What is an Embedded Network?
An embedded network is an electrical system where the property owner consolidates energy consumption for the site, creating cost and usage efficiencies for everyone involved.
Multi-occupant sites, like shopping centres and apartment blocks, are really well suited to the embedded network structure. In general terms, the embedded network is established by connecting a ‘parent’ meter (or gate meter, which is connected to the grid) with a series of ‘child’ meters – one for each tenant or load within the property.
Benefits of Embedded Networks
- Cheaper Electricity – The embedded network operator (typically the property owner) can purchase electricity ‘in-bulk’ and, as a result, tenants have the opportunity to buy energy at prices they normally wouldn’t have access to. The property owner can achieve better rates from electricity retailers, because they’re purchasing larger volumes of electricity, and this price reduction gets passed on to tenants. Both parties benefit financially.
- Automated Control – A reliable embedded network manager (like Voltio) will provide automated analytics, alerts and billings processes for everyone involved. This frees up time for your staff to focus on more important issues. It provides total transparency which helps you make the best decisions for your business. And will also help with long-term energy planning; building a good understanding of your energy profile now will help determine when you are ready for your next energy investment such as solar installations, battery storage or an energy brokerage review.
- Stronger Relationships – Property owners and managers who are prepared to deliver an embedded network for their tenants, are the type of business partners you want. Showing investment in this space means they’re prepared to follow best-practice and deliver better electricity prices for tenants.
Types of Embedded Networks
- Dumb & Risky – An embedded network with ‘dumb’ meters cannot automate billing and monitoring processes, in the same way a network with ‘smart’ meters can. ‘Smart’ meters, or revenue-grade meters, allow energy consumption data to be pulled via wifi and analysed remotely.
- Smart & Efficient – With ‘smart’ meters, property owners and managers have the opportunity to automate the data capture, monitoring and billing process for their embedded network. Flexible financial arrangements are available for any customer looking to upgrade their current meter.
- Intelligent & Optimised – Adding solar energy generation or battery storage to an embedded network can reduce electricity costs and improve efficiencies. Having your own energy generation on-site can improve the economics of your embedded network even further. Instead of supplying tenants with expensive grid electricity, you can renewable power which can be a cheaper option compared to the rates offered by energy retailers.
If you’d like to find out more about how you can benefit from an embedded network please call Voltio on 1300 865 846 or email us today.
Photo credit – Vincent Tantardini