CEO Welcome - Newsletter December 2021

22 December 2021

As we enter 2022 I reflect on the past year that has demonstrated our business and our employees’ ability to consistently adapt to challenges and shine in the face of natural disasters and a continually-evolving energy landscape within which we operate.

Pleasingly, the majority of Essential Energy employees voted in favour of an Enterprise Agreement supported by the combined unions and bargaining representatives in late December. The offer provides stability for employees, as well as customers and shareholders and ensures the terms of the enterprise agreement reflect the needs of a modern, efficient and competitive business, while maintaining safety outcomes across the business.

This is more important than ever as the relevance of the transitioning energy market is now being more clearly articulated and reflected at policy and political levels, customers’ expectations have grown apace, both in terms of energy affordability and flexibility. As well as expecting energy costs to lower over time, today’s customers also want access to a dynamic network that allows them timely information to control and ideally, share and sell their excess energy.

Gaining a deeper understanding of these expectations and how they impact the type of business we need to be is driving our consultation with key stakeholders as we prepare our submission for our 2024-2029 Regulatory Proposal to the Australian Energy Regulator. The consultation we are doing now will shape our business through to the end of this decade, during which time significant changes in technology, market behaviour and policy is expected. Whilst exciting, this also presents challenges to ensure our business retains its place at the centre of a dynamic energy network. To develop a collective understanding of these challenges and opportunities, we have engaged with connected customers, businesses, Councils and interest groups, as well as consultation and collaboration with Stakeholder Collaboration Collective.

I would like to close by thanking you, our valued customers and stakeholders, for your continued support of Essential Energy and openness to build a better business.

I also acknowledge the people of Essential Energy who devote themselves to keeping the lights on for all of our customers – whether that be through storms and floods, through building and maintaining a resilient network, through innovations or through the work to transform our organisation. Our transformation achievements in 2021 alone included implementing an in-vehicle management system throughout our fleet, a completely new vegetation management system and finalising our digital twin to enable faster network connections. I am proud to say that every employee shows up every day to serve our vision to empower communities to share and use energy for a better tomorrow.

John Cleland

In this edition
Survey puts customers into the heart of the SAPS solution
Growing engagement and pruning costs
Restoring power and hope after Black Summer for Kosciuszko
Penguins and power outages