Blog Hero Essential Energy Q&A - Copperleaf Decision Analytics

Written by: Copperleaf

Interview: Adam Causley of Essential Energy on Implementing the Copperleaf Solution

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 industry best practice, and minimizing network charges to customers.

In line with these objectives, Essential Energy is always on the lookout for ways to improve business efficiency and productivity, and Copperleaf® provided an answer. With the Copperleaf Decision Analytics Solution, the corporation is enhancing its ability to optimize capital projects, manage risk, and meet regulatory and customer-driven performance targets.

Here, we talk to Adam Causley, Manager Network Strategy and Risk at Essential Energy, about the implementation.

Can you share a little bit about Essential Energy and the challenges you were facing?

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’s 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. The Copperleaf solution enables us to do this.

Why did you choose Copperleaf?

The Copperleaf solution 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.

It supports our business as it’s designed specifically for the complexity found in asset management. It’s particularly useful because it can handle the high volume of assets we manage. Other standout features include the ability to:

  • provide a long-term strategic view of investment needs;
  • optimize investment portfolios to multiple constraints; and
  • 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 the implementation team’s experience. We asked for an atypical rollout, 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 the Copperleaf solution?

We are continually discovering the many ways which the Copperleaf system 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 more clearly to stakeholders.

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

The Copperleaf solution 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 workflows supports how we want to operate and facilitates increased ownership in the process.

For more information on how Copperleaf helps organizations achieve optimal asset performance and business outcomes, please download our brochure.