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Guide to Smart EV Charging in Strata Car Parking

Smappee EV Charging Strata Car Park
Smappee’s EV Line Providing Smart AC and DC EV Charging Solutions

Many would agree that an oversimplified yet accurate way to describe installing and managing EV charging in a strata car park would be somewhat complicated.

The following guide provides insights and important considerations when looking into EV charging in a strata complex. Also provided is a list of solutions that can be combined to make the process much more palatable and manageable.

Key considerations include:

  • Power Monitoring to Determine Capacity
  • Electrical Infrastructure Requirements
  • Load Management to Prevent Overload
  • Usage Reporting to Allocate Costs
  • Automating Electricity Cost Recovery
  • Sourcing Finance for Project Costs

As the authorised agent for Smappee in Australia, and experts in energy monitoring and EV charging, Vista Power Technologies can provide a solution to all the above hurdles. This makes implementing an EV charging network within a strata facility as simple as it can be, by leveraging the latest technologies and best practices.

Let’s break down each of the challenges that may be presented in an EV charging project and look at the solutions we have available.

Smappee Web-Base Dashboard Reporting on site Consumption and Solar Production

Power Monitoring to Determine Capacity

The first step any facility should take in evaluating their capacity for EV charging infrastructure is collecting some electrical consumption data over a period of 1-3 months. This is to determine what additional capacity they have for EV charging and whether an upgrade to the supply for the building is required.

For example: the building may have a 200A three-phase supply, but how much of that capacity is left over after household consumption and common loads?

Thankfully this can be achieved quite easily by installing a Smappee Infinity system at the main switch board. This can collect grid import data and provide reporting on electricity usage over time via a cloud-based dashboard, accessible via the free web app.

Typically costing less than $3,500 for supply and installation of this system, facility managers and owners corporation members can quickly gain access to this valuable data and determine what charging capacity they have available to work with.

The other benefit of installing the Smappee Infinity system for this purpose is its ability to be used for overload protection and dynamic load balancing of the EV chargers (see load management section).

Electrical Infrastructure Requirements

Once a strong understanding of available supply capacity has been developed, a decision can be made as to the size of the EV charging supply. Typically, a separate power distribution board (EVDB) will be installed to feed the charging stations. This would be rated to a little above the maximum excess capacity measured during the power monitoring step.

Previously, industry practice would be to install individual circuits for each charging station. This significantly adds to the cost for circuit and earth leakage protection, cable tray, cabling, and labour. Not to mention the issue of potentially hundreds of cable runs throughout the car parking areas to individually feed power to each car park.

Our solution for this is to utilise a specially developed flat cable system that can supply multiple charging stations off each circuit breaker. This significantly reduces cabling and cable tray requirements, whilst also providing a much tidier solution.

Flat Cable System Example

One of the key benefits of this cable system is that it can be initially installed as backbone electrical infrastructure. Apartment owners can then easily tap into this system at the time of making the switch to an electric vehicle.

Load Management to Prevent Overload

EV charging is no small load. At 7.4kW for single-phase charging stations, and up to 22kW for three-phase units (when referring to AC type charging), the total potential load can grow rapidly. Just 10 x three-phase charging stations have a load potential of 220kW or more than 300 amps. Many buildings just don’t have the capacity to support these sorts of loads.

This fact alone makes a load management system a critical requirement to any site looking to install many EV charging stations – even when a large supply capacity is available.

Overload protection aside, there is also the need to fairly share the available load across all the charging stations. This is called dynamic load balancing. In a nutshell, the system needs to monitor the available (excess) capacity at the grid connection, and then spread any available power across all the active charging stations.

The good news is that when Smappee EV Wall charging stations are used, the Infinity system installed at the power monitoring step can also be used for overload protection and load balancing control.

There is only an upfront cost to enable this feature on each charging station and no ongoing fees for this functionality. This makes the Smappee EV charging load management solution one of the lowest cost options on the market when considering both upfront and ongoing costs.

Where there are existing EV charging stations on site, or the property owners want the option to use various brands of charging stations, a third-party system can be used for this load management functionality. However, this option does come with ongoing annual fees.

Usage Reporting to Allocate Costs

Okay, now we have the electrical infrastructure and load management sorted. We now need to consider how billing will be managed. Because the power is typically drawn from the site’s common supply, EV charging sessions need to be tracked to ensure apartment owners can cover the costs for the electricity required to charge their vehicles.

Smappee EV Charging Management Dashboard – Whitelisted User Consumption Reporting

Where the strata want to manage things with minimal ongoing costs, the owners corporation can manually manage the billing of apartment owners for their EV charging consumption. This would involve running a monthly or quarterly report via the Smappee EV charging management dashboard, on a per user basis. This will allow a bill to be raised based on an agreed cost per kWh.

Automating Electricity Cost Recovery

If it’s preferable to have billing managed automatically, then there are third-party platforms available including our own Vista Charge service.

Utilising a third-party platform has its benefits, including being hardware agnostic. This allows apartment owners to choose any EV charging station compatible with the latest Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP).

These solutions are typically used for automated billing management, where the user downloads a smartphone app, creates an account, and adds their credit card details. The charge point operator (CPO) then takes payment at a set amount per kWh after each charging session and reimburses the strata owners corporation on a monthly or quarterly basis.

The only drawback with this scenario is that there are ongoing costs, which typically include annual service fees and transaction fees. However, this is often considered to be worth paying to reduce the responsibility placed on property management.

Sourcing Finance for Project Costs

Now that we’ve packaged everything up and are ready to go ahead with a solution for EV charging infrastructure in strata car parking, there’s one final hurdle: managing the upfront costs.

Most apartment owners aren’t going to want to fork out more than $1,000 each to cover these costs. Especially the ones that aren’t yet ready to switch to electric propulsion, regardless of the tangible increased value on their property for EV ready car parking.

With this in mind, we recommend talking to a strata finance specialist who can package up the project costs for payment over a 3-5 year period (for example), allowing apartment owners to incorporate the project costs into their quarterly OC payments. This might be somewhere in the vicinity of an additional $100-$150 extra per quarter.

By managing things this way there is a little less financial shock to everyone, and the barrier of approvals by apartment owners can be somewhat reduced.

Conclusion

So, there we have it. By utilising the right technologies and solutions available, the complicated challenge of EV charging in a strata car park is made a little less daunting and a little more approachable.

Get in Touch for More Info

Phone us on 1300 878 287 or send a message…

Complete and submit the enquiry form below and we’ll get back to you ASAP

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ACT Sustainable Household Scheme and Smart EV Charging with Smappee

Smappee EV Wall Solar Charging System
Smappee EV Wall Solar Charging System
Smappee EV Wall with Home Energy Monitoring and Optimised Solar Charging

Some amazing news if you own residential property in the ACT: The Sustainable Household Scheme is now live!

This brand-new State Government initiative provides zero-interest loans of between $2,000 to $15,000 to eligible households in the ACT, designed to help homeowners invest in energy efficient home upgrades. These loans are provided through loan partner Brighte and can be made payable over 1-10 years with no fees or interest, excluding $4.99 late payment fee. With the pilot program now launched, now might be the perfect time to invest in smart EV charging for your home.

Which home upgrades does the ACT Sustainable Household Scheme cover?

If eligible, you could take a 0% interest loan out for:

Category A: Energy generation, storage & EV charging​​​  Category B: Replacement of gas or inefficient electric appliancesComing soon: Category C : Electric Vehicles (EVs)
Household rooftop solar PV systems
Household battery storage systems
Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure
Electric heating & cooling systems – reverse cycle
Hot Water Heat Pumps (HWHP)
Efficient electric stovetops

Currently, you can choose to bundle options from categories A or B up to a maximum loan of $15,000. And if you need to upgrade to 3-phase power to support these new systems, you could also choose to include this upgrade within your 0% interest loan amount.

What’s the right EV charging system for my home?

You can search the Scheme’s website to request quotes from different providers (including us!) and request quotes for EV charging infrastructure.

One brilliant option is the Smappee EV Wall, which supports solar-only or solar-optimised EV charging, home energy monitoring and smart scheduling to suit your driving needs. This system also enables load-balancing if multiple chargers are installed. The European-designed Smappee EV Wall looks great and it’s very flexible in its settings. For example, you could choose to simply plug and charge; limit and track usage via RFID cards; or even monetise your charging station if you so choose.

Example of the Smappee dashboard reporting card showing solar only charging for a Tesla Model 3

What are some ways I could save money over time with the ACT Sustainable Household Scheme?

  • Make the most of feed-in tariffs with a new rooftop solar system
  • Save on petrol costs by driving an electric vehicle (EV)
  • Maximise your savings from solar power through optimised EV charging
  • Minimise your heating, cooling and cooking costs so you receive smaller power bills
  • Capture your solar panel production for use at night with a battery system.

The Sustainable Household Scheme is set to be open to new applications for five years, but consider the advantages of acting early. By locking in today’s prices with a 0% interest loan, you could potentially pay off your home upgrades far sooner through those cost savings. Sounds smart to us!

How do I get started?

Head on over to the Brighte website to find eligibility details and suppliers in your area. There’s also a handy buyer’s guide to investing in an electric vehicle charging system for your home, and full terms and conditions can be found at the official ACT Sustainable Household Scheme website.

Of course – if you have any questions for our team at Vista Power Technologies about EV charging or home energy monitoring, simply get in touch.

Get in Touch for More Info

Phone us on 1300 878 287 or send a message…

Complete and submit the enquiry form below and we’ll get back to you ASAP

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Developers Combine EV Charging & Energy Monitoring with Smappee EV Wall

EV Charging & Energy Monitoring with Smappee EV Wall
EV Charging & Energy Monitoring with Smappee EV Wall
Smappee EV Wall with Home Energy Monitoring and Optimised Solar Charging

Residential developers around Australia are capitalising on the demand for smarter, more sustainable homes – and they’re using one neat little box to achieve both. Smappee EV Wall combines EV charging and energy monitoring capabilities in one sleek yet richly-featured system. It’s proving an ideal option for freestanding homes and multi-unit developments alike.

Why are sustainable features becoming so popular with home buyers?

The demand for smart and sustainable homes is on the rise. Energy efficient homes can fetch higher prices: around 2.4 or 9.4% higher respectively for a six- or seven-star rated home, compared to a three-star home. Home buyers are increasingly aware of both the environmental and cost savings that a sustainable home can bring. It simply makes sense that developers would meet this demand. However – until recently it’s been a complex endeavour to include both energy monitoring and EV charging within new homes.

Smappee EV Wall is changing this. This small, attractive system barely takes up a small 30cm square on a wall and complements any architectural style. It looks great – but it’s what’s under the hood that has Aussie developers so invested.

What’s different about Smappee EV Wall?

This European-designed charging station is unique in its design and functionality. Whether you’re an architect, builder or developer, consider these features for your new builds. Your clients and home buyers are sure to love the benefits.

Optimised charging with solar power and off-peak rates

As an electric vehicle is plugged in to charge, the Smappee EV Wall can use Artificial Intelligence to optimise charging from solar power (if the building is equipped) and when the lowest electricity tariffs apply during off-peak times. Because the system can charge up to seven times faster than a regular socket, this supports faster charging when costs are lower. Smart charging schedules can be fully customised based on the home buyer’s lifestyle and driving needs, using the Smappee app or dashboard.

Example of the Smappee dashboard reporting card showing solar only charging for a Tesla Model 3

Cost energy analysis and energy monitoring

Home buyers will be pleased that they can monitor their charging sessions, energy consumption, production and costs in real time through the app or dashboard. This makes it simple for households to keep their energy usage and costs low, adjusting settings to suit their preferences.

The Smappee EV Wall is fitted with overload protection, which means blown fuses won’t be a concern when charging a vehicle from home. The equivalent model for commercial applications, called the EV Wall Business, can also support dynamic load balancing for both overload protection and solar-only or solar-optimised charging. This system is ideal for multi EVSE installations.

Because the EV Wall comes with an integrated Smappee Infinity system, this can also be set to monitor and control power consumption across the household. The system will also be expandable in the future to include water monitoring.

Example of the reporting included with the Smappee smartphone app

Multiple activation options to suit different development types

The Smappee EV Wall is incredibly flexible for residential homes because it offers multiple activation options.

Smappee EV Charging Session Types
Session activation method options available on the Smappee dashboard

Plug and charge

If the plug and charge option is chosen, the system will be set to simply activate when any electric vehicle is plugged in. Anyone can plug their car into the charger and start charging. This activation method best suits applications where the charging station will be installed inside a garage or a private parking area. This method can be used with either simple charging or with smart charging enabled.

Swipe and charge

Swipe and charge provides access via an RFID card and gives greater control over who can use the charging station, enabling you to install a station in a shared area or on the front wall of a garage. Anyone with an authorised Smappee Smart Charge Card can plug in their car and wave the card in front of the light to start charging. This can be invaluable if you need to keep ‘freeloaders’ from using the system; for example, in the carpark of an inner-city apartment block. The RFID cards can also be linked back to each user to track usage or calculate billing.

Tip: For multiple charger installations such as in a hotel, motel or large carpark, the EV Wall Business and EV Base provide ideal capabilities.

Scan and charge

This third option enables the homeowner to monetise their Smappee EV Wall. Anyone with an electric vehicle can choose to plug in the connecter and scan a QR code to start charging, using an app to pay by Mastercard or Visa. The homeowner can choose to provide discounts right up to 100% for certain users. Scan and charge involves setting up a payment agreement via Smappee, so the homeowner can receive any payments periodically.

Homeowners can also switch between activation methods to suit their needs. For example, if they have a charging station outdoors at their holiday home and don’t want anyone using it while they’re away, they can simply disable the system. If they forget to flick it back off at the end of their holiday, no problem – they can control the system remotely!

Remote monitoring and EV charger control

When residential developers install a Smappee EV Wall in a new home, they can promise convenience to whoever buys the property. The resident will be able to use the Smappee app or dashboard to control the state and output of their charging system from anywhere with internet access. They can remotely start and stop charging, control the speed of charging, and update smart charging schedules to run at optimal times. The Smappee app is intuitive and designed to support both simple and advanced customisation.

Integration options for home automation

The Smappee ecosystem supports an exciting range of possibilities for home automation. Certain charging stations, thermostats, appliances and battery storage systems can be connected with the Works with Smappee network. The ecosystem also supports integration with third-party systems using IFTTT, Home Assistant, and some custom code on a Raspberry Pi.

No ongoing app reporting or control costs

Developers can install Smappee products without any concern about locking the home buyer into costly subscriptions, because there are no ongoing reporting or control costs involved. Once the system is installed, the resident is in control and can access their energy usage and controls via the Smappee app or dashboard. There is no subscription fee for Smappee users.

The Smappee EV Wall station can be installed in under an hour and works with any typical electrical supply, including 1-phase power up to 7.4 kW or 3-phase up to 22 kW. It’s available with a Type 2 socket, or a tethered 2.5m or 8m type 2 charging cable to suit a range of parking scenarios.

Most importantly, it provides future-ready EV charging & energy monitoring for long-term value.

The Smappee EV Wall is a simple, smart and sustainable way to help your properties stand out in the market

To discuss solutions for your development project within Australia, contact the team at Vista Power Technologies on 1300 878 287. We’re equipped to support implementations of any size, from single homes and townhouses to high-density buildings.


Get in Touch for More Info

Phone us on 1300 878 287 or send a message…

Complete and submit the enquiry form below and we’ll get back to you ASAP

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Home Energy Monitoring with Smappee Infinity

Smappee Infinity Online Dashboard and Smartphone App
Smappee Infinity Online Dashboard and Smartphone App
Smappee Online Dashboard and Smartphone App

By installing energy monitoring in your home you can identify high energy appliances & opportunities to reduce costs

Many people use a set and forget approach to their rooftop solar system but this is a risky and potentially expensive approach. Imagine receiving your power bill only to discover that your system hasn’t been working properly for the past 2 months and you’ve been unknowingly running your house on expensive electricity from the grid. This is where having a good energy or solar monitoring system really comes into its own. The old adage ‘knowledge is power’ was never truer than when managing your rooftop solar and home energy use.

Most solar installers offer a basic feed from the solar inverter, often at extra cost, which gives you information about your solar production.  It won’t, however, give you any information about your energy consumption patterns and compare this with your solar production. This is not really surprising considering the core business of inverter manufacturers is not energy monitoring software.

If you really want to maximise your savings by knowing what’s going on with your rooftop solar and your energy usage then you need to consider a quality, third party home energy monitor.

Optimising your Rooftop Solar

With the loss of generous feed-in tariffs a few years back, you need to be using as much of your solar as you can in your home (self-consumption), minimising the use of expensive grid electricity. A complete smart energy management solution will allow you to optimise your solar by simultaneously monitoring solar generation and controlling appliances to maximise self-consumption and minimise cost.

Home Energy Monitoring Versus Smart Home Energy Management

There are many solar or energy monitoring solutions available on the market however not all systems are created equal. Inverter based systems will tell you how many kilowatts your solar system is generating, how much grid electricity you are using and how many kilowatts of solar you are exporting to the grid.

To get the full picture, and to really take control of your energy use, you’ll want something more powerful. If you can see how the power consumption of individual appliances in your home and your solar generation work together, then you’re getting a complete picture.  Armed with this information you can really start to take control. This is where Smappee Infinity comes in.

The Power of Individual Appliance Monitoring

One of the things that sets Smappee Infinity apart from its competitors is how it can ‘reach’ into your home, monitoring individual appliances, and balancing your consumption with your solar generation, so that any excess solar power goes direct to your smart appliances.  With world-leading European technology, the Smappee smart energy management system can monitor and manage the energy use of individual appliances. It can even identify the ‘footprint’ of certain home appliances using its unique NILM technology.

The Smappee mobile app and Smappee dashboard are easy to use and give you a clear view of all your energy use whether you’re at home, working or on holiday. You can immediately see what appliances are guzzling energy and what your level of ‘always on’ or standby power is. You can even set up rules to turn things on or off depending on the amount of solar being generated, such as automatically turning on the pool pump when the solar generation is high or turning the air-conditioning down automatically when solar generation drops.

Smappee is quick and easy to install by a qualified electrician. It’s clever, modular nature means it will grow with your needs – want to add batteries or an electric vehicle? Smappee will manage the energy flows across these and ensure that it is optimised against your solar generation. As more and more smart appliances coming on to the market, Smappee future-proofs your home and adds value.

The Smappee Infinity complete smart home energy management system ultimately gives you control and peace of mind.

For more information on how Smappee can help you optimise your solar and energy use, check out the Smappee Infinity overview here or feel free get in touch.

Get in Touch for More Info

Phone us on 1300 878 287 or send a message…

Complete and submit the enquiry form below and we’ll get back to you ASAP

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Save Through Smart EV Charging with Smappee Infinity

Smappee EV Wall Solar Charging System
Smappee EV Base Commercial EV Chargers with Automatic Load Balancing

Australia, let’s get smarter about using solar and off-peak power to minimise the costs of EV charging

Anyone who owns or is interested in electric vehicles (EVs) probably knows that the running costs can be significantly lower than vehicles running on petrol, diesel or LPG. Servicing requirements for electric motors can also be minimal compared to internal combustion engines, which translates to further cost savings for owners. That being said, there are still big opportunities – and exciting ones at that – for EV owners to further save with smart charging, both in charging costs as well as in an environmental sense.

First, let’s consider Australia’s changing power environment

Liquid fuels have served a purpose as an easily transportable source of energy for many years. They allowed for significant growth during the industrial revolution and made many industries that we rely on today possible. The impact to the environment, though, has been less than desirable, and the practice of using fossil fuels as a primary source of energy in industries is simply not sustainable.

With improvements in battery technology we’re now seeing a shift where renewable energy can be stored and used on demand, along with the ability to use other less damaging forms of fossil fuel such as coal to indirectly power automobiles. With the progress of renewable energy production including wind, solar and tidal power being implemented across the world, our reliance on coal is also reducing and this will continue over time.

Where EVs come into the picture

Australian households and businesses are increasingly starting to look to electric vehicles as an effective way of reducing reliance on damaging fossil fuels. It’s been calculated that the carbon emissions of an EV in Australia could be around 18% lower than those of a fossil fuelled car when using average grid electricity. When we add in the factors of renewable energy and battery technologies, these can lead to even lower emissions. Just ask New Zealand, whose EV emissions could be 62% lower than those of fossil fuelled cars because so many of the country’s energy sources are renewable.

Smart use of renewable energy can also have serious benefits for the hip pocket

Where EV owners are producing the renewable energy themselves, for example using solar panels, each owner stands to significantly save on their charging costs. In addition – owners can use their smart charging system to only charge at off-peak (and therefore low-cost) times from the grid, further slashing their charging costs. Smart EV charging simply makes sense!

Smappee Infinity provides a revolutionary solution when it comes to smart EV charging

By installing a Smappee Infinity system, users can optimise the use of self-produced solar power and also prioritise using lower-cost off-peak power, to maximise the already-significant savings that can come with owning and operating an EV. Here’s how.

Smappee offers flexibility for smart EV charging. By integrating directly with Smappee’s new EV Base or EV Wall chargers, or supported third-party chargers, the Infinity system together with the Genius gateway can dynamically change the charging output to maintain a manageable rate of charge.

Current third-party EV chargers that integrate directly with the Smappee Infinity system are as follows:

  1. EVBox
  2. GreenFlux

Maximised self consumption of solar power

Planning to use surplus solar power to charge your vehicle? Using its smart metering technology, the Infinity system can monitor the level of solar power exported to the grid and vary the EV charger output to only use excess energy.

Prioritised use of off-peak (and low cost) electricity when solar power is unavailable

Wake up to an ideally charged vehicle and a lower bill! Where the site operates on time-of-use electricity tariffs, the Infinity system can review the current and future electricity rates and prioritise the use of off-peak power to complete charging to a user defined level, e.g. 100km by 7:30am.

Demand management to protect site or circuit overload

The Smappee smart EV charging feature also includes demand management capabilities. This means that it will limit the amount of power the EV charger can draw to ensure the site does not exceed its overload limit. This is ideal in the case of running an EV charger at the same time as other electrical appliances and lighting, or where multiple EV chargers are installed with a combined maximum load which is greater than what the supply (main circuit breaker) can support.

Direct switching of EV chargers and other appliances

In addition to Smappee’s smart EV charging feature allowing for dynamic load control, users can also directly switch power to their charging station or other household appliances. This is possible with the Output Module used to control switching of whole circuits, or the Switch (16A) which plugs in to the power point and provides both control and monitoring capabilities.

Using this method will still allow users to automate the use of excess solar for charging and other purposes, however, it would not have the capability to vary the load on an EV charger.

So why choose Smappee Infinity for smart EV charging?

Understanding your energy

Not only can you keep track of exactly how much power your EV is using and the associated costs, but you’ll also be able to gain many other insights into energy usage. The Smappee Infinity system can monitor all of your electrical loads providing a detailed consumption, production, and cost analysis, allowing you to fully understand how your home or business is interacting with energy.

Controlling your EV charger & other circuits or appliances to maximise savings & revenue

You can open up a world of management and integration possibilities. The Infinity system is capable of controlling individual appliances with the Switch and whole circuits with the Output Module. Control can be managed manually or automatically via the smartphone app, or with third-party integrations including IFTTT, Home Assistant, and custom MQTT (IoT) based applications.

For example, you could choose to only run your water heater with export solar during the day and off-peak power overnight through an in-app automation. Or using IFTTT and a Sensibo smart A/C controller, you could reduce the temperature in your home when solar export is above a certain level. Tech savvy individuals could also create their own control conditions using the Home Assistant application, or develop their own application installed on a home PC or Raspberry Pi.

Saving on energy costs and maximising revenue from export to the grid

By utilising the above smart control capabilities you could significantly maximise your cost savings associated with installing a solar system or EV charger. And by utilising self-produced solar power production, you can minimise the amount of electricity being exported to the grid at the low feed-in tariffs currently offered by most traditional electricity retailers.

In addition to cost savings, there’s also the possibility to increase revenue on electricity exported to the grid. By signing up to an electricity retailer offering wholesale rates you could choose to reduce consumption when the price of electricity is high, increasing export to the grid and being paid at the equivalent feed-in tariff. When you consider the price of electricity can reach levels as high as $15 per kWh for short periods during the year, there’s a significant opportunity to take advantage of this and generate revenue with your solar system. Who would say no to more free money?

If you’re a home battery owner you can further maximise revenue generated by signing up to a virtual power plant (VPP) program, where you can be paid for the use of your battery during peak demand periods. These rewards are typically in addition to the feed-in tariff offered by the electricity retailers. This article from SolarQuotes provides details on some VPP programs currently available in Australia.

Learn more

Considering EV charger options and identifying ways to maximise savings using some of the smart technologies now available can get a little complicated. If you’re looking to learn more about some of the suggestions and technologies discussed in the above article, feel free to get in touch for more information.

Get in Touch for More Info

Phone us on 1300 878 287 or send a message…

Complete and submit the enquiry form below and we’ll get back to you ASAP

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Submetering & Reporting per Australian NCC Section J8.3 with Smappee

Smappee Cloud Reporting Dashboard Showing Historical Usage Data
Smappee Infinity Section J8.3 Reporting
Smappee Customisable Online Dashboard for Real-Time & Historical Reporting

Smappee provides a cost effective, plug and play solution to meet the Australian national construction code requirements for energy monitoring and reporting..

The latest revision of the Australian National Construction Code and in particular NCC 2019 Volume One – section J8.3 Facilities for energy monitoring, means a lot when it comes to power metering and gathering historical usage data for light, power and other sub distribution circuits.

New 2019 Requirements

As of the 1st of May 2019 in NSW, VIC, SA, QLD and NT, and from the 1st of June 2019 in ACT the new standards require essentially all sub-distribution boards installed in large commercial facilities to have power meters installed and require the historical time of use data to be captured and accessible via a common data hub/monitoring system.


J8.3 Facilities for energy monitoring

(a) A building or sole-occupancy unit with a floor area of more than 500 m2 must have an energy meter configured to record the time-of-use consumption of gas and electricity.

(b) A building with a floor area of more than 2 500 m2 must have energy meters configured to enable individual time-of-use energy consumption data recording, in accordance with (c), of the energy consumption of—

(i) air-conditioning plant including, where appropriate, heating plant, cooling plant and air handling fans; and

(ii) artificial lighting; and

(iii) appliance power; and

(iv) central hot water supply; and

(v) internal transport devices including lifts, escalators and moving walkways where there is more than one serving the building; and

(vi) other ancillary plant.

(c) Energy meters required by (b) must be interlinked by a communication system that collates the time-of-use energy consumption data to a single interface monitoring system where it can be stored, analysed and reviewed.

(d) The provisions of (b) do not apply to a Class 2 building with a floor area of more than 2 500 m2 where the total area of the common areas is less than 500 m2.


Previously the requirement for metering of these sub-circuits required no data gathering and meters did not need to be connected to a communications network and monitored by a common system; e.g. BMS (building management system) or EMS (energy management system). Power meters could simply be installed and essentially forgotten.

The main intent of these changes to the national construction code is to allow the energy usage data to be utilised by tenants, owners, and facilities managers to identify opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce energy costs. The individual requirements for interval data and how long the data is stored is dependant on the facility itself.

More information on the requirements for submetering per section J8.3 and the intended purpose for the metering system can be found in the Energy Efficiency Handbook – NCC Volume One, which can be downloaded from this page on the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) website.

Better Utilisation of Installed Meters

This is a great initiative to ensure that installed power meters are able to provide functional and accessible insights into a facility’s energy usage, offering potential cost savings by allowing property managers and tenants to make informed decisions about the way they manage energy.

However, connecting sometimes hundreds of power meters to a common network and implementing a system to monitor and capture power usage data can be very costly, often in the range of tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Enter Smappee Infinity

The Smappee Infinity system provides a perfect solution for these networked energy monitoring requirements.

Each modular system can be expanded to monitor up to 28 circuits including conductors rated up to 4,000A.

Furthermore, multiple systems can be added to a single site and all of the data can be reported from the same dashboard.

In addition to power monitoring, the Smappee Input Modules can be used to monitor gas and water consumption by interfacing via pulse output.

Smappee Infinity Commercial Install Example

Modular Design

The Smappee Infinity range of power monitoring devices allows for one system (Gateway + Power Box + CT Hubs / CTs) to monitor up to twenty-eight conductors. This can be a combination of single and three-phase circuits.

The current clamps range from 50A all the way up to 4,000A, meaning this solution can be used for small commercial buildings all the way up to multi-level facilities with large main feeds from the grid.

By utilising this modular platform end-users can gain large cost savings compared to purchasing and installing multiple power meters, networking equipment, and a custom reporting platform.

Meets Requirement for a Single Interface Monitoring System

Leveraging IoT technology the Smappee dashboard provides the functionality to view multiple Infinity systems from the one online interface.

Each system can be viewed individually, or a common board can be created showing historical data from all systems connected to a single site.

This is called the locations function and allows for easy access to real-time and historical energy usage data at multiple switchboards.

This feature works with both multiple MSBs and DBs in the same facility, or located anywhere in the world.

Data Gathering and Reporting

In addition to the benefits provided by Smappee’s modular hardware solution, data gathering of power usage can be carried out in one of two ways.

Users can utilise the Smappee online dashboard for historical and real-time reporting, including the ability to download data to a spreadsheet file.

The Connect gateway can also provide Modbus-TCP/IP over Ethernet, which can be connected via high level interface to a BMS or EMS.

The cloud-based reporting platform only requires an internet connection to work and the gateway options can achieve this via an Ethernet or WiFi connection to a local network connected to the internet There is also the option to use a 4G USB dongle with the Genius gateway.

Data Storage and Interval Data

The gateway devices will store local data for 24-48 hours in the case that an active internet connection is lost. This is model dependant with the Genius providing 48 hours backup and the Connect series providing 24 hours.

Once the data is stored to the cloud users can access interval data down to 5 minutes for 30 days, hourly data for 90 days, and daily data for up to 12 months.

Gas and Water Monitoring

In addition to power monitoring, Smappee also offers a range of input devices that can be used to collect pulse outputs via an S0 directly or with the assistance of an optical or magnetic sensor. This means that gas and water consumption can also be monitored by the same system.

Save with Smappee

When taking all of the above into account the cost for a Smappee Infinity energy monitoring system to meet the NCC section J8.3 requirements including hardware and cloud-based software is only a fraction of the cost compared to many custom engineered systems. It makes sense to consider Smappee for commercial power monitoring as the advantages can be significant from both a technical and cost perspective.

For more information on how Smappee can provide a cost effective metering solution per the BCA requirements, check out the Smappee Infinity overview Smappee Infinity Energy Management System.

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