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Back to Basics Embedded Networks

Embedded Networks are now commonplace within the Strata Sector, with over 450 strata schemes currently operating as embedded networks in Western Australia. With a focus on electrification, increased interest in renewables, a need for EV charging and the upcoming Embedded Network Code of Practice; we thought a quick recap on the basics of Embedded Networks was timely.   

Embedded networks – What are they? 

In simple terms, an embedded electricity network is a private distribution system within a strata scheme or a lot that is connected to the main electricity network (your Western Power Master Meter). The embedded network is used to carry out distribution, selling and/or generation of electricity. In some scenarios a strata scheme may choose not to make a profit on the electricity and instead pass through the lower electricity price. Regardless of how charges are made, the distribution system is still considered an embedded network.  

The embedded network infrastructure is usually owned by an owner’s corporation, and they act as the embedded network seller. There are however scenarios whereby the infrastructure is owned by a 3rd party who charges lot owners for energy usage and fees for use of the infrastructure.  

Get power of choice with an embedded network 

An embedded network gives owners the power of choice around their electricity supply. If a strata isn’t currently operating as an embedded network have a watch of our Energy in Strata video for more on the options.  

Operating an Embedded Network 

The strata has an embedded network so what should you do and how should you operate? To get the most from an embedded network Energy-Tec recommends undertaking some periodic and ad-hoc tasks. 

Data acquisition  

Regularly reading utility meters is an essential part of operating an embedded network. The accurate recording of usage ensures lot owners are correctly billed. For most of our strata clients we do this on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.  

Utility accounting 

Reconciliation of usage to the utility account is good practice to ensure that all costs are being recovered. A large unmetered balance suggests there could be usage that is not accounted for and therefore isn’t always being recovered.  

Meter network documentation  

Accurate and up to date documentation of the embedded network is useful for assisting with allocation of usage, fault finding and, into the future, will be particularly helpful for providing meter information to lot owners if requested as part of the Embedded Network

Code of Practice obligations.  

Utility Procurement   

A benefit of operating as an embedded network is the ability to purchase energy at a lower cost. Taking the time to find the best deal and reviewing that periodically when it ends can provide the strata with cost savings.  

Network Maintenance  

Ensuring infrastructure is operating and functioning as expected is important. Meters that are faulty or incorrectly programmed may not provide accurate information for billing purposes. When the Code of Practice comes into effect, Lot owners will be able to request testing of their meter. If a fault is found it is the responsibility of the embedded network seller to ensure this is fixed.  

Future proofing 

Renewables and EV charging are at the forefront right now. Provisioning for these assets and looking at if or how the existing network can accommodate these is a key step for futureproofing the longevity of the embedded network.   

Energy-Tec can help… 

Whether you have an embedded network or are considering one! Energy-tec can assist with: 

  • Embedded network conversion feasibilities 

  • Project planning 

  • Project design & implementation  

  • Update of meter infrastructure  

  • Assist with funding solutions  

  • Undertake data acquisition  

  • Support with utility accounting and reconciliation 

This article was brought to you by Energy-Tec 

EnergyTec Embedded Networks Article_June2024
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