Energy efficiency has become a conversational piece across households and businesses throughout Australia over the past few decades, as concerns around energy consumption and climate change continue to rise. Recently, we have seen changes made to the National Construction Code (NCC), a push for commercial and industrial businesses to become more sustainable, and the Federal Government has just announced that they would like to set a target for net zero emissions by 2050.
According to the Department of Energy, in 2019-20 energy consumption fell by 3% nationally. In addition, we have seen a 42% growth in solar generation since 2019 and according to the report, 24% of our total national energy generation came from renewable sources. Over the next few years, the total national energy generation from renewable sources should continue to increase as the Government works towards a net zero emissions, and energy production should rely more on wind, solar and hydro rather than coal or gas. This has guided industries to use renewable energy sources and to look at their overall energy consumption and how it could be reduced.
Energy monitoring is a vital component as businesses become more environmentally conscious and focused on sustainability through the reduction of energy consumption and in certain commercial environments it has become a legal requirement, as highlighted in the recent changes made to the NCC below.
By actively measuring your businesses energy consumption allows you to determine whether energy usage is high, this can directly affect the cost of electricity bills, the cost of infrastructure, and allows your business to examine a way for them to become more sustainable and competitive.
In May 2019, the NCC made a range of changes regarding power monitoring in new building developments throughout Australia. Compliance of the changes are a legal requirement, and to make sure you comply, we have outlined the changes to J8.3 below.
- A building or sole-occupancy unit with a floor area of more than 500m2 must have an energy meter configured to record the time-of-use consumption of gas and electricity.
- A building with a floor area of more than 2,500m2 must have energy meters configures to enable individual time-of-use energy consumption data recording, in accordance with (c), of the energy consumption of:
- air-conditioning plant including, where appropriate, heating plant, cooling plant and air handling fans; and
- artificial light; and
- appliance power; and
- central hot water supply; and
- internal transport devices including lifts, escalators and moving walkways where there is more than one serving the building; and
- other ancillary plant
- 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.
What products do you recommend for energy monitoring?
At IPD we offer the Socomec DIRIS Digiware Energy Measurement & Monitoring System, for all your energy monitoring requirements. This system meets all the legal requirements of the changes in J8.3 of the NCC and is easy to install into existing buildings with minimal downtime during the installation process.
The DIRIS Digiware system has the highest level of accuracy, with a global class accuracy of 0.5. This accuracy is on the entire measurement chain which includes the meter and the connected CT. The other impressive feature of this system is that the accuracy is applicable from 2% to 120% of the CT measurement range.
The DIRIS Digiware systems compact design helps to reduce the amount of installation space in the switchboard, and overall reduces the installation and integration time. The innovative design of the system makes it easier to add additional metering points and uses solid core, split core, and flexible current sensors whilst minimising communication errors. With less wiring, space saving, no shorting link requirements for secondary currents from the CT and compatible with any brand of circuit breakers, switchboard builders have recommended the installation of the DIRIS Digiware system. Other features of the system include the automatic configurations of metering parameters and the system can be used in multi circuit configurations.
The DIRIS Digiware Energy Measurement & Monitoring System can provide real time and historical information about your energy consumption. The system offers a multiple communication protocol, making it easier for the system to communicate to a variety of applications.