Sustainable business practices are fundamental to our future.
At WEL Networks, we strive to minimise the environmental impact of our operations and embrace initiatives to protect our consumers and reduce energy hardship within our community.
With the electricity sector needing to decarbonise and decentralise, digital technology and partnerships will provide the tools and capability required to respond.
Digital technologies are increasingly being applied to energy services; Raglan Local Energy and OurPower are two projects that are embracing digital technologies and partnerships to make the Waikato a cleaner, fairer place to live.
OurPower’s mission is to end energy hardship in the Waikato. In 2019, OurPower was the third fastest growing power retailer within WEL’s network with 1,061 new customers during the year, the majority of whom had been experiencing energy hardship. With an average annual saving of $484 per customer, OurPower has delivered an estimated $750,000 in savings to customers since its inception.
An automated technology platform is what makes OurPower operate successfully. OurPower uses a cloud-based system to automatically bill, receipt and switch customers, with no human interaction. This allows us to create savings which are passed on to customers through a simple, low price model.
The OurPower platform is scalable, and can be used to support other pricing and business models for electricity retail. It is this technology which has allowed us to explore other projects including Raglan Local Energy.
Raglan Local Energy
The Raglan Local Energy project is about working with our partners Our Energy and the Raglan community to embrace new technology which will more efficiently utilise solar power with the ultimate benefit of decarbonising the supply of electricity.
Currently less than 1% of buildings have solar and for solar to be a commercially viable investment alternative economic models are required.
RLE integrates a real time peer-to-peer (P2P) matching system built by Our Energy using the OurPower retail platform to create a power retailer that focuses on changing customer behaviour to better utilise renewable energy.
The outcome will be a more cost effective system for generators which we hope will encourage further distributed solar installations. The RLE project is in the early stages but we have an ambitious goal of making Raglan New Zealand’s first ‘zero carbon energy community’.