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Nova Energy named Energy Retailer of the Year at Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards

Nova Energy named Energy Retailer of the Year at Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards

Flick Electric recognised with Innovation in Energy Award

Rosalind Archer awarded for her contribution to New Zealand and international energy research

Fonterra’s Linda Thompson named Young Energy Professional of the Year

Morrison & Co’s Bruce Harker receives Editor’s Award for contribution to sector

Nova Energy was named Consumer NZ Energy Retailer of the Year at the Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards in Auckland last night.

The Todd Corporation-owned retailer was recognised for its product innovation and an on-going focus on value that has seen it add more than 10,000 customers during the past two years.

Nova was the second-fastest growing retailer by ICPs in 2015 and it has been recognised in a number of consumer satisfaction awards. Its surveys show a third of New Zealand consumers would now look to switch to Nova the next time they thought about changing retailer.

Genesis Energy-owned Energy Online and Flick Electric were named finalists in the category, which was judged in conjunction with Consumer NZ.

Flick, which passes the half-hourly spot price of electricity through to its customers, also won the Innovation in Energy Award for its retail model.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin says increasing customer choice, and the ease of switching supplier, have raised the bar amongst energy retailers, resulting in the employment of increasingly novel approaches. That was reflected in the finalists named last night.

“The last 12 months has seen a step-change in the energy retailer sector. More companies are providing more and different ways for consumers to not only get but monitor their energy use. The industry has never been more competitive or more innovative. That makes our role as a watchdog even more crucial.”

More than 650 guests attended the spectacular black-tie event, which was held at SkyCity - a new venue for the awards.

Last night’s awards featured two new categories.

The Energy Technology of the Year Award – sponsored by Crown-owned Callaghan Innovation - was won by Auckland-based Petromac for its wire-line conveyance system.

Petromac was acknowledged for the “world-class” Kiwi ingenuity of its technology, which is enabling drillers and well operators to survey wells made difficult by ledges, washouts and high-deviations from vertical.

The other new award was the Energy Engineer of the Year Award, which was judged in conjunction with the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand. 

That award went to Dr Rosalind Archer, head of engineering science at the University of Auckland, and a director of listed explorer New Zealand Oil & Gas.

A specialist in reservoir engineering, she was recognised for her leadership of the Geothermal Institute, her work developing the the well-regarded Master of Energy Programme at the University of Auckland and her on-going research efforts.

The Minister of Energy and Resources, Hon Simon Bridges, was the guest of honour and keynote speaker at the event. The minister congratulated all the winners and finalists.

“These awards set the benchmark for our energy sector. They are about celebrating excellence – the innovation, efficiency and competitiveness that is critical to the security of our sustainable energy supply, our economic growth and our international standing as renewable energy experts.”

“This year has seen a record number of entries across all categories, which highlights the quality of work going on in the sector. It reflects our continuous drive to improve performance, set new goals, and find better ways of doing things – all of which help build credibility in our broader NZ Inc brand and the investment opportunities that brings.”

Linda Thompson, Fonterra’s energy manager, was named Young Professional of the Year for cementing some key objectives for Fonterra’s energy portfolio with a view to using resources efficiently and sustainably.

Key initiatives championed by her team included participating in the spot market to reduce electricity purchase costs, dual-fuelling select manufacturing sites to increase energy security and achieving notable energy savings at targeted sites.

This year’s Editor’s Award went to Morrison & Co executive and former Trustpower chair Bruce Harker.

Energy News editor Gavin Evans told guests that Bruce’s contribution to the sector had spanned the very early development of spot wholesale pricing, through to the commercialisation of new retail models and the development of renewable generation on both sides of the Tasman.

His review of ECNZ’s handling of the 1992 hydro crisis helped shape the break-up of ECNZ and the development of the competitive wholesale market.

He would go on to play a key role in the development of Infratil’s Australian operations, including the very successful Lumo retail business in Victoria, and the expansion of Trustpower’s wind and hydro interests in New Zealand and Australia.

“Where policymakers have talked about leveraging this country’s experience with competitive markets and renewables, these companies have actually got out there and done it.”

The MC for the evening was radio and television host and comedian Jeremy Corbett, who also provided a comedy act mid-way. The opening featured a fire dance by Sopi Jensen, from Fire it Up.

Toby Stevenson, chair of the judging panel, says there were strong entries across all categories this year.
“Our job is not so much finding an excellent entry to be the winner as deciding from many examples of excellence which qualifies to be awarded the winner”, he said.

OMV took home the Energy Project of the Year Award with its Maari Growth Project. The complex and dynamic $500 million project doubled production at the offshore Taranaki oil field, increasing its reserves and lowering its operating costs.

Invercargill-based PowerNet received the Community Initiative of the Year Award for a health and safety programme that is delivering life-saving results for a grassroots New Zealand community. Having a trained first-aider in every Southland home is close to becoming a reality thanks to the partnership between St John and PowerNet.

State-owned KiwiRail won the award for the Large Energy User Initiative of the Year. The company has cut its locomotive fuel use by more than 6 per cent through improved scheduling and driver training.

Contact Energy received the award for the Health and Safety Initiative of the Year. Injuries reported in the year through June 2015 were less than half those a year earlier after the firm reduced the compliance focus of its health and safety strategy in favour of a broader focus on behavior and staff empowerment.

Last night’s awards were the seventh since 2010. Deloitte is the principal sponsor.

Deloitte partner and energy sector lead Scott McClay congratulated all this year’s finalists and winners.

“The initiatives, companies and individuals recognised are great examples of what drives success in this dynamic industry – an industry that is a key enabler of our success as a country.”

The event is run annually by Freeman Media, publisher of online news and information service Energy News www.energynews.co.nz.

THE WINNERS:

Innovation in Energy Award – sponsored by Gentrack

Flick Electric Co.

Energy Project of the Year – sponsored by UGL
OMV New Zealand - Maari Growth Project

Health & Safety Initiative of the Year – sponsored by the Nexans
Contact Energy

Energy Technology of the Year – sponsored by Callaghan Innovation

Petromac

Young Energy Professional of the Year - sponsored by ABB
Linda Thompson - Fonterra

Energy Engineer of the Year – sponsored by IPENZ
Rosalind Archer – University of Auckland

Large Energy User Initiative of the Year – sponsored by EECA Business
KiwiRail

Community Initiative of the Year – sponsored by PEPANZ
PowerNet and St. John

Consumer NZ Energy Retailer of the Year - sponsored by ERANZ

Nova Energy

Editor’s Award – Sponsored by MB Century
Bruce Harker

Contact: Neil Wembridge – Freeman Media, Organiser – 021 190 2971

Media contact:

Matt Huntington 
Deloitte New Zealand
Communications Manager
04 470 3771

 

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