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Winners of 10th annual Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards

Innovation, efficiency, and care for staff and customers were big themes among the winners of the Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards, presented in Auckland last night.

About 650 guests packed the Cordis Hotel to celebrate excellence in the sector, as the industry’s showpiece event celebrated its 10th year.

The event was attended by energy sector luminaries past and present, joined by influential members of the political sphere including Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods, Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones, National Party energy and resources spokesperson Jonathan Young, and New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom.

Large Energy User Initiative of the Year went to Red Stag Timber after a $20 million transformation project at a large mill saw it increase total energy output while reducing consumption from the electricity grid, leading to a 25 per cent increase in production.

Contact Energy took away the Innovation in Energy Award for its world first green borrowing programme, which impressed the judges by demonstrating an ability to align capital strategy with the company’s wider corporate goal to decarbonise the economy.

Genesis Energy’s Energy IQ platform earned it the Energy Technology of the Year award, while the company’s efforts to help New Zealand’s students upskill through its School-gen programme were rewarded with the Community Initiative of the Year Award.

Eastland Group’s care for its people was recognised with the Well-being Award. Judges said the Gisborne-headquartered company has strived to acknowledge the mental health and well-being of its people, and worked to ensure these sometimes-sensitive matters can be spoken about in a healthy and welcoming way.

Meridian Energy’s electric vehicle business fleet initiative secured it the Low Carbon Future Award, as a complete strategy for carbon reduction that saw the generator-retailer engage with multiple stakeholders.

Counties Power was rewarded with Network Initiative of the Year for its project using smart meter data to resolve outages quickly and safely while keeping customers up to date.

Powershop took away Consumer NZ Energy Retailer of the Year, after an outstanding result in Consumer NZ’s annual survey, strong customer growth, and excellent feedback on the clarity of the brand’s customer contracts and terms and conditions.

In the individual categories, First Gas general manager commercial and regulation Ben Gerritsen was voted Young Energy Professional of the Year. Gerritsen was judged to have already made a significant contribution early in his career, which has seen him earn a strong reputation for integrity and a collaborative approach.

Independent director and former Transpower and Vector chief executive Patrick Strange was recognised with the Editor’s Award for his longstanding contribution to New Zealand’s energy infrastructure, and in particular his pioneering approach to workplace health and safety.

Energy News editor Matt Ritchie says the strengthening of the grid Strange spearheaded, his leadership during electricity system crises – actual and averted – and lasting contribution to developing the industry’s people made his contribution to the sector stand out.

Foundation sponsor Deloitte has supported the awards since their inception in 2010. Deloitte Partner and energy leader David Morgan says it’s exciting to see such a broad range of winners working hard at trying to solve real world problems, ultimately improving our quality of life in New Zealand.

“The people, projects and solutions we celebrated last night are helping to make our communities, workplaces and the environment a better place. Congratulations to all of last night’s winners and finalists.”

Judging

Entries were evaluated by an expert panel of independent judges. Strategy and management consultant Carmen Blackler joined the panel this year.

She was joined by former Energy Law Association president Elisabeth Welson, Sapere Research Group director Toby Stevenson, Carbon Match founder Lizzie Chambers, independent consultant John Hancock, and Electricity Networks Association chief executive Graeme Peters.

Enerlytica director and head of research John Kidd and Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand chief executive Cameron Madgwick completed the panel.

THE WINNERS

Network Initiative of the Year – sponsored by Nexans

• Counties Power – Putting the smarts in scalable customer restoration

Well-being Award – sponsored by nib

• Eastland Group – Mind Matters – building mental well-being and resilience in the workplace

Community Initiative of the Year – sponsored by PEPANZ

• Genesis Energy – School-gen programme

Low Carbon Future – sponsored by BusinessNZ Energy Council

• Meridian Energy – Electric vehicle business fleet initiative

Innovation in Energy – sponsored by Gentrack

• Contact Energy – Contact Energy lights the way for sustainable finance

Young Energy Professional of the Year – sponsored by ABB

• First Gas – Ben Gerritsen

Energy Technology of the Year – sponsored by Energy and Industrial Group

• Genesis Energy – Energy IQ – how Genesis is engaging customers through technology

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

• Red Stag – Biomass powered sawmilling

Energy Retailer of the Year – sponsored by EDMI

• Powershop

Editor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Sector – sponsored by Utilities Disputes

• Patrick Strange


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