Flick partners with Eastland Group in NZ-first energy hub
27 October 2017
Flick partners with Eastland Group in New Zealand-first energy hub
Flick Electric Co. has partnered with shareholder Eastland Group to launch Electric Village, a New Zealand-first, community-focused energy hub in Gisborne.
Electric Village is a one-stop shop for energy ideas and advice and a place where the community can interact with the changing world of energy technologies, with the hopes of inspiring new and engaging conversations about Tairāwhiti’s energy future. “Regional New Zealand has the most to gain from the abundance of new technologies that are coming. It’s exciting to imagine Tairāwhiti leading the way nationally,” says Matt Todd, Chief Executive of Eastland Group.
The space, located in the heart of Gisborne, features a number of interactive exhibitions about the past, present and future of energy. It’s designed so people can pop in and learn about electric vehicles, e-bikes, solar and other emerging technologies, glean home energy efficiency tips, and more.
The hub also includes a dedicated area for people to chat with Flick about its unique offering that’s saving Gisborne locals on average $463 annually. This is the electricity disruptor’s first retail space in New Zealand, and includes video calling back to Flick HQ in Wellington. Flick was recently crowned Energy Retailer of the Year.
“We are experiencing so much change in the electricity industry it was a natural fit for Flick to be part of this hub where people can be exposed and learn first-hand about the disruptive technologies out there. It’s also an opportunity for people to come in and chat to one of our Flicksters, learn more about our model and see how they might be able to save money on their power bills.” says Flick’s Chief Executive Steve O’Connor.
Flick is also powering the region’s first fast charging electric vehicle station, which is located outside Electric Village in Gisborne’s main street. Eastland Group has secured co-funding from the government’s low emission vehicles fund, and will roll out a region-wide network of charging stations in the next few months.
Eastland Group owns Eastland Network, the electricity lines company for Gisborne, Wairoa and the East Coast; Eastland Port and Eastland Generation, which includes geothermal and hydro electricity generation plants. The Group also runs Gisborne Airport.
Chief Executive Matt Todd believes the Electric Village initiative will position the region to take full advantage of the rapidly changing energy sector.
“We’re excited that Tairāwhiti is taking the lead by establishing New Zealand’s first energy hub. Emerging technologies could offer significant benefits to our community, both economically and environmentally. We hope that locals will play an active role in sharing their ideas on how our region could be powered in the future.
“Teaming up with Flick is an important part of this collaborative model. Their genuinely innovative approach is helping us to understand how people use their power, how this might change, and how we as an infrastructure company can adapt and deliver what the community needs.”