EnergyAustralia (former name: TRUenergy) is an electricity generation, electricity and gas retailing private company in Australia that is owned by Hong Kong-based and listed CLP Group. EnergyAustralia also had a portfolio of generating sites using thermal coal, natural gas, hydro-electric, solar energy, and wind power.
The company was founded in 1995 and its headquarters are located in Melbourne, Victoria.
In 2005, TXU Corp sold all its Australian assets to Singapore Power. Singapore Power retained the distribution businesses (electricity and natural gas distribution networks) in Victoria, and onsold the retail and generation businesses to the Hong Kong-based CLP Group, which also owned the Yallourn Power Station, in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. CLP traded as TRUenergy, and became the fifth largest energy retailer in Australia. In 2011, TRUenergy acquired from the New South Wales Government the electricity retail business and trade name of EnergyAustralia. Following the sale of the government’s electricity retail assets, the government changed the name of the remainder of the government enterprise to Ausgrid, and in 2012 TRUenergy changed its name to EnergyAustralia.
In late 2011, there were media reports that TRUenergy may be floated in 2012 and later reported that this initial offering may be considered in 2013.
In July 2013, EnergyAustralia acquired Wallerawang Power Station, along with Mount Piper Power Station, from Delta Electricity for A$160 million. In November 2014, EnergyAustralia announced that it would permanently close Wallerawang due to ongoing reduced energy demand, lack of access to competitively priced coal and the power station’s high operating costs. EnergyAustralia began the process of removing useful equipment from the station in 2015 and began demolition of the site when this process has been completed.
On 15 May 2014, Catherine Tanna was appointed Managing Director of the company.
On 6 November 2015, it was announced that up to 300 jobs are in doubt after EnergyAustralia announced plans to close its call centre in Melbourne’s north-east (Mill Park) and move jobs to the Philippines after the Hong Kong owned company decided to cut costs.
EnergyAustralia supplies electricity and natural gas to more than 2.6 million residential and business customers throughout Australia.
As at July 2017, EnergyAustralia has a master hedge agreement with Ecogen Energy for Ecogen to supply to it the output from Ecogen’s gas-fired Newport and Jeeralang Power Stations, both in Victoria, which have a combined capacity of 960 megawatts (1,290,000 hp). EnergyAustralia also owns the gas-fired Hallett Power Station in South Australia with a capacity of 200 megawatts (270,000 hp).
In addition to the retail function, EnergyAustralia has a significant portfolio of industrial and commercial customers, and a A$5 billion portfolio of energy assets, including an underground natural gas storage facility at Iona near Port Campbell and Hallett Power Station, Wallerawang Power Station (now decommissioned), and Mount Piper Power Station.
Carbon neutral electricity
EnergyAustralia offers a carbon neutral electricity option to their customers by purchasing carbon offset units from a range of Australian and international offset projects including renewable energy projects in developing countries, land management and tree planting in Australia. Certified by the Australian Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard, the carbon neutral program aims to provide carbon neutral energy to offset the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere.
EnergyAustralia created a climate change strategy in 2007 to define their environmental responsibilities and measure/manage their impact on the environment through their operations.
The strategy offered short, medium and long-term climate change targets and included meeting climate targets through the following measures:
- Putting a cap on carbon intensity through stopping the building of green-field power stations using traditional coal-fired technologies
- Reducing emissions through waste management and supporting CO2 community reduction schemes
- Investing in low and zero emission technology with support for research and development
- Helping customers manage their own footprint through energy efficient products and services, allowing them to offset emissions
Quoted as their main reduction target, greenhouse gas is aimed to be reduced by 60% by 2050, based on a 1990 emissions baseline for the National Electricity Market (NEM) and EnergyAustralia’s market share of the NEM in 2050.
EnergyAustralia is working on a number of projects to meet energy market demand.
Mallee Solar Park, if built, will be capable of generating emission-free electricity, providing Victoria with clean energy.
Marulan Power Station, if built, will be a gas-fired station located in New South Wales Southern Tablelands and will have a capacity of 700 MW.
Stony Gap Wind Farm is a proposed wind farm, to be located in South Australia, capable of producing 123MW, potentially saving 395,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
Tallawarra Lands is a development that will aim to provide positive environmental employment and social outcomes for the Illawarra area.
Waterloo Stage 2 is a project that proposes to add 6 more wind turbines to Waterloo Wind Farm to supply enough green energy to power a further 7516 households a year. This has now been completed.
Mt Piper & Wallerawang Power Stations are set to be assisted by a number of EnergyAustralia projects to support the management of these power stations’ assets.
Brown Coal Projects aim to prove new technologies and develop alternative uses for brown coal, focusing on upgrading brown coal to high-value products. Products include ‘pulverised coal injection’ (PCI, used in steel production), liquids, gases and chemicals. These projects also aim to provide access to land, coal supply and utilities such as water and electricity.
Two examples of projects under development that EnergyAustralia is supporting are Coal EnergyAustralia and Ignite Energy Resources. These projects have been awarded government funding of $30 million and $20 million respectively under the Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program and both projects aim to produce PCI and oil from Yallourn coal.
EnergyAustralia has facilities in numerous communities, building vibrant places to live and work. Adopting local causes that deliver social and economic benefits through community grants programs. Some of their facilities that benefit local communities include the following sites: Yallourn Power Station, Mt Piper/Wallerawang Power Stations, Tallawarra Power Station, Waterloo Wind Farm & the Geelong Call Centre.
EnergyAustralia has partnered with Reconciliation Australia to create a reconciliation plan that aims to focus on the reconciliation of EnergyAustralia with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities while linking this reconciliation to their business strategy. The plan aims to foster a relationship between the two in order to bridge the gap felt by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
Energy generation and assets
EnergyAustralia’s portfolio of assets includes:
- Mount Piper Power Station, New South Wales
- Tallawarra Power Station, New South Wales
- Wallerawang Power Station, New South Wales (decommissioned)
- Pine Dale Mine, New South Wales
- Yallourn Power Station, Victoria
- Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm, South Australia
- Hallett Power Station, South Australia
- Waterloo Wind Farm, South Australia
- Our history: 2003-today; Climate action CLP official website
- “TRUenergy eyes IPO in 2012: report”. Business Spectator. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- “EnergyAustralia acquires Mt Piper and Wallerawang power stations”. EnergyAustralia. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
- “Closure of Wallerawang power station | EnergyAustralia”. EnergyAustralia. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
- “Salvage program to begin at Wallerawang power station | EnergyAustralia”. EnergyAustralia. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
- ASHWORTH, LEN (2015-01-08). “Wallerawang Power Station to be demolished”. Lithgow Mercury. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
- “EnergyAustralia announces Catherine Tanna as new Managing Director”. EnergyAustralia. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- EnergyAustralia jobs in doubt after Melbourne call centre closure
- “EnergyAustralia residential and business customers”. EnergyAustralia. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
- IFM Investors to sell Victorian gas-fired power stations
- “Carbon Neutral”. Saving Green.
- “Business Council for Sustainable Energy” (PDF).
- “Aussie Renewables”.
- “Two Gas Fired Power Stations Approved For Marulan”.
- “Stony Gap Wind Farm Development Approved”.
- “Tallawarra About to hit Market”.
- “Waterloo Stage 2”.
- “Past Developments”.
- “Brown Coal Projects”.
- “Melbourne Water Grant”.
- “Energy Expo”.
- “Illawarra Yacht Club Junior Learn To Sail”.
- “WLWF announces winners of community fund” (PDF).
- “energyaustralia launces in geelong and is on track to create 300 new jobs”.
- “energyaustralia reflect RAP 2016” (PDF).