‘Watts’ unite to drive smart energy management for residential apartment building common property areas
Wattwatchers and Wattblock collaborate to help strata committees save electricity, benchmark performance, and add solar and EVs, as part of the My Energy Marketplace project backed by ARENA
Electricity consumption in the shared facilities areas of the hundreds of thousands of residential apartment buildings across Australia is often a bit of a mystery to the strata committees that run them.
For the people who live in these buildings, electricity used in ‘common property’ areas can be a significant component of the costs driving their body corporate fees, but frequently they are powerless to manage this added financial burden effectively.
Now two Australian cleantech companies, Wattblock and Wattwatchers Digital Energy, are targeting the residential strata building marketplace with a special energy monitoring offer enabled by grant funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Eligible strata buildings are being offered heavily-discounted ‘Strata Starter Packs’ to monitor their main common property electricity circuit in real-time, with highly-granular data from Wattwatchers devices, reported via the internet.
MINI CASE STUDY – 102 ALFRED STREET SOUTH, MILSONS POINT, NORTH SYDNEY
The Strata Committee at 102 Alfred Street South, at Milsons Point in the North Sydney Council area, is the first apartment building in Australia to sign up for a ‘Strata Starter Pack’ under the My Energy Marketplace (MEM) project – led by Wattwatchers, backed by ARENA, with delivery through strata sustainability specialists Wattblock.
The 102 Alfred Street South apartment complex had previously received a Wattblock Energy Savings assessment, under North Sydney Council’s Futureproofing Apartments Program.
With the installation of Wattwatchers smart energy monitoring under the MEM, the strata committee was able to quickly establish that its earlier energy saving efforts recommended by Wattblock had reduced common property electricity consumption by circa 25 percent over the past 18 months.
Now, armed with real-time granular data showing common property area electricity consumption, the strata committee is evaluating unlocking further savings by replacing an ageing cooling tower; and was able to provide valuable data to assist in planning for electric vehicle charging infrastructure for owners.
The 102 Alfred Street South site already has achieved a 4.5 star energy rating under the prestigious NABERS scheme, which recently expanded its brief to include apartment buildings.
Wattblock CEO and Co-founder Brent Clark says the collaboration with Wattwatchers has the potential to take strata building assessments to a new level.
‘Wattblock currently uses data analytics to estimate energy waste in buildings by comparing its clients buildings to data driven benchmarks,’ says Clark. ‘With real-time, more granular data, we can bring the power of machine learning into the equation.’
Making strata sites more sustainable
Under its normal business model, Wattblock offers strata committees a range of sustainability-related professional services including:
- Site inspections
- Whole-of-site energy saving assessments and reports, with upgrade opportunities to include gas and water as well electricity
- Solar feasibility studies
- Electric vehicle charging surveys
- NABERS for Apartment Building ratings
Next steps for the ‘Watts’
With the proof-of-concept market test at 102 Alfred Street South fully operational, Wattblock and Wattwatchers are now targeting additional strata sites, including but not limited to apartment buildings that have already undergone assessment by Wattblock as part of strata-focused programs that it runs with local councils.
Three more strata sites located in the North Sydney Council area will be installed shortly.
STRATA STARTER PACKS: Under the trial offer, strata committees pay $499 ex GST to enrol for an ARENA-subsidised Strata Saving Pack. A Wattwatchers Auditor 6M energy IoT device is installed to monitor the 3-phase common property main circuit, and where available the main grid connection also may be monitored. The package includes installation by an electrician, with three years of cellular communications (SIM and data plan), the service of data via the Wattwatchers API, and energy data visualisation software. Data is made available to the strata committee’s nominated representative and Wattblock, and access to data can be made available to other parties on instruction from the strata committee. At standard retail prices, the pack is valued in excess of $1000.
ABOUT WATTBLOCK: Wattblock is an energy consultancy focused on multi-tenant residential buildings. It provides advice to assist strata committees in optimising consumption and preparing for a ‘new energy’ future involving solar, batteries and electric vehicle charging. Wattblock has assisted apartment buildings housing over 60,000 residents and has been engaged by both local and state governments. More information at: www.wattblock.com
For Wattwatchers – Murray Hogarth, Director of Communications and Community Networks, Wattwatchers – M 0417 267235 E firstname.lastname@example.org
For Wattblock – Brent Clark, CEO and Co-founder, Wattblock – 0414 900 515 E email@example.com
This Project received funding from ARENA as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program. The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Australian Government, and the Australian Government does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.