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Customer and stakeholder engagement

We engage with a broad and diverse range of stakeholders across the State, and we’re committed to improving the way we engage with these groups and considering their needs in our decision-making. By working together, we can better understand their needs and deliver services they value while helping to build trust and meet the expectations of the community.


SA Power Networks' Consultative Groups

Ensuring our customers are at the heart of our business starts with good engagement. We engage with a broad and diverse range of stakeholders across the State, and we're committed to improving the way we engage with these groups and considering their needs in our decision-making.

 

Customer Consultative Panel (CCP)

Our Customer Consultative Panel (CCP) was established in 2009 to ensure the customer voice is considered in our decision making. Our CCP consists of a broad range of stakeholders with an interest in shaping the decision-making of SA Power Networks and includes customer advocacy representatives.

A new 15 Member panel was appointed in January 2020 for a two-year term. The panel consists of the following members:

Chair Dr Andrew Nance – The Energy Project
Residential customers

Michael Leane

Doug Strain

Angela Faulkner

Vulnerable customer advocates

Wendy Shirley – SA Financial Counsellors Association (and Community Reference Group representative)

Mark Henley – Uniting Communities

Business customers/advocates

Mark Yates, Yates Electrical – Riverland

Andrew McKenna – Business SA

Renewable energy advocates

Matt Curnow - Sustainable Savings Pty Ltd

Mike Stone – Clean Energy Council

IT/ Government/ Policy Scott Bayliss – Department of Education
Retailer Elizabeth Molyneux – AGL
Arborist Reference Group Kelvin Trimper
Local Government

Cr John Woodward – West Torrens

Karina Ewer – District Council of Streaky Bay

 

The CCP Chair is Dr Andrew Nance of The Energy Project who brings a wealth of experience in the energy sector and is committed to ensuring the customer voice is heard loudly so we deliver the services our customers expect and value. Andrew says:

“There is no doubt that SA Power Networks delivers an essential service. There is also no doubt that some customers are more vulnerable than others to losing continuous access to the electricity grid.

For some it’s their financial circumstances that makes them vulnerable to being cut off for unpaid bills. For others it’s their health that make them vulnerable due to a reliance on the grid to power essential equipment. For some it is a vulnerability to more frequent or longer outages because of location or bushfire risk.

The CCP strongly supports SA Power Networks efforts to understand the vulnerabilities of their customers and to be a leader – empowering South Australia - even if it’s not always something they can fix directly.”

For further information on our panel visit Talking Power.

 

Reference Groups and Working Groups

A number of Reference Groups and Working Groups provide a forum to enable the views of a diverse range of customers to be represented, discussed and heard and ensure customer views are used to shape SA Power Networks decision-making in an ongoing way.

These groups, which you can see in more detail below, help us build stronger relationships with key stakeholders and enable meaningful discussions on a more regular basis.

We use the feedback from these groups to develop and refine our strategies, initiatives and activities, and meet the expectations of our current and future customers and stakeholders. 

There are a number of ways energy companies can support vulnerable customers and SA Power Networks is committed to working with our Community Reference Group to understand customer needs and ensure the customer voice is considered and heard in our decision-making. 

Our Community Reference Group provides a forum for listening and discussion on issues facing particular groups within the community, particularly vulnerable customers. 

Wendy Shirley, CEO South Australian Financial Counsellors Association and Chair of our Community Reference Group says: 

“I have been on the Customer Consultative Panel and the Community Reference Group since its inception. I have worked with SA Power Networks for over 5 years’ and have a high level of interest around electricity distribution in SA. Collaboration and working together in partnership to help all customers will assist in ensuring SA Power Networks remains in tune with all of their customers.” 

The group consists of representatives from the following consumer advocacy and customer groups: 

Uniting Communities 

SA Council of Social Service (SACOSS)

COTA SA 

SA Financial Counsellors Association 

Multicultural Communities Council of SA 

St Vincent de Paul Society 

Salvation Army Australia

Uniting Care Wesley Bowden

Australian Refugee Association 

NDIS Reform 

Anti-Poverty Network

Number of community representatives, including the Adelaide Hills Community 

SA Power Networks developed a Vulnerable Customer Strategy in the latter part of 2019, in consultation with our reference group.  

 

In 2014 an independent group was established to provide horticultural and arboricultural advice on a range of strategic initiatives aimed at improving amenity outcomes and vegetation management near powerlines. 

Since its establishment, the group has worked collaboratively to progress a number of key initiatives to improve vegetation clearance outcomes including: 

  • A Protocol for vegetation management near powerlines. 
  • Communication with Councils and education on our legislative requirements.  
  • A powerline friendly list of species. 
  • Changes to the regulations governing vegetation clearance across the State, including pruning around low voltage powerlines and the 10 year review.  

Kelvin Trimper, AM, a founding member of the Arborist Reference Group stated: 

“We have made significant progress but we are continuing to seek improved outcomes for the community and environment for trees under powerlines. One of our latest initiatives is to trial new tree species under powerlines which deliver good visual and environmental amenity whilst reducing the need for regular pruning” 

The group consists of representatives from the following members: 

TreeNet   

Botanic Gardens SA  

Trees For Life  

Horticulture Media Association  

Nursery industry representative   

SA Tree Advisory Board 

Nursery and Garden Industry of SA  

Local Government representatives  

Native Vegetation Council  

Community representative 

Our vegetation clearance contractor 

A Connections Working Group was established in August 2019 to improve customer experience in the connections process.    

The group is working with SA Power Networks on a number of initiatives to improve the connections process, with a focus on education, information provision and ongoing communication.  

The Group comprises representatives from: 

Renewable and solar industry representatives and consultants  

Energy consultants  

Electrical contractors/ NECA / Master Electricians Association  

State Government  

SA Power Networks  

The group is chaired by Dr Andrew Nance of The Energy Project. 

This group was established in October 2019 to work with customers on residential and business network tariffs. 

This group was established to focus on DER Integration and future energy transition.  

A Working Group was established with the Local Government Association (LGA) and representative Councils in November 2013 to develop a long-term strategy for vegetation management and work more collaboratively with local councils. 

The group consists of representatives from the LGA and the following Councils: 

City of Burnside 

City of Campbelltown 

City of Tea Tree Gully 

Port Augusta City Council 

Adelaide Hills Council 

City of Onkaparinga 

City of Marion 

Alexandrina Council  

 

In December 2018, a Public Lighting Working Group (PLWG) was established to:

  • Provide a representative group for Councils to work with the LGA and SA Power Networks on public lighting matters.
  • Provide a forum for listening and discussion with Councils on public lighting.
  • Seek input from Councils and stakeholders on the transition from negotiated distribution services to alternative control services.
  • Build mutual understanding and trust between the LGA, SA Power Networks and public lighting customers.
  • Identify new service and product lines which will add value to public lighting customers.
  • Discuss current issues associated with public lighting.