What a difference a couple of months make! Earlier in the year we were preparing for drier conditions off the back of El Nino but, as our Snowy Hydro climate scientists predicted last edition, we are now experiencing decidedly wetter conditions. With only four months of the water year passed, we have already received well over half of our annual inflows and the snowpack hasn’t started to melt yet. Already we have seen some high inflow events in July which affected landholders around the Murray; and NSW water authorities are carefully watching the Murrumbidgee side to manage any water issues that could arise there.
Snowy Hydro is working with local emergency services and property owners to ensure the lines of communication are open and we update people regularly on the conditions we are experiencing on the waterways across our operations. As the snow melts and inflows into the Scheme increase, it’s important local communities and landholders are kept abreast of any major movements of water. We will continue to work with local authorities and communities in the coming months to carefully manage any water events as they arise.
On a pleasing note, Snowy Hydro has ended the 2015/16 financial year in a strong position. This is the first full year that our recent acquisitions – our gas power station in Colongra and diesel assets in South Australia, as well as Lumo Energy and Direct Connect – have contributed to our financial results.
We hit some significant milestones as a business this year – exceeding more than $2 billion in revenue and passing the one million retail customer mark – a position we have sustained and continue to grow. Our retail businesses – Red Energy, Lumo Energy and Direct Connect – are all working together to attract and retain customers, focusing on superior customer service and industry leading customer satisfaction scores. We have more than 1200 staff working in our retail businesses in Melbourne and we are working to bring them all together under one roof by next year.
Our generation business has also had a strong year. Generation levels have increased as market and operational conditions improved. We are focused on improving the performance of our assets across the fleet and are currently working on a major upgrade of one of the units at Murray 1 in Khancoban, meaning more Snowy Hydro workers will be located in and around that region over the coming months.
We would love to grow support for Red Energy in the Snowy Mountains and, as such, we have been sponsoring local events and festivals and we’re once again sponsoring the ski season this Winter. As a local company with such a long and proud history in the Snowy Mountains, we want to ensure that the communities we live and work in can get the benefit of being our customers, with energy backed by the mighty Snowy Scheme. Our field sales teams have been out and about in the Cooma and Tumut regions over the last few months and will continue to encourage households and businesses to get on board with Red.
Shortly we will be conducting our biennial community research so you may receive a phone call asking you to spend some time talking about Snowy Hydro, how we communicate with you and your understanding of our business and its challenges. If you are approached, we would greatly appreciate you spending the time to give us your thoughts. It’s all confidential and anonymous, of course. It will help us to ensure we are doing the right things to keep you informed about our business. In the meantime, stay safe and dry!