Direct Energy

The renovation of an old family home provided the spark for Donald Payne, Justin McFarlane and Robert Rechtman to create Direct Energy.


In searching for a source of clean energy to power the home, Payne sought to install a geothermal heat pump – a system that uses heat from under the Earth’s surface to warm and cool a property.


Realising that there was a gap in the Australian geothermal market, the trio set up Direct Energy, which provides heat pumps to properties under licence from a US company. Within nine months of starting up in 2009, the company achieved $1 million in revenue.


The founders speak to StartupSmart editor about the success of the business, which won the Best Green Start-up at the recent StartupSmart Awards.


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