Efficiency Leader with Jenniy Gregory 04 May 2021
The energy management sector is made up of many passionate professionals.
In this month’s Efficiency Leader we are profiling Jenniy Gregory, Manager Mandatory Energy Efficiency Programs at AGL.
Can you explain your role with AGL?
My official title is Manager Mandatory Energy Efficiency Programs, located in the Credit & Affordability Team within Customer Markets.
I started at AGL almost 7 years ago and was responsible for the internal and operational compliance of the Victorian, ACT and SA energy efficiency schemes and residential solar.
My role has changed as the schemes have evolved and currently I am responsible for our achievement, both compliantly and cost-effectively, of the South Australia Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme (REPS) targets. I also play a key role in providing advice and input into the design of the schemes as they evolve to keep pace with Australia’s energy transition. I am the internal subject matter expert on the operational aspects of all the mandatory schemes and some non-mandatory schemes. This involves working closely with other parts of the business to seek out solutions and partners to support AGL’s effective performance.
What did you do prior to your current role?
My career in alternative energy technologies started with the Victorian Solar Energy Council (now Sustainability Victoria) when the Energy Information Centre was housed in one of the Gas & Fuel towers, where Fed Square now stands. I undertook marketing and PR, and strongly promoted 5 Star Houses and solar efficient design principles, promoting Australia’s first 5 Star display villages in Shepparton, Point Lonsdale and Bila Village Forest Hill.
With the engineering expertise of Ken Guthrie, and my ‘gift of the gab’, we convinced Jock Rankine ABC Melbourne to host the Solar Report nightly in the ABC weather segment with Edwin Maher. These icons showed the percentage households could save off their electricity bill in Melbourne and Mildura if they had a solar hot water system in summer and a solar efficient house in winter; the Solar Report continued for over 10 years, with cooperation of the CSIRO weather stations at Point Cook and Mildura as well as the ABC.
When VSEC became part of the Victorian Government, I left with my CV under my arm for the 1st World Renewable Energy Congress in Reading, UK.
The next highlight was working for the International Solar Energy Society, lobbying for renewable energy at the second Prepatory Committee Meeting of the United Nations Conference on Environment & Development (UNCED) in Geneva, and setting up meetings for the Board with various government delegations. This was an especially important and exciting time leading up to the Rio Earth Summit, particularly as the OPEC Countries were trying to have energy omitted from the discussions and very few NGOs were accredited to speak on the floor.
It was at this time I also had my first exposure to energy vulnerability, as rapporteur for a concurrent conference on Women and Children First – a forum looking at the role of energy security, affordability and safe energy use for women in developing countries. This started my passion around energy affordability for vulnerable customers.
Back in Australia, I commenced with the Sustainable Energy Authority Victoria (now SV), then as Industry Development Manager for what is now the Clean Energy Council. During this time, I formalised the PV Installer Accreditation, coordinated several the industry committees, procured grants from the federal government and hosted a number of international delegations.
A stint in the wholesale PV industry then led to being Manager Sustainable Energy Technologies within the Victorian Government, responsible for over 20 pre-commercial and R&D grant projects (renewable energy and energy efficiency). This was an exciting time as projects included the large dish Solar Systems project, plus the Raygen Resources power-tower and Biopower’s kelp-mimicking wave device.
What is AGL’s role in the energy management market and Australia’s energy transition?
AGL supports the EEC’s framework of Protect, Pivot and Rebound for managing the economy, complemented by tailored approaches to key sectors, such as the energy management sector.
We have numerous customer offerings in the market, such as our virtual power plant (VPP) offerings in SA, NSW and Victoria all of which include an option to Bring Your Own Battery, and energy efficiency upgrades for residential, small businesses and C&I customers – many of which increasing leverage the state-based mandatory energy efficiency schemes.
What is something you enjoy about working from home?
I’m well set up from my consulting days, but what I didn’t have then are The Hounds and the obese cat Banjo, who are constant company. My office also faces north, so I really enjoy sitting in the sunshine (or being shaded from it) and being able to see my garden.
I’m also a sucker for checking my Fronius App to see how much electricity I am generating and how much I offset peak demand.
What are you currently excited about in the energy world?
That sustainable change is actually happening and at a rate that will not be stopped this time around. I first read about the changes to be wrought by increasing temperatures and extreme events brought on by rises in the earth’s atmosphere in 1990, and now I have been around long enough to actually see these climatic changes for myself. And I find this scary, as it is no longer just a scenario, it is a real phenonium.
Why do you value being a member of the Energy Efficiency Council?
I like being kept informed by the team at the EEC, enjoy and share their passion for sustainable change in energy technologies, especially in terms of energy efficiency – after all, the cheapest form of energy is the one that you don’t have to use!
Jenniy Gregory is Manager Mandatory Energy Efficiency Programs at AGL. Connect with Jenniy on LinkedIn.