Electrical Embedded Networks in High-Rise Developments

6 September 2017

In an earlier insight posts we’ve described what an electrical embedded network is, and we talked about the advantages. Over the next couple of posts, we want to talk about embedded networks and their potential application in a range of areas from residential buildings to industrial and commercial sites, through to retirement villages and shopping centres.

Today we’re going to look at electrical embedded networks in high rise developments.

Electrical embedded networks have been a common building solution in Victoria for many years now and Victoria has the most mature market for this solution. Queensland and NSW were slightly later to the party and the solution has only recently begun to take roots in South Australia.

There are many reasons for the way the market has developed and most have to do with the regulatory environment in each state along with the number of Local Network Service Providers (LNSP’s) also known as Distributors.  Electricity pricing approaches from generator to distributor and retailers has also had an impact on the development in each state.

As electricity pricing continues to rise and the advantages of electrical embedded networks, both in new buildings and the conversion of existing buildings, are more widely known, expect to see more and more embedded networks appearing in high rise residential buildings.

The rise in electrical embedded networks has been accompanied by the increase in the development of high rise residential buildings, both to suit the growing populations in each state as well as the growth in property investment, but also through local and state governments freeing up and redeveloping more and more inner city areas.

In Victoria, you could expect that every new high rise residential building above a certain size will be built with an electrical embedded network. With electricity pricing as volatile as it is, the minimum number of apartments needed to make these networks work has grown from around 40 – 50 apartments and is now around 70 – 80. Not a finite rule, and every development has its own needs, but as a rule of thumb this is what you would expect.

High Rise residential buildings tend to have higher common area costs, particularly those in the inner areas. Taller buildings mean more apartments, which means more elevators and more levels of car parking. Competition for buyers also leads to more common area inclusions such as gyms and pools and so on all of which lead to higher common area costs and higher fees for owners.

This is where well designed and well run electrical embedded networks come in to help reduce the cost of running a building by providing surplus funds to the building owners to be used to reduce the costs.

Electrical embedded networks are a popular and increasingly essential part of the electricity market now and this isn’t likely to change, because when done properly they represent a very competitive retail alternative for occupiers.

The more high rise residential developments around the country now and in coming years, the greater the likelihood that these will be built with an electrical embedded network. And, if they aren’t or weren’t, considering upgrading the building to have an electrical embedded network retrofitted could make good financial sense.

For residential developments, electrical embedded networks are not limited only to high rise buildings. It’s all about the number of apartments or residences and the common areas. So, expect also to see low rise, gated community townhouse developments and even some broadacre residential structuring themselves to be able to install an embedded network.

If your electrical embedded network isn’t an advantage or you want to look at a retrofit, perhaps it’s time to think about alternatives?