Western Power has been recognised as a leading communicator in the national energy sector, after being announced as a finalist of the prestigious Energy Networks Australia Industry Consumer Engagement Award 2022.
This important award from Energy Networks Australia was recently presented at the peak body’s annual awards in Melbourne. It is the second time in recent years that Western Power has received national recognition for its extensive and comprehensive approach to community engagement.
Western Power received recognition specifically for its Access Arrangement 5 (AA5) – Community Engagement Program, comprising more than 800 hours of consultation with 2000 participants.
Every five years Western Power prepares a new access arrangement to revise the services it offers to the community and to guide investment by the State Government in the organisation’s network infrastructure and operations. AA5 is an important milestone for Western Power and ensures the needs and priorities of the community now and in the future are central to the organisation’s strategic vision.
Western Power Chief Executive Officer Sam Barbaro said the Access Arrangement process is one of the most important activities undertaken by Western Power and an effective community engagement program is essential to ensuring the best results for Western Australia.
“We believe our fifth Access Arrangement reflects community sentiment and values, and will enable us to continue transforming the network in response to climate change and to support the continuing decarbonisation of the WA economy, while still delivering safe, reliable, and affordable energy.”
“We are thrilled to be named as a finalist for this prestigious award in recognition of the extraordinary achievements of our community engagement team.”
Showing where and how community feedback has been incorporated is essential to helping the regulator understand proposed expenditure.
Key findings of the Community Engagement Program highlighted that while safety and service reliability need to be maintained, there is strong support to accommodate new technologies into the network to prepare for the future; for further investment that increases renewable energy supply; and an understanding that we need to prepare for and mitigate against climate change.
The result of the AA5 Community Engagement Program has been to ensure that Western Power’s investment and business objectives meet community needs, and that the community can see its priorities and values clearly reflected within the AA5 proposal to ERA.
From 2023 the community will see their needs reflected in the way the organisation delivers a safe, reliable, cost effective, future-focused, modular and increasingly renewable network.