Faces of Fronius – Jack Long
What’s your background, for how long have you been working in the solar industry and why did you choose to work in the Industry?
Having entered the PV industry in 2009 in sales and customer service at Energy Matters, I immediately found myself getting passionate to the point of becoming obsessed with the potential for solar power. Years ago, this passion saw me advance towards the technical side of the business, where I currently work as the Solar Design Engineer for RACV Solar, and I am also the co-founder of Solar Cutters Pty Ltd.
What are the challenges in your everyday work?
I feel the main challenge is sending a clear message to the customer of the difference between a low-end “bill buster” quote, sold with sub-standard equipment and often using unethical sales tactics, and what is a premium-quality system.
In 2017, you co-founded Solar Cutters. Can you tell us a little bit about the organization?
Solar Cutters was formed via solar social media to establish a grass roots community that identifies with likeminded professionals who are authentic, enthusiastic and serious about influencing change. At its heart, Solar Cutters understands that healthy competition, high quality workmanship, rapid support, community, collaboration and continuous improvement are vital. These principles are paramount to the longevity and success of our solar industry. One of the main reasons for initially starting and privately funding this movement was to host our own events devoid of product sales agendas.
Who is Solar Cutters?
Solar Cutters was formed to create a community that believes in quality, integrity and unity by supporting individuals who are passionate about influencing change within the solar Industry.
What is your personal forecast for solar energy for the next 10 years?
The next decade will see a shift towards an increased power base load made up of solar, wind & storage, of that I am sure. I forecast more of a shift towards a community of solar, things like increased distributed generation networks and community-lead virtual power plants.
If a colleague from Europe asked, what’s special about the Australian solar market, what would you tell them?
I feel the Australian solar market is special because, for the most part, collaboration has seemingly become a strong way of doing business and a lot of quality operators are now sharing information with each other to support each other for the long term.
When did you first encounter Fronius? What do you appreciate about the collaboration?
In early 2009, I was first introduced to the Fronius IG inverters whilst working at Energy Matters. What I appreciate about Fronius is how genuine they are about the engrained family culture and I personally feel it shines through every aspect of the business. As a business, the fact that they manufacture arguably the best inverter on the market, one still manufactured in its country of origin, means they are unrivalled as a whole, whether you look at the products, services, ethics or business operations.
Why are you 24 hours of sun?
I’m 24 hours of sun because I basically spend that amount of time per day dealing with solar, whether it’s through my day job as a designer or as a Facebook admin for the following pages: Solar Cutters Working Together, Crap Solar and Quality Solar Installations. It’s all I do. Through my day-to-day activities I am constantly contributing to 24 hours of sun by making recommendations to better harness clean energy for our customers.
One last question – we have to ask because we are extremely honored – how did the Fronius logo make it onto your calf?
I think it represents being truly passionate about something you believe in. I believe in renewables and I wholeheartedly believe in Fronius.
(the full interview can be read in the 24 hours of sun magazine)