Efficiency Leaders with Ryan Dillon from Websters Group 27 April 2022
This month we’re profiling Ryan Dillon, Founder and Managing Director of Websters Group and a specialist in the financing of energy efficiency and sustainability upgrades. In November 2021, Ryan was elected to the EEC Board. Websters Group is an SME energy management consultancy with an energy performance contracting arm.
What I enjoy most about my job is being able to do my part to help address our collective climate change challenge by working on energy strategy and management.
What is your company’s role in the energy management market and Australia’s energy transition?
Traditionally our role has been providing expert financial modelling around energy efficiency and renewable upgrades, although how this is delivered is evolving with the market's needs.
We currently have a large project with a 30 MW bio-energy generator focused on using near-real time smart metering in an Azure environment for some data science-based analysis. Digitisation, particularly around M&V, will go hand in hand with financing, so we are keen to explore this space as it’s something needed in the energy transition.
What are you currently excited about in the energy world?
Now, it's really exciting to be at the start of the net zero transition. There is so much scope to influence the discussion, and I am enjoying the momentum it’s created for the sector. In the shorter term, you overestimate how much you can achieve, although you underestimate how much is possible in the long term!
While we all know there is some serious work ahead, I enjoy a challenge and see myself working in the space focused on this issue towards 2030 as an important milestone. Let’s do it!
How do you champion energy efficiency in your own home?
We have reasonably efficient appliances and are all-electric for cooking and hot water, which I feel helps. A recent change in the last year has also been signing up for a spot market retail contract. This has been more of playing around kind of thing, i.e. charging the lawnmower or timing, washing on weekends, and looking at renewables percentages in the NEM.
Putting my energy nerd hat on, I have been known to take our data loggers home to put on appliances and audit the house. For example, when I took our thermal camera home, I have also found some issues with the insulation.
While I am renting, I haven’t been able to influence the insulation, which I think would be a significant improvement. However, this is also a long-overlooked policy area and net zero tool that, as with many things, energy efficiency, needs revision.
When not immersed in Australia’s energy transition, what do you do for fun?
I have been breakdancing for 20 years now and have travelled worldwide to go to competitions (or “battles”) and still regularly train. It is now an Olympic sport!
Travel and adventure are also important. My best adventure so far was cycling 3,500km across the length of Japan in a fundraiser for the earthquakes in Nepal a while ago.
This photo above is me breakin' a headstand at Mt Everest base camp in Nepal.
Where do you see Australia’s energy and energy management markets in 2030?
Some themes around digitalisation, IoT and data science offer hope around some of the scalability aspects I feel we need to address for net zero. Transparency and changes around ESG reporting will also certainly ramp up. I hope we see finance and sustainability better integrated and able to talk to each other properly.
Why do you value being a member of the Energy Efficiency Council?
I was first attracted to the EEC by listening to the First Fuel podcast, which demonstrated that the EEC was leading the discussion in this space.
Of course, given I was lucky enough to recently join the EEC’s board, I will admit that I am biased in answering this question. But you only get out what you put in, so get involved!
You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn.
This article was originally published in the April 2022 edition of Efficiency Insight.