Energy Week 2019 – Customer trends panel discussion

Energy Week 2019 - Customer trends panel discussion

Australian Energy Week 2019 wrapped up its jam-packed agenda on Friday the 14th of June.

From the 11th until the 14th of June Melbourne played host to a string of keynote speakers, panellists and exhibitors from right across the energy landscape.

On Thursday Rob Asselman, our Senior Marketing Manager, moderated a panel discussing “Customer trends in energy supply and demand and the implications for networks.”

The high calibre panellists represented decades of experience in the energy sector and engaged in a lively discussion about the future of energy.

Key themes

  • People don’t necessarily want solar panels, batteries, energy sharing etc. What they really want is cheaper, reliable, greener energy options and more control. Rooftop solar, battery storage and other emerging solutions are simply the means to an end.
  • There is unanimous agreement that the energy industry has an image problem. Opinions differ, however, when it comes to how we go about improving the situation. Education is one approach – showing the human side of the industry and teaching people, as demonstrated in the recent “Oi, up here!” campaign carried out by CitiPower & Powercor. Some say this approach doesn’t work, particularly with a saturated media market and a disengaged audience. From their point of view, the only way to win back hearts-and-minds is to be better at providing value, convenience and support to customers. Perhaps easier said than done?
  • The future structure of the energy market is a lively discussion point. Can the status-quo survive? How much will it be forced to bend before it breaks? Increasing intermittent and distributed energy sources and other ‘disruptors’ will force a change for market participants and the very structure of energy arbitrage. The questions are when, to whom and to what degree?
  • These customer trends are not exclusive to Australia. All countries with long-established energy networks and markets are facing similar issues. Unidirectional generator to consumer grids are being forced to operate in a manner they were never designed for and technology means consumers have far more choice and knowledge than they once did.

The above are just a few points that came out during the session. We’d like to thank the amazing panellists (listed below) who took time from their busy schedules to participate in the lively discussion.


  • Matthew Guthridge – Executive General Manager, Strategy and Transformation, AusNet Services.
  • Mark Vincent – General Manager Network Management, SA Power Networks.
  • Hannah McCaughey – Executive General Manager, Transformation & People, Ausgrid.
  • James Colbert – Director, Schneider Electric Australia & New Zealand.
No alt text provided for this image


Thanks to Australian Energy Week 2019 for hosting the event. #AEW2019