Horizon Power’s Broome customer service centre proves a hit with students, highlights career pathways

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Yawuru Traditional Owner Dianne Appleby, Energy Minister Bill Johnston and Horizon Power chief executive Stephanie Unwin.
Camera IconYawuru Traditional Owner Dianne Appleby, Energy Minister Bill Johnston and Horizon Power chief executive Stephanie Unwin. Credit: Horizon Power

Horizon Power’s new customer experience centre in the heart of Broome is proving a hit with residents and is helping the next generation understand WA’s renewable energy future.

The Nila Janyba centre opened in August and houses the company’s call centre — which was previously located in Melbourne — and customer service staff.

Horizon Power customer experience general manager Krystal Skinner said the centre played a key role in helping people engage with the company on their own terms by whatever means they wanted to.

“We are finding it is providing a really good proactive means for us to engage meaningfully with our customers,” she said.

“The other really great thing we have seen in terms of the space is the activation we have been able to do with some of the local schools and community groups.

“Energy is really one of those key curriculum requirements from a STEM learning perspective and we know a lot of kids really benefit from touching, feeling and seeing things, rather than just reading, so we are really pleased to be able to support that.”

Ms Skinner said opening the centre in town would highlight to students the potential career pathways and trainee positions available through Horizon Power.

The centre is the face of Horizon Power’s expansive regional power network, which in recent years has been leading WA’s transition into renewable energy.

An Australian-first microgrid this year powered Onslow for 80 minutes on 100 per cent renewable energy and the $5m rollout of rooftop solar to public schools in regional WA launched last year has been well received.

Ms Skinner said Horizon Power was also working hard to address the lack of hosting capacity for residential and business customers in Broome.

“Our most recent hosting capacity release for residential customers was on July 12; all of the available hosting capacity was snapped up in a little over an hour and that is a real testament to the level of demand that exists in town,” she said.

“We have an upcoming release dedicated to business customers that will be coming up shortly and that is really enabled by investment in community battery technology.

“We have a power station battery energy storage system which will be going in later next year...which will enable the next tranche of hosting capacity to be released.”

Ms Skinner said a sharper focus on environmental sustainability and cutting power bills were the key drivers of the North West’s high interest in renewable energy.

“Overall as a business we are really committed to that transition to net-zero emissions and the more we can support that transition to renewable, the more we can reduce our dependence on other fuel sources,” she said.

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