CEO welcome – Newsletter April 2024

23 April 2024

Essential Energy is continuing to engage with customers and communities across the network footprint on the opportunities and challenges associated with the energy transition. In February, the transition was the focus for a community forum at the University of New England in Armidale, as part of the CleanTech Futures Series, and focussed on the potential economic benefits for regional, rural and remote communities

Based on the feedback from the event, we have commenced a ‘Future Energy Roadshow’ that will visit communities across our footprint in the coming months. The roadshow will bring together subject matter experts on a range of topics, including energy storage (batteries), stand alone power systems (SAPS), electrification, and electric vehicle charging installation. The first of these was recently held in Wagga Wagga with the next one scheduled for 30 May in at Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie.

In addition to the roadshow, Chief Operating Officer, Luke Jenner and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Annie Pearson have been speaking at regional development forums about Essential Energy’s innovation trials and regional strategies to support the energy transition. Household and business electrification is also an important part of the energy transition as we see more houses with an electric vehicle, home battery, smart appliances, heat pumps, rooftop solar and even household energy management systems. 

At the same time, it is imperative we continue to manage any potential risk to keep our communities and people safe. Essential Energy teams are already beginning to prepare for the 2024-25 bushfire season by inspecting powerlines where there is a risk of bushfire impacting crucial infrastructure. The Bushfire Risk Management Plan outlines how we proactively manage our network to avoid inadvertently causing a bushfire. It also manages the risk of bushfires impacting our network, which could interrupt power supply to our communities.

Earlier this year we welcomed 21 graduates and eight trainees into the business. Based across the network, they will receive first-hand experience in areas such as service delivery, finance, electrical engineering, procurement, legal and information technology. We also welcomed our largest intake of apprentices, filling 144 positions across 77 locations. They are the future electrical technicians, fleet managers and field operations team members who take on everything from powerlines to powering our next generation battery systems. 

I am also proud to announce that Essential Energy received two accolades on International Women's Day at the Work180 Equitable Workplace Awards presentation in Melbourne. The first was the Pay Equity award for continued progress towards closing the gender pay gap. The second was the Mining Resources and Energy award given to the company with the highest overall score across the 10 key drivers towards workplace equity.

And finally, I would like to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of Essential Energy Board Director, Robyn Clubb. Robyn was appointed to the Board on 15 March 2018 and concluded two consecutive three-year terms on Thursday 14 March 2024. 

In this edition

Renewable energy generation is key to regional economic growth
Forums help future proof regional communities
Expo sparks discussion on electrification
Essential Energy awarded for driving equity in the workplace
Graduates and trainees get first look at Essential Energy
Apprentices leading the charge to our energy future
Bushfire preparation for 2024-25 season
Award-winning vehicle safety system hits the road