Evan Boyt, Operations Centre Team Leader - Generation operations team
“My typical day starts with sitting down with our Operators to get an update on everything that has happened overnight. We then discuss what the next few days might bring — things like prices, weather, market activities, outages etc,” says Evan, Team Leader at our Te Maunga Operations Centre.
“There’s a bit of reporting on production and revenue performance. There’s talking with customers about what’s coming up, with generation staff about future outages and goings on, with Transpower about transmission outages, and with our industry counterparts and Energy Trading. The rest of the time is either about making system improvements, responding to queries, or devising cunning ways to get greater efficiencies and returns out of our generation assets.”
The Operations Centre control desk normally fields between 50 and 100 phone calls a day. “The working environment can be very busy — in a good way. The team aims to help deliver great returns for our shareholders, with the greatest efficiency in use of resources. This often means each role has quite a diversification to it, which is really a big part of the attraction of working here.”
“The Operations Centre is manned 24/7, with two 12 hour shifts. The electricity spot market, hydrology and wind resource is constantly changing, so the ability to make the right decision on the fly is essential. Our Operators do a great job of extracting as much revenue as possible from our generation assets.”
Evan’s career started with a university summer job with a competitor, which opened the door to Trustpower on his graduation. “That was only the beginning. Since then, there have been many opportunities to grow within Trustpower, through differing roles and positions in different parts of the business. That’s led me to my current role.”
Hallit Bresloff, Service Delivery Manager – Telecommunications team
Each week, Trustpower’s contact centre teams deal with around 3,000 telecommunications queries. Hallit, who is based in Oamaru, is responsible for the training and service delivery of our staff who answer those calls.
It’s an extremely diverse job, including: analysing reports, identifying issues, meeting with providers to plan system and product enhancements, dealing with training needs and always thinking about how customers can get the best solution.
“It’s always challenging, always busy. Trustpower people never stop thinking about how we can improve on what we do. We are dealing in two very competitive markets, electricity and telco. We never forget this and we challenge ourselves daily to be better than our competitors,” Hallit says.
“The company is very customer focused and that sits well with my approach to service. We have a great bunch of people. I like it that people around you will also challenge your way of thinking, which helps better decisions. It’s a very supportive environment. The company cares about its employees and puts them in the focus. There is also a culture of transparency. Future plans are communicated to all, which makes it easy to understand why we do the things we do. We relate things back to our company vision on a daily basis.”
Hallit started her working life in the telco industry with call centres in Israel, progressing to senior management roles. After joining Trustpower, she managed our contact centres, before moving into her current role. “I love this ever-changing environment. No one day is the same — it keeps you on your toes!”
Asked about the strength of her team, she says, “passion about their work and about their customers. They have their customers’ best interest in mind. They have the ability to build good relationships with customers and third parties, they follow our PRIIDE values of passion, respect, integrity, innovation and empowerment. They know how to think outside the box and they will go the extra mile for our customers”.
That means listening, to what customers have to say and treating them with respect, she explains. “Identify their needs and provide appropriate solutions, show care and concern while doing it and build rapport. Take ownership and follow through until there’s a solution.”
As for the team vibe, “we have some very busy days so it’s important to also make sure you have fun while you work. It’s very important to stop from time to time to celebrate your success. Celebrating success doesn’t need to be the big achievements, it can also be the small things that happen and happened well.”
Rontheo Van Zyl, Wind Generation Development Manager – Strategy and growth team
Rontheo leads the development of our wind generation projects in Australia. He’s based in our Adelaide office.
Opening the pathway to a new project is a complex and lengthy job. What is in a typical day? “For potential projects, there’s consulting and negotiating with local communities, landholders and consultants. To help projects get off the ground, where impacts have been identified, there’s considering mitigation strategies, while also building and maintaining productive long-term relationships with local communities.”
“In between, there’s the progressing of connection agreements and all the other planning and regulatory approvals.” Trustpower’s focus in Australia is solely generation, not retail, so there’s no direct involvement with any customers.
Rontheo says the working environment is “supportive and inclusive, while allowing sufficient flexibility and empowerment to ensure results are achieved”.
Before joining Trustpower, his career included several years in senior management of a local transmission company: “that helped me understand the connection aspects of wind farms,” he says. He has a BSc (Honours) with an environmental focus.
Asked about the strengths of his team, Rontheo comments: “they all have good people and negotiation skills. They have a can-do attitude and quick thinking to negotiate issues resolution.” Positive thinking is vital. He says, “you need to embrace the continual changes and the challenges to overcome.”