Smart50 Awards 2018

1 Choice Energy

Revenue

$10.5 million

Growth

987.8%

Founders

Alan Gill (37), Christopher Dean (35)

Head office

Richmond, Victoria

Employees

25

Industry

Mining, resources and energy

Website

choiceenergy.com.au

While soaring electricity prices put a damper on many parts of the Australian economy in the past year, this year’s Smart50 winner experienced a boom.

Founded by software director Alan Gill and solar company executive Christopher Dean in 2013, Choice Energy doubled the size of its business in 2017-18 and has increased its revenue by 987% since 2015 to $10.5 million.

The energy specialists have hooked into electricity cost concerns, offering business clients such as Caltex, Disney Australia, Mitre 10, Red Rooster and IGA opportunities to reduce their power bills.

Choice touts itself as an expert energy assessment service that can help clients negotiate competitive energy contracts and the reduction of network tariffs.

It claims to have saved customers between $50,000 and $2 million on their energy contracts, while also offering tailored advice to clients on the best type of energy generation for their businesses.

Gill says his company’s success centres on a simple, yet effective, formula: the agreements it undertakes with clients penalise poorly performing solutions and reward outcomes that benefit clients.

But the company’s growth has been hard fought. In 2016-17, Gill and Dean were forced to change their entire value proposition after businesses began taking their own measures to become more energy efficient.

“Businesses and homes began consuming less grid power due to more energy efficient technology and machinery, and a considerable uptake in rooftop solar,” Gill says.

To solve the problem, Choice honed in on changes to the power distribution model that opened up an opportunity to help clients meet their energy targets more efficiently, known as “power factor correction”.

“When the distributors moved the goal posts on our customers, we were agile enough to respond with our holistic approach to energy, allowing our customers to continue saving,” Gill explains.

The fast-growing business is now hoping to once again more than double its revenue in 2018-19, with a target of $20 million.

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