Embedded Networks

What is it and can it save you money?

With recent legislative amendments to the Electricity Act (1994, Qld), embedded networks have become the favourable choice for developers and builders, due to the “Win-Win” arrangement between the building owner and tenants. Embedded networks (EN) is not a new concept and has been commonly used for large commercial offices and shopping centres, industrial parks, retirement villages etc. Over recent years prior to legislative reform, EN’s have had a bad reputation due to unregulated practices of the sector leading to price gouging, unfair and non-competitive consumer arrangements and imposed penalties.

Following the assent of the Electricity and Other Legislation (Batteries and Feed-in Tariff) Amendment Act 2018 on 28 September 2018, customers within an embedded network can now purchase electricity from a retailer of their choice, increasing availability of competitive electricity supply in embedded electricity networks in Queensland.

This post provides a summary of how embedded networks function and how it could potentially save through no infrastructure costs (by EN provider), cheaper electricity tariffs through bulk buying energy credits, ease of power monitoring and connection etc.

What is an Embedded Network?

Utilising an embedded network can provide substantial savings for commercial buildings such as apartment blocks, office buildings, and shopping centres. In a traditional non-embedded network design, each individual apartment, business, or shop has its own connection point to the local network. The network operator is then responsible for all metering services, while an electricity retailer is responsible for retailing and billing.

By aggregating usage of all individual units within the development and incorporating an embedded network, an opportunity exists for the site’s owner to gain access to the wholesale energy market for a bulk electricity purchase.

As a result, the collective group purchase can attract a cheaper rate than what is available to individuals. A revenue stream becomes available to the site owner due to the differential between the group energy rate, and the rate charged to individual tenants.

EN’s are not only applicable to electricity but can be utilised for gas, hot water, internet data and on-site power generation (solar PV, wind, batteries) for a complete micro-grid energy ecosystem.

Benefits of an embedded network

Embedded networks create a building-centric buying group (i.e through obtaining multiple sites), which can provide attractive rates to end users in comparison to most traditional service providers.

A reputable embedded network provider understands the needs of each building, which results in a strong and low-risk arrangement for all stakeholders.

Building Owner Benefits:

  • Typically $0 infrastructure setup meaning minimal inherent cost for the developer/builder.
  • Allows electrical contractors full control of service connection, without waiting for network providers.
  • Metering is supplied and installed by a qualified installer when required by the builder, avoiding project delays.
  • Power can be sourced from renewable’s.
  • Infrastructure can be scalable to include onsite power generation such as solar and batteries, hot water etc.

End User Benefits:

Savings will vary according to each resident’s current electricity plan, but a typical resident can expect to reduce their electricity bill by up to 30%. An embedded network (EN) provider may also offer opportunities to further reduce costs by introducing energy saving measures over time.

In addition to lower electricity prices, EN also offers:

  • No fixed contract terms;
  • No termination fees;
  • Live energy usage monitoring;
  • Full access to government Rebates;
  • Move-in/move-out same day connection and disconnection.

Meet David Chiem – Managing Director

David has over 22 years of industry experience working as a contractor, lead design consultant, project manager and builder.

His diverse skills and experience provides adept knowledge in building services design, which allows for innovative and sustainable building design strategies.

Get in touch with David on 1300 748 662 or david.chiem@enginova.com.au to see how he can assist you with your projects.

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