Read Eastland Group's latest annual report here.
Demand for power continues to rise across Tairāwhiti and Wairoa, with Eastland Network delivering 288 GWh of electricity this year compared with 284 GWh last year. This reflects increasing activity in business sectors such as horticulture and processing, along with the construction of new housing developments.
The number of connections remains steady, with 20,240 domestic and 5,535 non-domestic customers across 12,000 square kilometres.
Solar connections have increased by 53 since last year, and we expect this number to grow as the domestic technology and pricing improves. There is widespread interest in solar, particularly in remote and coastal areas along the East Coast, and our team has had a series of meetings to share their knowledge.
Following our Asset Management Plan, we continued to invest in the maintenance and upgrade of assets.
And despite the challenges of some severe and long-lasting storms, Eastland Network achieved full compliance with price and quality regulations.
Health and safety
During the COVID lockdown, we focused on keeping the power on, delaying planned works to avoid inconveniencing people working from home. Our crews carried out urgent works as required.
We followed our stringent COVID protocols with staff working in defined bubbles. We tested and reviewed our systems, and undertook a successful trial with the control room operators working from two separate locations.
In other health and safety initiatives, our tree team and WorkSafe have been looking at how we are currently managing tree felling operations near our assets within the forestry industry.
We purchased the Powerco network standards, to provide universal standards for contractors.
Eastland Network restructured its prices and published its new pricing schedule for 2021-2022, effective 1 April. Prices for over 70% of domestic users have been reduced by 2.8%, while standard users will see prices go up 4.5%. Time of Use pricing rewards energy consumption during off-peak times with discounted rates.
Electrifying the East Coast
This year we installed the final fast chargers to complete the regionwide network of electric vehicle charging stations.
Along with several other electricity networks, we’re taking part in a shared project to look at the future impacts of EVs chargers in residential areas. This will provide valuable information to help prepare for the predicted uptake in EVs.