Supporting reducing energy hardship

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Energy distribution company Powerco is welcoming the chance to collaborate, define and find solutions to help address energy hardship in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This week’s Reducing Energy Hardship Conference, supported by Powerco, in New Plymouth, aims to tackle the issue of energy hardship by bringing together national and international stakeholders with diverse backgrounds to discuss community-based solutions to the problem.

As well as panel discussions and an interactive workshop to generate ideas, and strategies for addressing energy hardship, the conference features speakers including Powerco’s Energy Hardship Working Group which includes Energy Futures Manager, Daniel Gnoth, Ellie Hills, Market Development & Customer Accounts Lead, and Jon Postlethwaite, Sustainability Analyst.

The Powerco group will be speaking about the role energy distribution businesses (EDBs) can play to support community-based energy projects, that could in turn help reduce energy hardship.

“Supporting community energy projects, such as community solar, energy storage and peer-to-peer (P2P) energy, is a key way EDBs like Powerco can support communities to decarbonise and achieve long-term energy resilience," Daniel Gnoth says.

“We’re learning about what the future role might be for distribution utilities by working with communities to find out their needs. We’re open to trial and explore what’s possible and what works for different communities to help them decarbonise and help make energy affordable.”

Powerco recently launched its internal energy hardship working group that is working to:

Understand the size and scope of hardship in Powerco’s network areas
Understand what work is being done and opportunities there might be to address hardship
Investigate and champion Powerco’s role in addressing hardship and wellbeing

Ara Ake, Community Energy Network, Waitara Initiatives Supporting Employment (WISE) Charitable Trust and Taranaki Chamber of Commerce are bringing the Reducing Energy Hardship Conference to New Plymouth. Click here for more about the conference from Ara Ake.


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