2021 – another massive year full of ups and downs, including in the Utility industry.
From the continued challenges the pandemic is bringing, to the vaccine roll-out, nation-wide protests and another year of extreme weather, this year has definitely brought the unexpected.
Despite these challenges, the utility sector has continued to adapt and thrive, embracing digitisation, actioning sustainability and net-zero goals, and with new utility infrastructure popping up all over the country.
Here, we look back at what piqued the industry’s interests this year, with our top five most-read stories of 2021.
Endeavour Energy partnered with smart metering company Intellihub in May, to launch a world-leading demand response program designed to improve the way off-peak electricity systems operate.
Partnering with ten energy retailers, the two companies have installed smart meters at 2,500 homes across Albion Park in Shellharbour, New South Wales, delivering remarkable environmental and customer benefits.
In mid-May government-owned energy utility, Western Power, prepared for a upcoming two-day stoppage on Thursday 20 May, in order to minimise the impacts on customers and the community across its network.
The strike was called by the Communications, Electrical & Plumbing Union (CEPU), which formally advised Western Power that more than 800 employees covered by the CEPU enterprise agreement would cease work for 48 hours, starting at 5am on Thursday 20 May.
In June, Transgrid announced it would invest $1.8 billion to build Australia’s biggest electricity interconnector, Project EnergyConnect, which is expected to save New South Wales customers $180 million a year, and create 1,500 new construction jobs in regional areas of the state.
The Transgrid announcement coincided with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) handing down its determination on capital expenditure for the project, approving $2.28 billion to deliver the project efficiently, including $457.4 million for ElectraNet to construct the South Australian section of the project.
In January, Sydney Water announced its collaboration on a $5 billion dollar Sydney Science Park project, to provide Western Sydney with an extra 2.4 million litres of recycled water a day and an alternate water supply.
The project is set to service up to 20,000 people with recycled water, and to be made available by mid-2022.
Sydney Water enlisted the help of entertainment icon and water conservation advocate, Shane Jacobson, to initiate a new campaign urging consumers to rethink their relationship with water.
The campaign, called Turn it off Bob, featured Mr Jacobsen as the likeable larrikin, ‘Bob’, whose long steamy shower sparks serious interest from neighbours and firefighters alike.