Energy Excellence Awards 2024 finalists named

Finalists have been chosen for the 14th New Zealand Energy Excellence Awards.

Entries for 2024 reflected the sector’s priorities for renewable energy development, purpose-led activity, decarbonisation, and ESG.

Judging chair for 2024, Harsharan Singh – operations manager, energy networks & renewables, Ventia – commented on the amazing talent and innovative approaches highlighted in this year’s submissions.

“Year on year we see organisations and individuals continually push the boundaries and use more creative approaches to deliver better outcomes for energy consumers across Aotearoa,” says Singh.

This year the award organisers have recast the category list and brought back Energy Project of the Year, and Energy Distributor of the Year, to highlight the initiatives addressing supply and demand tensions.

The 2024 finalists are:

Community Initiative of the Year – sponsored by Eagle Technology

  • Contact Energy – Contact and Women’s Refuge: Keeping people and homes warm, safe and connected
  • Genesis Energy – Ngā Ara | Transformational education, training, and employment pathways
  • Northpower – Home energy education programme delivers! Small investment, big rewards

Innovation in Energy Award – sponsored by Ara Ake

  • Counties Energy – Reimagining flexible infrastructure using second-life EV batteries
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) – Regional energy transition accelerator programme
  • PowerNet and Digital Stock – Innovating installation control point billing management – Compliance made easy

Large Energy User Initiative of the Year – sponsored by EECA

  • Fonterra Co-operative – Waitoa biomass boiler project
  • Mataura Valley Milk – Project Recharge – High pressure electrode boiler
  • Methanex New Zealand – Investing in new distillation technology to reduce emissions

Low Carbon Future Award – sponsored by Energy Resources Aotearoa

  • Hiringa Energy – Heavy transport’s biggest decarbonisation network
  • Lodestone Energy – Harnessing the sun: Lodestone Energy Phase 1
  • OMV New Zealand – Driving down operational emissions at OMV NZ
  • PowerNet – Leading decarbonisation and electrification efforts in the south

Energy Distributor of the Year – sponsored by Axos Systems

  • Northpower – Enabling our communities to thrive by powering a more sustainable future
  • Powerco – Connecting communities now and in the future
  • WEL Networks – Pioneers of positive change for New Zealand electricity

Energy Project of the Year

  • Kāinga Ora – Renewable energy programme and multiple trading trial
  • Lodestone Energy – Kohirā: Construction of Lodestone Energy’s Kaitaia solar farm
  • Infratec New Zealand – New Zealand’s first utility-scale battery energy storage system online

Social Procurement Award – sponsored by BlueFloat Energy and Elemental Group

  • HW Richardson Group, HWR Hydrogen – Dual fuel trucks
  • Meridian Energy – Harapaki wind farm
  • New Zealand Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) – Giving old uniforms a new life through local partnership

Well-being Award – sponsored by nib

  • Contact Energy – Skin health programme saving lives at Contact
  • Northpower – A focus on workplace wellbeing
  • OMV New Zealand – Empowering holistic health and wellbeing at OMV NZ

Young Energy Professional of the Year – sponsored by Phoenix Recycling Group

  • Counties Energy – Moonis Vegdani, Group Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer
  • Lodestone Energy – Daniel Cunningham, General Manager, Development​
  • Simply Energy – Tim Edmonds, Head of Advisory

Energy Retailer of the Year – sponsored by EDMI

  • Contact Energy
  • Ecotricity
  • Mercury

Joining Singh on the judging panel are incumbents Sapere Research Group director Toby Stevenson, independent consultant John Hancock, chief executive of Water New Zealand Gillian Blythe, strategy and management consultant Carmen Blackler, Enerlytica director and head of research John Kidd, general manager energy at Tūaropaki Trust Dave Binnie, and Carbon Match director Lizzie Chambers.

The awards ceremony is being held at the Cordis, Auckland, Wednesday 28 August. Additional on the night support will come from table display sponsor Gentrack.

The awards programme is also supported by: ERANZ, GasNZ, Mana Wāhine I Power Women, Electricity Networks Aotearoa, Electricity Engineers’ Association, New Zealand Wind Energy Association, Major Electricity Users’ Group, Carbon and Energy Professionals New Zealand, and the Young Energy Professionals Network.

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