Australian Utility Week 2015
Australian Utility Week 2015 will focus on how utilities can adjust strategies to better focus on customer needs

In November, Sydney will host Australian Utility Week 2015, a large-scale expo that focuses on how utilities are adjusting their strategies to better meet customer needs.

The event, which is on 24-25 November 2015 at Luna Park Sydney, is targeted at helping Australian utilities to prepare for dramatic business transformation using customer-facing innovation to encourage more engagement and new profit models.

As the industry continues to operate in a lower-growth cycle, it is also dealing with growing costs, stagnating demand, and regulatory pressure to keep rates stable, said the organiser Clarion.

For years, consumers have been satisfied with stable power costs and avoiding power outages, but now they demand better and more tailored service.

And cheaper service most of all. Whether large or small, regulated or unregulated, utilities must ask themselves how they will define the right experience for their customers, balancing customer needs and financial limitations. Most of them are turning to AMI smart meters as the key tool for customer engagement.

Smart meter rollouts

While the state of Victoria and nearly all of New Zealand is connected to smart meters, the rest of Australia relies upon older style meters which don’t allow customers to access their usage data – a requirement for improved power management.

All that will soon change with utilities in New South Wales and Queensland poised to implement a voluntary smart metering infrastructure.

Reflecting upon lessons learned from the Victoria rollout, the energy regulator is implementing a new competitive metering regime that will open the metering services market up to new players including retailers and metering service companies from New Zealand.

There is even a rumour that Macquarie Bank will enter the market using their UK metering service experience. The nature of this new regime will be another topic of key interest to utility sector.

Energy storage market

The event is also timed to suits the world’s big residential storage companies including Tesla, LG Chem, Samsung and Panasonic, which all launch their Australian sales campaigns in early 2016.

They are currently trialling their products with utilities across Australia and have created partnerships with solar installers to present a combined package to customers.

The event offers free tickets to relevant executives from the three government owned distributors: Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy.

Australian Utility Week 2015

The event has been running for 13 years and is part of the world’s largest smart grid expo series.

It features 180 speakers and will attract around 1,000 participants from across Australia and New Zealand.

Most of the sessions focus on residential solar + storage as a new utility strategy, and preparing for smart meter rollouts. Other topics concern Smart Grid innovations to help manage network demand and integrate distributed generation.

Event dates and location:

Conference:                      24-25 November 2015
Location:                           Luna Park Sydney, Australia
Event website:                http://www.australian-utility-week.com/