The Digital Utility Awards were launched as a way to gather some of the best ideas when it comes to the digitisation of utilities – and the best implementation of these ideas – so that all of the industry can benefit from some of the impressive changes that are being made.

The awards recognise the utility industry’s greatest achievements in the digitisation of utility networks, processes and practices across Australia.

The inaugural Digital Utility Awards were presented on 19 April 2018 at a gala dinner and awards ceremony that was held as part of Digital Utilities 2018.

The two day event, which took place at the Pullman Hotel in Albert Park, Melbourne, was attended by senior leaders and experts from within the utility community.

All awards applicants were required to submit their entries by 23 February, with the shortlist announced on 13 March.

The final judging panel was comprised of Water Services Association of Australia Executive Director, Adam Lovell; Energy Networks Australia CEO, Andrew Dillon and PwC Australia’s Energy Utilities and Mining Leader, Mark Coughlin.

In total, four awards were handed out – please see the well-deserved winners and finalists below.

Best Customer Innovation

In recognition of the best digital innovation focused on improving customer outcomes.

WINNER: TasNetworks, for its Voice of the Customer Program, comprising the Customer Connections Portal, EmPOWERing You Trial, virtual reality software and a variety of advanced network technologies.

Finalists:

AGL for its digital reporting service, Energy Insights, which provides customers with a detailed breakdown of their energy usage per home appliance category.

ERM Power for its digital platform, STEP Online, which gives customers the ability to manage the timing and volume risks associated with contracting in the electricity market.

SA Power Networks for its Customer Communication Applications (CCA), which are a set of online customer self-service tools that enable customers to locate and understand why outages are occurring.

Best Use of New Technology

In recognition of the best new technology in place across a utility network.

WINNER: SA Power Networks for its Smart Networks project, which uses pressure and acoustic leakage sensors and smart meters to improve service delivery, reduce service disruptions and better manage assets.

Finalists:

Essential Energy for its use of drone technology to perform network inspection, condition assessment and vegetation management.

Horizon Power for its Horizon Power app, which allows regional and remote customers to monitor and control their energy bills.

Isle Utilities for its digital platform, Isle CATwizard, which provides a review of condition assessment technologies available worldwide, with a vast range of searchable parameters.

SA Power Networks for its Machine Learning Algorithm (MLA) to convert and migrate CAD Drawings through an automated process.

Water Corporation for its use of virtual reality tool ‘Holodeck’ in Safety in Design operability workshops, which enables the operator to walk around the proposed asset as if it was a built environment and better identify safety hazards.

Digital Utility of the Year

Awarded to the utility showcasing the best use and implementation of digital technologies, tools and processes across their organisation.

JOINT WINNERS: Horizon Power and SA Water

Finalists:

Melbourne Water

Powerlink Queensland

SA Power Networks

South East Water

Utility Innovator of the Year

Awarded to the individual making the single biggest contribution to the digitisation of the utility sector.

WINNER: Frank Tudor, Managing Director, Horizon Power

You can read more highlights from Digital Utilities 2018 here.

Thank you to all of the entrants in the 2018 Digital Utility Awards and congratulations to all the winners and finalists. The Digital Utility Awards will return in 2019 to celebrate the newest digital innovations in the utility industry. 

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