Powerco

Finalist
2013

Powerco says 2012 was a year of strong all-round performance.

Revenue, operating earnings and net profit were all up in the year to March 2013. System reliability was also much improved, with the firm’s SAIDI and SAIFI measures down 16 and 27 per cent respectively on the year before. Electricity reliability for the 12 months was 99.97 per cent.

Powerco’s investment programme in 2012/2013 – which saw it commit $104.8 million in capital expenditure, and $34.1 million on maintenance expenditure – was directed at a number of new lines and upgrades to substations and transformers in Tauranga, Wanganui, Taranaki, Manawatu and the Coromandel.

A long-term commitment to asset investment in the Coromandel is now producing results, with customers experiencing an average of two power cuts per year and just three hours without power, compared with an average six power cuts and 33 hours without power in 2007.

Innovation

As part of the company’s focus on continuous improvement, Powerco developed an asset modelling tool that collates network, financial performance, and physical asset data into a single source. The tool, part of the firm’s flexible data solution, enables staff to query current and legacy data on assets to inform future investment decisions.

Powerco is also trialling a number of asset inspection technologies, including an unmanned aerial vehicle – a hexicopter – that provides high-quality footage of poles and cross arms in hard to access parts of the firm’s network.

And the company’s dedicated research and development team has been carrying out the ‘fast-track project’ since June 2012, which has seen it test combinations of PV panels and energy storage and ways to limit peak load at a New Plymouth house.

Health and safety, community

Powerco is committed to ensuring high workplace health and safety standards and is proud to achieve a lost-time injury rate that is less than 10 per cent of the lines industry average. The company outperformed targets by undertaking more than 225 safety compliance audits and 34 more safety training courses than required.

In 2012 it was one of the first New Zealand lines companies to achieve certification for its Public Safety Management System. Features of the system include a dial-before-you-dig asset location inquiry service, and a new ‘Powercare’ campaign that aims to raise awareness of  network hazards with the groups most at risk, including farmers, horticulturalists, contractors, children and their parents.

Powerco is also heavily involved in the communities it serves, supporting more than 130 different local events and organisations in the past year. Customers are generally happy with the service they receive, with customer satisfaction rated at 93 per cent.

 

The Overall Energy Company of the Year award category is sponsored by Port Taranaki.