastic. I think how it's actually implemented and how it's marketed now, because that's all it is now--it's a big marketing machine, is really wrong. In that... in Tassie, I guess, in summer, we've got what they call solar producing hours with the sun's at the right height and all this sort of stuff for the solar panels to be the most efficient they can be and I think, we get about four or four and a half solar producing hours in summer [Aaron: yeah] a day... a day... so it's going to produce all those other times that the sun's up as well, just not as efficiently right, so what happens is people go, "I'm going to put solar on the roof", right? and there's a mentality shift there that I've got solar, so I can basically do what I want. The idea with solar is that it works when the sun shines. At the moment, obviously, with battery pricing and things like that, they're not being implemented as quickly, I guess, as we would like because the return on investment just isn't there, but if you've got solar on your roof, guess when the sun shines, it's when we're out of the park or we're at work or we're doing the things that you have to do as an adult, so you don't get to actually use the benefit of the solar anyway. [the other two agree] when should the dishwasher run? guess what? mid day--when the sun's high. When should the washing machine and the dryer go on? guess what? mid day. You know, hot water cylinders, one of the biggest consumers of energy in the house, because all you're doing is heating a body of water that you may or may not use [um] [John: and guess when that comes on?] It still comes on when the sun's not shining, [Aaron: yeah, for sure] [um] so there's, you know, and then people put solar panels on and they go, "I can do what i want" [the other tow react] they come home and the dryer's on at six o'clock at night and all these things, and it's just... it doesn't work, [John: yeah, yeah] [um] if used correctly, solar panels are amazing... [John: yes] you know, if you've got a swimming pool and you can, you know, run your pumps and put all timers and things in, but no one's gonna go to that level, [Aaron: yep, but again, I guess that's part of that education thing where kind of someone like yourself can come in and say like, you know, this is the best time to be doing it if you want to put in a system where we have timers running all this stuff, we can make that work. i imagine that's something that's...
Tom: Yeah, absolutely! And the other thing is people think [uh] what I'll do is I'll just put solar panels on the roof and I'm doing a great job [Aaron: yeah] but that's trying to mop up a bucket of milk that's been kicked over. Let's not kick the bucket of milk over; let's fix all those things at the ground level first. Let's replace all your lighting with LED. Let's find an efficient way to heat hot water whether that's heat pump or, you know, whatever that might be: solar, whatever. You know, let's... let's replace some of those inefficient appliances that we've got within the home. With efficient, let's insulate and now let's put solar on once everything's offset, so that when the sun's not shining, we're still actually getting benefit and what you'll find is again, I haven't really done the math, I've done some at a commercial and industrial level, is that if you fix those fundamental things that are working for you all the time, even when the sun's not shining, and then put solar, your return on investment's actually smaller.
John: Yeah... yeah, well it's like, well, "why are you cold?" "well you're sitting there naked on the couch, mate. Maybe just put a jumper on first before you turn the heater on"
Tom: That's exactly right, you know, and what i do at home, John, is my prerogative, mate.
John: That's fine. [laughter]
John: Back to me thinking about then, you know, the unit that I want to build is... so, the message to me might be [um] "look, don't think of it just slap on solar says, Johnny. If you really want to have an energy efficient, like, start your foundations [Tom: absolutely] and work your way through" [um] and I suppose then, that's where we search out someone, like yourself, to help design that, connect all of it together, absolutely to ensure that they're all working in tandem and actually assisting [um] you know, right through the lights, right through the different switches, right to the, you know, switching on and off, [um] right through... right to the end when you get to the exterior of the house, and then what more can you add [Tom: absolutely] yeah, okay
Tom: And do you see much of a shift in that space, obviously, in the property game that people, when they're walking into an open home, they're looking at these things?
John: I, specifically in Tassie, I think that's going to happen a lot more it seems to me, because I can only say, because I don't know too much about it myself. Most people don't know what they're even looking for, so they know anecdotally kind of like, when you someone walks into a car yard and they kick the tire, "why are you kicking the tire, mate?" it's like, "I don't know, I've seen someone do it once before", so people know a little bit to ask questions and spend money however, I don't think it's through knowledge of actually converting it to the end goal, which is obviously, reducing... [Tom: ...your power cost] so yeah, I know it's a long-winded answer, but i just don't think... I think people want to, but they don't know how to, is the biggest challenge.
Tom: And one of the other things as well, that I guess, is tough, is that [um] I guess, the rise of the home renovator and things like that, you know, [um] the block and you know, all of these things, everyone wants to have a crack and do things... and they do things as best as they probably can. Are they making good decisions? Probably not. [John: yeah] [um] again, I've seen somebody do this so that, you know, that's how it must be done or whatever that might be now. There's a reason that people are specialists in certain areas
John: Absolutely. Well, actually going back to the gentleman I was referring to before, I think the example that he gave was say, you look at properties in Germany or different countries that have degrees of extreme ends, so it's, you know, hot and then extreme cold. [laughter] So, they're designed to make sure that the house can retain heat at levels of extreme. He said the challenge is that within Australia, we try and as if it's always the same [um] and so they're not... they're not really pushing the design to allow the, you know, I suppose, to do, you know, to retain that heat. One of my best mates and he helped me with my... [um] he'll be helping me with the build, but he's really passionate about this stuff, so when you build a massive house in Claremont, [um] I have no idea what he did, but obviously, there's, you know, with huge windows on the side, there's the solar orientation, there's the, you know, concrete through the middle and the bottom, so that once that gets to a, you know, a level degree, you can basically switch off the heaters for days and days, because, you know, it's retain that level of heat, so [Tom: absolutely] the house is phenomenally comfortable, it's massive open spaces. You're like, "how the hell is this even working?" it's because you just spent all that time and effort to design it well...
Tom: ...at that front end
John: Yeah, absolutely: future-proofing what you're trying to do…
John: And I think... and I think it's [um] because obviously, that's what he's passionate about. He can do the work, but I'm 99 percent sure he spoke with people like yourself as well to help do that [Aaron: yeah, absolutely]
Tom: Yeah, and you know there's a reason that there is a shift in this space as well [um] obviously, the building code of Australia mandates certain aspects of what has to happen with, you know, how many watts you can have of lighting and heating per square meter and all this sort of thing, but again, with the rise of the home renovator, a lot of that's lost because at the end of the day, there's no one really checking over the stuff [Aaron: yeah, definitely]
John: And look, in the end, I'll speak for myself, too. Is it I'll jump on Pinterest and go, "I want that kitchen", "I want that bathroom", like I've got... I don't really care [laughter]
so, as much as I would say all this passion, but, you know, in the moment, you're like, "it doesn't look like that"
Tom: Yeah yeah, and the consumer is much design [John: yeah, yeah] you walk in and you know, I don't know, does the kitchen sell the house? does the bathroom sell the house? whatever that is, but you know, if it's beautiful, I guarantee I know when we bought our place we walked in and my wife just said, "we're buying this" [John: yeah yeah yeah] we're in the hallway [laughter]
John: Yeah, you bought a hallway and [laughter] the house came with as it happened yeah, yeah...
Tom: 100 percent you know, [um]
John: So yeah, and I guess that goes back to your question, is that... it's sort of that, we would like to think that we're moving this in a positive energy direction, but our emotions take over, [um] and that's how we buy, like, we just... we bond that emotion, justify with logic later, so there'd be a very small... very small percentage of people that are really, you know, targeting and looking for a high degree of energy efficiency becomes a nice bonus at the end of the... at the end of the game, but I suppose, what I would like to do and hope that I do, personally, when it comes to then, maybe in my future decisions, especially with the build, is like well maybe... maybe this could be part of a big rock that comes into the design and not just my flashy-looking kitchen.
Tom: And does it come into the marketing as well, when we're selling property?
Aaron: I think lots of the properties that we probably work with in our local market here are kind of... of the older build and [um] you're kind of moving on old homes, but I imagine if you were selling lots of new homes, you'd get a... you'd get really versed in kind of understanding those extra features and those extra things that have been thought about and put into those homes and it definitely would become part of the marketing package of being kind of, you know, the double glazed glass that lead you out onto the deck; will maintain the heat that's been filtered through yeah, [yeah] big concrete floored well what exactly [however] however that's just exactly riffing, yeah. I think, boys, we've come to a point where we've [um] we've gone way beyond our time [Tom: yep, that's right] I knew having the two of you in here, that I, probably, wouldn't get a word i,n and that you guys could have talked until the cows come home; you could have done a four-hour Joe Rogan kind of episode. Here, I imagine, I think there's... there's plenty of scope to talk about, but it's been really cool to join the dots and have you in, Tom. Anyone out there that would like to [uh] look further into your business, where can they find you?
Tom: Yeah, our website's up and running [um] so if you Google "Ingenuity Power Solutions", [uh] you'll find us there, [um] contact details and stuff are on the web, as well.We're happy just to have the conversation--education's key. So yeah, we're, you know, we're pretty passionate about what we're doing [Aaron: yep] and there's lots of little things that you can implement that, yeah, I guess end up with a, you know, a big result at the end, so…
Aaron: Yeah, without a doubt, we can definitely feel the passion;
we can feel that [um] I think one key takeaway is just, yeah, education is something that really we need to think about, like kind of... we've kind of learned heaps just this morning, that's kind of "I can't wait to go back and listen to all the math" and just be like holy moly, like, this actually makes a difference. [the other two agree] I used to think this guy could just lift really heavy weights, but [laughter]
Tom: Well and truly retired
Aaron: I did say something about your dad bod from you. For anyone out there, Tom [uh] was it world record level [um] power-lifting?
Tom: Yeah, it was, ashamedly
Aaron: It was mighty impressive, my friend [Tom: bloody hell] thank you so much for coming in. It's been a hoot [um] yeah, you're always welcome back. We'd love to have you on again and yeah, we'll just sign it off.
Tom: Awesome! Thanks for having me, gentlemen!
Aaron: Not a problem. Excellent! See you!