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The Changing Face of New Zealand’s Energy Supply

14 October 2019

What companies need to do to deliver what customers want and need.

Simply Energy recognised that there are a large number of commercial and industrial energy consumers that are committed to doing the right thing, but either didn’t know how to start or struggled to navigate the complexity of the technologies and options in what was perceived to be an already complex energy industry.

The company’s partner, Contact Energy, is driving sustainability into their business as members of the Climate Leaders’ Coalition and is reducing both its own and their customers’ emissions. This commitment to a lower carbon future includes innovating with green bonds to develop renewable generation and investing in water quality and the communities they operate in.

Contact Energy has also recognised the need to pivot from selling standard energy tariffs to client-based solutions involving behind-the-meter-solutions that actually reduce energy demand and carbon emissions.

Consumers want to play a role in addressing climate change and reduce emissions but often struggle to navigate the complexities of the energy industry, the technologies available and the economics of these technologies.

Murray Dyer, Managing Director of Simply Energy says one of the key objectives of the partnership between Simply Energy and Contact Energy is developing smart solutions and partnerships that combine to deliver what our customers need to transition to more sustainable energy supply through renewable supply, energy efficiency and electrification, and sooner rather than later.

“Together we will continue to build more value-add in terms of the relationships with customers, building on our wholesale market smarts that includes hedging, wholesale tariffs and prudential support to deliver energy solutions that reduce emissions and the development of renewable generation.

Simply Energy has an established track record of providing innovative, sustainably focused energy solutions.

“Simply Energy did the first renewable peer-to-peer supply deal in New Zealand between Clearwater Hydro and Charlies Trading Company which resulted in the business being an EECA Business Awards finalist in 2010.

This success continued with the company being chosen as the energy partner to Cold Storage Nelson which combined energy efficiency engineering projects with price signals and demand response which was selected as a finalist the 2014 EECA Business Awards.

Mr. Dyer said another successful project was the implementing of an innovative electricity supply, reconciliation and billing system for airlines operating out of Auckland Airport, which builds on the work Contact Energy has done there. We have subsequently rolled this out to Christchurch Airport to reduce the jet fuel used while the planes are at airline gates.

Simply Energy has been focused on innovative B2B energy solutions since 2006 and has prided themselves on having a renewable focus with a commercial pragmatism to their solutions. This is about providing sustainable energy solutions without compromising their customers’ competitiveness.

“Consumers want to know how their products and services are made and delivered, and increasingly favouring businesses that pursue and are aligned with more sustainable business practices. This is not just the environment, but about being a good corporate citizen, looking after their people and the communities in which they operate,” said Mr. Dyer.

Over the last year Simply Energy has seen a real step-up by companies wanting and needing to reduce emissions or transition to lower-carbon electricity.

Decarbonisation refers to reducing the greenhouse gases produced or emitted from the production and delivery of products and services. It can involve supporting the development of renewable energy, being more energy efficient, or for example, converting heat and energy assets from coal to electricity.

In September 2018, Transpower’s Energy Futures publication predicted that electrification of heat and transport would have the biggest impact on New Zealand’s decarbonisation efforts.

“With these customers having higher priority uses for their capital and wanting to spread the risk by working with a true energy partner, together with Contact Energy we can co-invest to de-risk and spread their capital,” explained Mr. Dyer.

“As a result of this environment, we recognised that to truly deliver innovative and solution-focused outcomes for customers, partnering Simply Energy with Contact Energy’s willingness to invest in solutions to initiate emission reductions and renewable generation fleet, presented stronger opportunities to assist customers on their decarbonisation journey,” said Mr. Dyer.

Since Contact Energy’s investment in Simply Energy in June, the two organisations re now collaborating on a number of exciting emission reduction opportunities for customers.

Together they provide renewable energy and decarbonisation solutions, involving solar and battery installations, the electrification of heat sources (from coal), installations of on-site renewable generation and co-locating industrial heat processes on Contact’s geothermal steam fields capturing natural geothermal heat as opposed to other emission generating heat sources.

Mr. Dyer said that for other customers, we are at the early stages of a journey, which includes the capturing and analysing of data to providing energy and carbon reporting to identify the issues and then implementing a roadmap to reduce their emissions through energy efficiency and supply solutions.

Simply Energy believe that they are quickly transitioning customers from a ‘nice to do but it looks a bit hard’ scenario, to one where they now have a trusted energy partner that helps them navigate the road to de-carbonisation.


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