Methods of Engagement

Provide information

AusNet Services solar performance notification 

A​usNet Services communicates with residential solar customers via SMS when their smart meter data indicates that their solar panels may not be exporting to the grid. Customers receive a message along the following lines, that links the customer back to more information, suggested solutions, and more opportunities to engage on their energy use. 

Fact Sheet – Your Solar

Webinars have become a key tool for Ergon Energy

Webinars are being used to consult on Ergon Energy’s network tariff reforms and give greater transparency to the organisation process for setting its tariffs annually in its pricing proposal. This channel is ideally suited to the large service area that Ergon Energy services, which limits the ability to undertake face to face engagement.

Consult and Involve

Jemena Electricity Networks - Kildonan UnitingCare workshop

Jemena held focus groups with vulnerable customers in August 2014 as part of their electricity price review engagement. The primary objective was to engage in-depth with a ‘hard to reach’ yet important group within their customer base on issues which were important to them to inform Jemena’s five-year plan. The focus group was attended by 12 customers who were recruited by Kildonan UnitingCare and identified as vulnerable, and was held at Kildonan UnitingCare’s office in Broadmeadows.

The focus group introduced the network, explained how network prices influence electricity bills and the price review  process (objective: inform). They also discussed what Jemena was doing to assist vulnerable customers and options for assisting vulnerable customers under the five-year plan. (objective: involve). 

The feedback from the focus group, together with feedback from other engagement forums such as the Jemena Customer Council, shaped a part of the Jemena price proposal in which they proposed to assist vulnerable customers struggling to pay electricity bills by helping them to replace inefficient appliances and providing them with targeted information about the energy use and bills. 

Queensland Household Energy Survey

Queenslanders have participated in the Annual Queensland Household Energy Survey since 2009.

This survey is run as a partnership by Energex, Ergon Energy and Powerlink and covers several behavioural topics around energy efficiency, appliance saturation and electricity use.

United Energy Willingness to pay, willingness to trade research

United Energy undertook a best practice survey to assess customers’ willingness to pay or trade savings for changes to existing service levels, or the introduction of new services. More than 1,100 people took part to provide final sample of 960 United Energy customers. 

For United Energy, the WTP survey provided information about consumers’ willingness to pay or trade for particular characteristics of their electricity supply, such as reliability, quality of supply and cost.

The purpose of the survey was to inform the development of United Energy’s regulatory proposal for the next regulatory period, using robust methods to understand consumer preferences. It was conducted early in their engagement process in order to inform other engagement practices.

Powerlink Queensland Transmission Network Forum

In July 2015, Powerlink held a Transmission Network Forum to discuss the future of Queensland’s transmission network. 

The forum commenced with a presentation on Powerlink’s Transmission Annual Planning Report (TAPR), followed by concurrent breakout sessions covering key topics of interest that Powerlink was seeking input on. The three breakout sessions involved interactive discussions on their upcoming Revenue Proposal to the regulator, optimising their network planning, and how they can best consider new technology in energy and demand forecasts. 

ActewAGL Distribution Electricity Tariff Workshop

In the ACT, a workshop involving residential and low voltage business customers explored the likely change in behaviour as a result of introducing more cost-reflective electricity tariffs. Subject matter experts provided background and context. A facilitator used real-life scenarios to help participants consider the likely impacts of tariffs changes on different customer types. These impacts were captured through a series of exercises and worksheets. Feedback from participants at the end of the workshop was very positive with over 80% rating the workshop techniques a 5 out of 5 on a sliding scale. Outcomes from the workshop informed the development of subsequent Tariff Structure Statements.

Collaborate and empower

ElectraNet Consumer Advisory Panel

In 2015, ElectraNet established a Consumer Advisory Panel comprising representatives of a broad range of consumer groups with the role of providing consumer input to improve the value of electricity transmission services in South Australia.
It operates under an independent facilitator and provides advice and feedback on consumer needs and issues to inform ElectraNet’s planning and revenue proposals, guidance on ElectraNet’s consumer engagement activities, and its proceedings are published on ElectraNet’s website.