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Origin Energy partners with O’Donnell Griffin to drive streamlined ‘domestic’ solar energy solution

27/11/2008

Origin Energy, Australia's largest retailer of residential solar energy systems, has recently appointed O'Donnell Griffin, part of the Norfolk Group (ASX:NFK), to drive the installation of its streamlined domestic solar energy solution across homes in SA, WA and NSW.

With rapid growth forecast for the solar energy industry due to a greater general awareness of the impact of carbon intensive electricity generation, Origin Energy sees the domestic market as primed and ready for broader adoption of a solar energy solution.

This, coupled with the fact that customers will be eligible for a Federal rebate of up to $8000 on a standard $10,000 1 kilowatt panel, meant that Origin Energy were keen to choose a service and installation partner who were able to respond quickly and who had a national capability to tie in with the expected future national growth in the domestic solar energy market.

Origin Energy Solar Energy Business Manager, Dominic Drenen, explains: ‘We chose O’Donnell Griffin because of their strong commitment to customer service and to HSE. They have an excellent track record in the supply and installation of electrical infrastructure around Australia and have already demonstrated a complimentary focus and desire in the area of sustainable energy solutions.

O’Donnell Griffin National Service Manager, Andrew Cross, adds: ‘We are confident that Origin Energy customers will benefit from this service partnership as we are able to guarantee consistency and professionalism in our service delivery and management of their installation.’

‘The all-round customer experience should be strong as it will be supported through a dedicated Origin Energy customer call centre, web interface and centralised reporting system. Pre-inspects are also a part of our proposed service solution, where we will be able to verify instal requirements and identify any specific challenges in advance.’

He continues: ‘O’Donnell Griffin also has a strong focus on Health and Safety across our business. We have a company motto of ‘Safety All Ways’ and we hope that provides reassurance to all our customer-base.’

Both Origin Energy and O’Donnell Griffin are confident that the take-up by consumers will be strong as they face rising electricity bills and a growing demand to take environmentally positive action. ‘Solar energy is fast becoming an ideal centralised, distributed generation source given its low impact in terms of noise, aesthetics and maintenance and its long term reliability,’ adds Drenen. We are delighted that O’Donnell Griffin also sees the future for this product as significant.’

Projected National Rollout

Whilst the first stage of this installation project will commence in December with 80 installations planned across NSW, WA and SA, a multi million dollar national rollout of an estimated 20,000 1 kilowatt solar panels is projected by 2013.

The ODG/Origin partnership allows domestic home-owners to order the rooftop panels directly from Origin Energy, either by phone or over the internet. O’Donnell Griffin have committed to installation of the panels within 12 weeks, anywhere in Australia, correlating to the time it will take for consumers to process their Federal Government rebate (up to 80% depending on which suburb and State they live in). This approach should ensure that the customer is not out of pocket for the full amount.

As an additional financial incentive to customers, users are also able to supply excess power back into the grid to further shorten the payback period on their solar energy units.

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