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Power of Choice

Australia has an energy crisis and funnily enough, that is what it took for wattblock-microgrid_orig strata schemes to start working as real communities to beat the energy price rises.

There has been increased interest in apartment owners joining forces with each other to bulk buy electricity with a new smart metering setup across their block.

Enter the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and before you know it you’ll be talking about the NEM, the NERL, the NERR, the NEL, AEMO, AEMC, MSATS and my favourite, NEO which stands for National Electricity Objective….but wasn’t the objective just to save 30% off everyone’s individual apartment bills?

So, you’ve finally got 100% of owners interested in something called an Embedded Electrical Network, but before you can install you need an exemption. What is this exemption anyway?

Well we worked out long ago that no Owners Corporation in their right collective mind wants to become a regulated energy retailer. Even the most ambitious strata schemes tend to apply for an exemption, more specifically an “individual retail exemption”. Being an Embedded Network Operator (ENO) sounds challenging enough for your average Owners Corporation.

To be compliant with new regulations coming in December 2017, you will have to install smart meters which are registered with a National Meter Identification (NMI) number. This unique number will allow residents to opt in or opt out of the embedded electrical network at any time giving them the “Power of Choice” when it comes to getting the best deal on electricity….inside or outside the embedded network.

Also, very few Owners Corporations want to print and mail the electricity bills for all the residents in the complex. To do this for you, you will need to sign an outsourcing contract with an “Embedded Network Manager” or ENM. In the past lots of people could become ENMs but from December 2017 this role will be an accredited role, bringing a level of class and sophistication to the sector.

A proactive strata manager, perhaps a strata lawyer with a sharp pen and a willing strata committee is all you need to reach the new world of community energy saving.

This article was contributed by Scott WitheridgeWattblock. Winner of SCA Innovation of the Year, Wattblock specialises in low cost energy assessments and energy management strategies for strata buildings.

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  1. James

    What happens if you are already being an embedded network in qld

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