Consumer Engagement and Innovation Award shortlists announced


Energy networks putting customers at the centre of their business decisions have been shortlisted for the 2019 Energy Consumers Australia, Consumer Engagement Award including Jemena, SA Power Networks, Horizon Power and Powerlink.

Energy Consumers Australia CEO Rosemary Sinclair said that the 2019 entries showed a significant step forward on a range of engagement activities, demonstrating the maturing of consumer engagement within many network businesses.

“We are seeing a greater commitment to working directly with consumers, exploring new ways to engage and make energy more affordable for households and small businesses,” said Ms Sinclair.

“The award shines a light on consumer engagement practice and the breadth of engagement activity happening across the network sector.”

Horizon Power (WA) – Solar Incentives Scheme

Horizon Power’s Solar Incentives Scheme is investing $1.07M to co-fund up to 900kW of community-owned solar in eight remote Aboriginal communities. Co-designed with Aboriginal corporations during 12 months of face to face community engagement, the feedback was that while communities knew solar would save money, it was expensive upfront, a big technical decision, and they weren’t sure whom to work with.

Based on this community feedback, Horizon Power created the scheme offering each community a grant (30 per cent capped at $100,000) along with engineering and project management support.

Jemena (NSW) – Gas Networks Deliberative Forum

Developing the engagement strategy for Jemena’s 2020 Plan began early, two years ahead of the submission. Jemena worked to understand how the customers wanted to engage and what topics were important to them. Jemena held multiple sessions with the same groups building their capacity to challenge the company and debate complex topics. The engagement strategy included providing individual bill impacts and overall costs, which allowed customers to make meaningful decisions, helping shape Jemena’s plans and the network’s culture.

Jemena (Vic) – People’s Panel

Jemena created a representative citizen’s jury – the People’s Panel – to involve household customers in complex decision making, in particular, asking them to challenge and change their plans. Through extensive expert presentations and collaborative discussions, the People’s Panel confidentially provided a series of recommendations that were incorporated in Jemena’s Draft Plan.

SA Power Networks (SA) – Community Engagement

In developing its 2020-2025 Tariff Structure Statement (TSS), SA Power Networks engaged with customers and stakeholder representatives to develop fit-for-the-future tariffs that had the support of stakeholders and addressed key challenges influencing reliability and cost for customers. By working collaboratively over time with a wide group of stakeholders, SA Power Networks constructively engaged on a tariff setting strategy.

Powerlink (Qld) – 2023-27 Revenue Determination

With its customers, Powerlink co-designed the engagement approach for its 2023-27 revenue determination process. It worked closely with its customer panel to develop the agenda and structure of the workshop, which involved 40 participants, including customers, advocates, stakeholders and members of Powerlink’s Board and Executive Team. Powerlink’s customers and stakeholders played a direct role in developing a process which will influence investment decisions and planning.


Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon today announced shortlisted applicants for the Energy Network Industry Innovation Award including ATCO, ElectraNet and Power and Water.

“This is the most momentous period of change the energy sector from the integration of renewables, to storage, to system design,” Mr Dillon said.

“Networks are creating a smarter grid, giving customers more control over their energy use and encouraging better management of electricity demand.

“Finding innovative solutions to problems is a big part of creating a smarter grid for the future.

“These awards are a way to recognise ground-breaking initiatives, technology, services or solutions that have benefits to customers and help us to share learnings across the sector.”

ATCO – Clean Energy Innovation Hub

ATCO has created the first ‘green’ hydrogen (zero-emissions fuel) in Australia through its Clean Energy Innovation Hub. It is an industry-leading research and development facility for testing different combinations of clean energy technology including photovoltaics, batteries, gas-fired turbines and the production, storage and end-use of ’green‘ hydrogen in a ’living lab‘ micro-grid setup. Pure ’green’ hydrogen is stored in a high-pressure storage vessel then distributed within the micro-grid as a blended fuel for normal consumption, as a direct fuel for testing and for back-up power to a residential hybrid energy home.

ElectraNet – Dalrymple Battery Energy Storage Project

The Dalrymple 30 MW, 8 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is the first transmission grid-connected battery in the National Electricity Market providing regulated and competitive market services.

The project involved the development of a first-of-its-kind commercial model to support the provision of regulated reliability and security services alongside competitive market services. ElectraNet navigated the NEM registration, licencing and connection processes and then created the largest autonomous regional micro-grid development to date, co-optimised for both grid-connected and islanded operation with 100 per cent renewables.

Power and Water (NT) – Darwin’s DFA Trial

Power and Water commissioned six trial distribution fault anticipation (DFA) devices on its worst-performing feeders that analysed the discrete changes in system parameters, alerting about developing faults. The project challenged conventional beliefs of traditional fault behaviour and feeder performance, in particular, the belief that bat-related activity is sporadic and transient, making it largely financially unviable to remediate.