New Zealand Energy Excellence Awards winners announced

Genesis, Open Country Dairy, OMV New Zealand, Fonterra and Nature’s Flame, Methanex, The Lines Company, MainPower, Juliet Oliver of Todd Energy, and Flick Electric Co. were the winners of the 2021 New Zealand Energy Excellence Awards, announced Wednesday evening, 5 May. Over 560 people from the energy sector came together in Wellington at an event attended by the Minister of Energy and Resources, Hon Dr Megan Woods. 

Among the winners, The Lines Company won the inaugural Outcomes Award, sponsored by the Electricity Authority. This award celebrated efforts by the sector to deliver accessible and inclusive energy products, services and solutions. The Lines Company is directly tackling energy hardship with its wrap–around customer–centric services. Judges thought The Lines Company’s submission was an excellent entry and a deserved winner. The company’s customer support models – the Maru Energy Trust, Vulnerable Customer Care Model, and Covid–19 Relief – are available to anyone who meets the criteria or is a vulnerable customer, no matter what part of the network area they are from. 

Flick Electric Co. won the Consumer NZ Energy Retailer of the Year Award, sponsored by EDMI. Flick really stood out in every respect in the annual satisfaction survey, with results significantly above the industry average in many key areas. Flick also submitted a great RFI demonstrating a number of customer–focused innovations and the fact the company is going the extra mile to keep its customers happy. In particular, judges were impressed by its “Off Peak” plan, tree planting, emissions reductions and offsetting and emissions updates. 

Brent Norriss received the Editor’s Award for outstanding contribution to the sector posthumously. Brent laid the foundations of his long and distinguished career in the New Zealand electricity industry as an apprentice electrician. After 10 years at MainPower, Brent moved to The Lines Company where he was promoted from engineering manager to chief executive in 2013. In 2017, Brent joined the Commerce Commission. He brought his experience of contracting and asset management to asset management plan reviews, performance analysis and breach investigations. He died tragically on 3 February 2020 after being hit by a van while cycling in Wellington. The Norriss family received the award on Brent’s behalf. 

Judges were once again impressed with the quality of projects and people put forward and the innovation across disciplines in the sector. 

Freeman general manager Irwin Munro says a notable feature this year is how firms are continuing to incorporate wellbeing and to leverage technology for the benefit of staff and customers. 

The 2021 New Zealand Energy Excellence Awards winners are: 

  • Innovation in Energy – sponsored by Gentrack 

  • Genesis – Predictive Analytics Platform 

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

  • Open Country Dairy – A world first – Electrode boiler installation 

  • Network Initiative of the Year – sponsored by Milwaukee Tool 

  • OMV New Zealand Pohokura gas pipeline repair 

  • Low Carbon Future Award – sponsored by BusinessNZ Energy Council 

  • Fonterra and Nature’s Flame – Wood pellets for coal free future at Fonterra Te Awamutu 

  • Community Initiative of the Year – sponsored by Energy Resources Aotearoa 

  • Methanex – Strengthening hapū relationships 

  • Outcomes Award – sponsored by Electricity Authority 

  • The Lines Company – Tackling energy hardship with a customer–focused approach 

  • Well–being Award – sponsored by nib 

  • MainPower – Breaking from tradition – improving work life balance 

  • Young Energy Professional of the Year – sponsored by ABB 

  • Juliet Oliver – Todd Energy 

  • Consumer NZ Energy Retailer of the Year – sponsored by EDMI 

  • Flick Electric Co. 

  • Editor’s Award for outstanding contribution to the sector – sponsored by Utilities Disputes 

  • Brent Norriss 

The Awards night was also supported by table display sponsor LZ New Zealand and sustainable wine producer Yealands.