Saving developers’ time and money from concept design to construction, benefiting tenants and body corporates, providing lower utility rates, and even leaving behind a clean, green footprint for 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, hot water, and other services have been set up in a way that allows the building to purchase these utilities in bulk and then sell to occupants at a far better rate than they would get in the market. The nature of the embedded 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 benefit everyone associated with the building, from developers, to services consultants, to builders, to trades people, to owners corporations, and most importantly, to the end user.
A win for the developers
For developers who develop and move on from each building, embedded networks can reduce capital costs, as The Embedded Network Company (TENC) will supply and install the infrastructure for the embedded network. Partnering with TENC also provides developers with a positive legacy to their development, as TENC provides Green Power and Carbon Neutral programs, Solar PV solutions, battery, and storage. And since TENC can utilise EnergyAustralia’s own power generation, the pricing of utilities in their building will be managed appropriately. This means more certainty in today’s volatile markets, and also lower building management fees for purchasers.
But this is just the beginning.
“For us, embedded networks are an opportunity to reduce upfront infrastructure costs, and have a faster and easier meter connection process,” says Ross Clark of Accord Property Group. “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.
“The ability to get you guys to meet with the engineer, and having experienced staff that are qualified tradespeople, who have been in the industry for a number of years and know what they’re talking about, has 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 guys are available to us 24/7.”
A win for tenants and residents
Because embedded networks create a buying group that buys energy at wholesale rates, the group can also pass those savings on, offering attractive rates to tenants and residents.
Saving on electricity, gas, and hot water 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 is one less thing to do and worry about. Your services are already connected when you move in, and when you move out, there’s no need to arrange disconnection: you just contact TENC’s dedicated customer service team and notify them of your move-out date. Unlike other scenarios, TENC do not charge additional fees to tenants and residents for moving out, making credit card payments, and so on, and there are no hidden fees.
“It’s a much easier, more efficient process for everyone,” says Mr. Clark.
A win for the environment
More and more, developers and building owners are looking to build smart, sustainable buildings and precincts.
“Solar, battery storage, demand management, and other energy solutions are becoming increasingly important,” says Mike Addison, the Embedded Networks Business Leader at EnergyAustralia.
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.
This is makes embedded networks a compelling option in meeting the challenge of the 21st century.
Each developer and development is different, so there is no one-size-fits all when it comes to embedded networks. To find out more about how embedded networks can meet your particular needs, get in touch with the team at ensales[at]energyaustralia.com.au.