Creating an income stream from an existing asset, in a way that saves time and money, and benefits end users – and possibly also the environment – may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. That’s what embedded networks are all about.
At its simplest, an embedded network is a site where the electricity – and sometimes gas, hot water, and air conditioning – has been set up in a way that allows the owner of the site to sell these utilities to the tenants or residents there. The nature of the network makes it ideal for sites such as apartment blocks, shopping centres, retirement villages, and pretty much any site that’s designed for multiple tenants.
Embedded networks can potentially benefit everyone from building owners to tenants and residents, in a range of ways.
A win for the developers
For developers who build and sell, embedded networks can provide an ongoing income stream to the owners’ corporation, resulting in lower building management fees for purchasers. But this is just the beginning.
“For us, embedded networks are a chance for an ongoing income stream, an opportunity to reduce upfront costs, and have a faster and easier connection process,” says Ross Clark of Buildcorp Commercial, a client of EnergyAustralia's related company The Embedded Network Company. “But another really big thing for us has been the flexibility.”
This flexibility has seen EnergyAustralia technical experts being involved in developments from the get-go, providing valuable guidance and being available to work in stages as needed, rather than coming in at the end when the infrastructure has been set up.
“Having experienced staff who know what they’re talking about, and meeting with the engineers - that's been fantastic.”
Mr. Clark has found that while traditional methods of setting up utilities delay connection, embedded networks have been much faster. Having one expert point of contact with EnergyAustralia has also made a big difference.
“You're available to us 24/7 – the level of contact is excellent.”
A win for tenants and residents
Because embedded networks create a buying group that buys energy at wholesale rates, they can also pass those savings on, offering attractive rates for tenants and residents.
Saving on utilities is important to most people, but just as big a benefit for many people is not having to worry about connections when moving in or out of a building.
Moving home is a huge undertaking, and often a stressful one; embedded networks mean that there’s one less thing to do and worry about. Your power is already connected when you move in, and when you move out, there’s no need to arrange disconnection.
“It’s a much easier more efficient process for everyone,” says Mr. Clark.
A win for the environment
“Developers and building owners are seeking to build smart and sustainable buildings and precincts,” says Mike Addison, the Embedded Networks Lead at EnergyAustralia. “So solar, battery storage, demand management and other energy solutions are becoming increasingly important.”
This is makes embedded networks a compelling option in meeting the challenge of 21st century. Building owners can create a “green network” that has environmental as well as economic benefits, and residents and tenants can also have the option of environmentally-friendly technology like solar power, for example, which may not be possible in the average apartment with a traditional utility supply system.
If you’d like to find out more about embedded networks and how they could work for you, contact us at ensales[at]energyaustralia.com.au.