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Essential Energy Q&A

Essential Energy operates one of Australia’s largest electricity networks, delivering essential network services to more than 800,000 homes and businesses across 95 percent of New South Wales and parts of southern Queensland. The Government-owned corporation is committed to continuously improving safety performance, operating at best industry practice, and minimising network charges to customers.

In line with these objectives, Essential Energy is always on the look-out for ways to improve business efficiency and productivity, and Copperleaf C55 has provided an answer. With Copperleaf C55 and ARMS Reliability, the corporation is enhancing its ability to optimise capital projects, manage risk, and meet regulatory and customer-driven performance targets.

Here, we talk to Adam about the implementation.

Why were you looking for a solution like Copperleaf C55?

The energy industry in Australia is undergoing momentous change with an increasing need to improve efficiency.

Given the scale of Essential Energy’s geographical footprint, it is imperative that we manage our assets as effectively and efficiently as possible. We sought a decision analytics solution to enable our investment planning and decision-making processes and support delivery of long-term strategic business performance goals. Copperleaf C55 enables us to do this.

Why did you choose Copperleaf C55?

Copperleaf C55 lets us identify the optimal set of investments and timing that deliver the greatest value to the organization and its customers across multiple portfolios. It helps us proactively identify, quantify and manage risk.

The solution – delivered by ARMS Reliability – supports our business as it is designed specifically for the complexity found in asset management. It is particularly useful because it can handle the high volume of assets we manage. Other stand-out features include its ability to provide a long-term strategic view of investment needs; its ability to optimise investment portfolios to multiple constraints; and to model multiple alternatives for each investment and the risks in our asset base.

How was the implementation?

The implementation was well executed and we were readily able to incorporate organizational specific requirements by leveraging off the implementation team’s experience. We asked for an atypical roll-out, and they were very flexible in accommodating our need to run multiple implementation stages in parallel.

Is there anything unique Essential Energy is doing with C55?

We are continually discovering the many ways which C55 can accept data to help us in our decision-making.

The first unique application was using CSIRO geographical shape files to generate additional asset data points. Our assets are geographically diverse and these points, such as corrosion regions, termite regions, sulphite soil levels, bushfire zones, wind regions etc, allow us to better understand the behavior of our assets. In many cases, it is where the asset is located rather than the asset type that may define the likelihood and consequence of failure, which determines the appropriate spend levels to achieve sustainable risk management.

The second unique application was to develop flexible models that can be deployed at the individual or rolled up asset levels. The benefit of rolled up assets is that it significantly simplifies investment creation, while individual asset analysis allows us to dive into the detail where required.

What benefits have arisen since the solution was implemented?

It has provided us with a robust methodology for quantifying investment value. We get consistent valuation over a large geographical region. We can articulate the risks on our assets in more detail and clearly to stakeholders.

How easy has it been to train staff and get them familiar with the system?

The system is easy to use and powerful. We have more than 80 staff required to use the system at varying levels of detail and that number will only increase. As with any new system, there is a period of training and acceptance but the initial engagement from the staff is great.

The use of workflow supports how we want to operate and facilitates increased ownership in the process.

For more information about this Asset Investment Planning and Management solution download a Brief Introduction to Copperleaf C55