April 2024 Newsletter

House of sticks? or house of bricks?

Right now, no one knows. Our advice to the Electricity Authority on the future operation of the power system highlighted the importance of outlining the system and market settings required to deliver the everyday electricity choices and outcomes that people will plausibly want and need in the future.  

A plausible and practical blueprint would make it easier to identify what changes to settings are needed and when to accelerate electrification and maximise value for households, businesses and communities and the economy.  

FlexForum is developing a blueprint for the future market and power system which delivers the energy (and flexibility) outcomes that people are expected to want and need.

Watch this space to see our view on the decision points, actions and interactions (operational and financial) of a future power system and market.  


Session #1 to develop a workplan to make EV charging choices easier

We had 44 people from across the electricity ecosystem come together virtually on Wednesday 17 April to share their experience and perspective on the EV charging choices of households and businesses.  

The session raised a bunch of questions and insights which provide the starting point for working out what can be done to make flexible EV charging the easy and obvious choice for households and businesses.  

Really helpful in setting the scene was a sneak peak at new research by EECA into the things people think about when buying an electric vehicle including charging. 

It is very clear there is a bunch of work to do. Including coming up with terms and definitions which make sense to people buying and using EVs…like, what is flexible charging? Or smart charging for that matter? 

Thanks heaps to everyone who shared their time and knowledge. A summary of the discussion will be published in the next couple of weeks.  

We get together again in May to talk through what to do about the challenges and barriers. Get in touch at info@flexforum.nz if you want to get involved. 

Show me the value...

We think it is quite reasonable for households, businesses and communities to ask ‘show me the value of flexibility’. But right now there is not a clearcut answer. 

(We also appreciate that very few people would actually ask this specific question, but please indulge us for the sake of a hard working analogy.) 

Recently a group of FlexForum Members got together to discuss the show me the value question. They agreed that technology allowed people with flexibility to access the money currently on the table. But it is not clear the access is as easy as it could be or necessarily translated into money in the pocket.  

A further conversation is happening soon to dig deeper into what is possible. 

What we want is to have an answer for any household, business or community with or thinking about flexible resources who asks ‘show me the value’. 

Things FlexForum are working on

We are getting stuck into the 2024 workplan. Here is an update on where things are at with the initial 7 tasks we are working on.  


Currently working on…  

The many ways a household, business or community can benefit from distributed flexibility 


Documenting a current state by using examples to identify the flexibility outcomes available to households, businesses and communities in 2024  

A plausible future state for distributed flexibility 


Building on the current state (above) to identify the actors, actions and interactions of a future electricity system and market which would deliver the full suite of flexibility outcomes 

Designing a smart EV charging workplan  


Working through the insights and questions raised at the recent workshop ahead of a further conversation in late May. 

A stocktake of the existing flexible resources, their opportunities and beneficiaries 


Working through the insights and questions raised at the recent workshop ahead of a further conversation in May. 

Set the scene for digitalising the electricity ecosystem 


Mapping the current state data flows ahead of a conversation in May about the pain points and blockages which need to be dealt with to realise the value of flexibility 

Track progress with delivering the Flexibility Plan 

 Finding out what work has or is being done to complete the steps in the Flexibility Plan. 

Update the Flexibility Plan 

This task will start once we understand the state of progress. 

April 2024 Newsletter

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Want to get involved?

FlexForum Members want to make it easier for households, businesses and communities to maximise the value of their energy resources and their flexibility. This flexibility will help deliver an affordable and reliable operation of the electricity system and enable accelerated electrification as part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s transition to a zero emissions economy.  

If this sounds like you, check out our Intro to FlexForum for more on our what, why, how and who. 

Or check out www.flexforum.nz to find out more or get in touch at info@flexforum.nz if you want to become a Member.  


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