Energy network businesses leading the way in improving customer outcomes were recognised last night at the Energy Networks Australia 2018 Annual Awards.
Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon said Australian networks were focused on modernising while keeping prices down and so it was imperative to continually seek new and innovative ways to manage networks and keep the customer at the centre of decision making.
The winner of the Energy Networks Australia and Energy Consumers Australia 2018 Consumer Engagement Award, Essential Energy (NSW), was the unanimous choice of the judging panel for its 2019-24 Regulatory Proposal customer engagement program.
Energy Consumers Australia CEO Rosemary Sinclair presented the award, saying that embracing consumers as partners in change to drive down electricity prices was a critical part of building a new culture in the energy sector.
“Rebuilding trust with consumers in the energy sector will take time and must come from the top – the leading businesses are entering into a new dialogue with consumers and taking responsibility for the issues they’re raising to deliver more affordable outcomes,” she said.
“The winner showed they had proactively engaged with their consumers to better reflect their views and priorities and allow that to shape services.
Western Power (WA) received a highly commended from the judges for its Kalbarri Microgrid project.
Other finalists were SA Power Networks (SA), TransGrid (NSW) and the joint Victorian distribution businesses.
Related article:Energy networks showcase better consumer engagement
Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor presented the Energy Networks Industry Innovation Award to TasNetworks for its CONSORT Bruny Island battery trial.
Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon congratulated Essential Energy and TasNetworks for the different ways they had shown leadership and helped solve some of the industry’s most complex challenges.
“TasNetworks has shown how to carry out smart coordination of solar and batteries, which has large economic and environmental benefits by allowing more renewable energy to connect, increasing grid stability and opening new markets,” Mr Dillon said.
Funded by ARENA, the TasNetworks project had a number of partners including the Australian National University, University of Sydney, University of Tasmania and Reposit Power.
Runner-up for the Industry Innovation Award was Jemena, for its demand response trial: power chargers.
Other finalists were Essential Energy (NSW) and Evoenergy (ACT).
Related article:Energy Networks announces innovation finalists
Mr Dillon also congratulated Powerlink’s general manager Network Regulation, Jennifer Harris, winner of the 2018 Industry Contribution Award for her substantial contribution to the industry over several years.
“This award recognises Jenny’s significant contribution to our industry and her clear focus on the customer driven transformation of our networks,” he said.
Judging panels for the awards can be found here.