Insulation Industry Spotlight: Alexander Watson 14 December 2022
A family business, from the ground up
“There’s no such thing as an old insulation installer… It’s not an old trade, but it’s desperately needed and rapidly becoming professionalised. Those that get in early will prosper.”
ACT based husband and wife team Jeremy and Peta Watson started Alexander Watson as a small family business back in 2011. It’s since grown to almost 50 staff, completing approximately 1,500 insulation installs per year.
Alexander Watson is particularly proud of their specialisation in retrofitting, which is adding, improving or replacing insulation in properties after they’ve been built.
“In a new build, there is clear access to everything. In a retrofit, you need to insulate without tearing someone’s home apart,” says Jeremy Watson, owner of Alexander Watson.
“If insulation is not done properly, it does not work. Quality has to sit above and beyond any other value in our business,” says Jeremy.
To support this, Alexander Watson does not use quantity-based incentives for staff.
“We have staff incentivised to take the time to get things right, not just get through as many houses as possible,” he says.
“At the end of the day, you can buy as much ice for your esky as you like – but you’ll never get the level of cool you want if you’ve left the lid off. Insulation is a lot like that.”
In a business where quality is central, it is no surprise Alexander Watson is committed to training.
In addition to their own training procedures and protocols, the business is currently in the process of getting all staff, even administrators and electricians, Certified Insulation Installer certifications.
The expertise held by installers like Jeremy and his team is especially important given that over 8 million Australian homes are estimated to have insufficient insulation, and Australia’s track record on energy efficiency is some of the worst in the developed world.
“We are the poor cousins of energy efficiency in Australia. We have a lot of catching up to do with rest of the world,” says Jeremy.
Among the many benefits of a well-insulated home, Jeremy cites reduced energy bills, increased comfort and improved health outcomes as the foremost drivers, alongside the climate benefits of reduced energy use.
And the benefits extend to the business side.
“Insulation work is scalable, you can be a one-person band or do it with a cast of thousands,” says Jeremy.
Beyond the professional opportunities, Jeremy says it’s also a career in which you can make a real difference.
“People come to us and say lovely things about how beautiful and comfortable their homes are after they’re insulated…it feels good.”
Whether you’re looking for a rewarding job in a growing industry, or have aspirations to be your own boss, the sky is the limit in this expanding industry.