Help & FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is bill validation?

ANSWER:
Energy Intelligence reconciles your accounts against the usage information received directly from the meter provider.  This ensures you are billed for what you actually use, and can help identify billing anomalies which occur from time to time.

Q. Why should I use Energy Intelligence?

ANSWER:
Energy Intelligence provides independent energy management services designed to specifically reduce your energy costs. We are not aligned with any retailer and act solely in the best interests of our clients to reduce their energy costs.

Q. What other types of services does Energy Intelligence offer?

Q. How can Energy Intelligence help me monitor my electricity costs?

ANSWER:
Energy Intelligence can provide monthly reports, so you can see usage for the last month before you get a bill from the retailer. We also provide alarm monitoring services for when your usage exceeds an expected figure, or if the demand on site reaches a new peak.

Q. How can you validate my bills?

ANSWER:
Energy Intelligence can obtain 30 minute data directly from the energy meter that is used to calculate your bill. We can compare this data against what your retailer is charging and identify any cost anomalies.

Q. How does Energy Intelligence save me money?

ANSWER:
There are many areas of your account that we can save on from energy rates, network tariffs, service charges and metering charges. All of these are negotiable with your retailer.

Q. Can Energy Intelligence help me with energy efficiency measures?

ANSWER:
We work with sustainability consultants to help identify areas to reduce your energy usage.

Q. What is a NMI?

ANSWER:

NMI stands for National Metering Identifier – a unique 10 digit value for every connection point. The NMI is used to transfer your site between retailers and for billing.

In general NMI's contains both the state and the distribution patch the connection point belongs too.  For example Citipower (VIC) NMI blocks generally are from 6102000000 to 6103999999 or VAAA000000 to VAAAZZZZZZ and Energy Australia (NSW) NMI blocks generally are from 4102000000 to 4104999999 or NCCC000000 to NCCCZZZZZZ.

Q. What is Full Retail Contestability (FRC)?

ANSWER:
Full Retail Contestability means that all electricity and gas customers are able to choose their retailers in a fully deregulated energy market.

Q. What classifies a consumer “large market”?

ANSWER:
In Victoria and South Australia the threshold is consuming using > 160,000 kWh (Kilowatt hours) pa. In NSW, QLD and ACT the threshold is > 100,000 kWh pa.

Q. What’s the difference between a retailer and a distributor?

ANSWER:

The retailer sells energy to you and generates a bill for that energy. You have a choice of retailers. A retailer will pass-on costs relating to the supply of electricity to your property. These costs are linked to the distribution of network charges.

The distributor maintains the power grid between the generators and your site. As their assets are fixed you do not have a choice of distributor.

VICTORIA
CitiPower - Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs
United Energy - Eastern and southern suburbs of Melbourne
SP AusNet - Eastern Victoria
Jemena - North-west suburbs of Melbourne
Powercor - Western Victoria

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
ETSA - All

NEW SOUTH WALES
Integral Energy - Sydney’s greater west, southern highlands and Illawarra
Energy Australia - Sydney, central coast and Hunter regions
ACTEW - ACT

QUEENSLAND
Energex - South east Queensland
Ergon - Rural and regional Queensland

However, Energy Intelligence can assist with optimising your network charges to ensure you are paying the lowest tariffs possible.

Q. I’ve noticed LRET and SRES charges on my invoice. What are these?

ANSWER:
The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) is a federal certificate scheme administered the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator to encourage additional electricity generation from renewable sources.  Please refer to http://www.orer.gov.au/publications/lret-sres-basics.html for more information.

Q. What are smart meters?

ANSWER:

‘Smart’ meters are meters that record data every 15 to 30 minutes (also known as interval data) and send the data back daily to the meter owner/meter data provider.

Smart meters are classified as Type 1 to 4, where as meters that store interval data (exact same meter as a smart meter however are not remotely read) are classified as Type 5. Meters that do not store any memory are classified as Type 6 meters.  These are the typical old meters that were installed and are currently being replaced by the smart meter roll out program. For more information on the Victorian smart meter roll out including benefits and how they work, click here to visit the official smart meter's website

Q. Is electricity FRC only within Victoria, or is it Australia-wide?

ANSWER:
Electricity Full Retail Contestability (FRC) commenced in Victoria and NSW in January 2002, in South Australia on 1 January 2003, and the ACT on 1 July 2003. Retail Contestability for electricity customers in Tasmania commenced in July 2006, and will be phased in over a 4-year period, while FRC was implemented in Queensland from 1 July 2007. FRC is not yet available for Western Australian electricity customers.

Q. What is the difference between large and small market?

ANSWER:
The difference between large and small market is largely based on consumption and metering.  This varies depending on what state you live in. In Victoria the threshold for having a large market meter is above 160,000 kWh pa, while New South Wales and Queensland the threshold is 100,000 kWh.

Q. Can I change my retailer?

ANSWER:
If you have a signed a large market contract with an electricity retailer, it usually is cost prohibitive to exit the contract early.

Q. What is sub-metering?

ANSWER:
Sub-metering involves the installation of metering within a site to better help understand usage at a site. Sub-meters can be remotely read, allowing for effective monitoring and data capture.

Q. How will the carbon tax/emissions trading scheme affect my costs?

ANSWER:
The exact impact depends on many factor such as what type of contract you have, what state you are in and what retailer you are with.

Q. How many Electricity Retailers are there?

ANSWER:
In the National Electricity Market (NEM) there are more than 30 licensed electricity retailers. Not all retailers can sell to both large and small market consumers and not all retailers operate in the electricity market.

Q. Does it matter what type of meter I have?

ANSWER:
The type of meter you have generally dictates whether you are billed as large or small market.  Large market meters would generally have a meter that records data every 15 or 30 minutes and these meters read remotely. Small market meters are generally read manually.

Q. How can I reduce my demand charge?

ANSWER:
Energy Intelligence can make some recommendations to reduce demand – please contact us so we can provide professional advice relevant to your business.

Q. What is the Carbon Tax?

ANSWER:
The Clean Energy Act puts a price on pollution from 1 July 2012. The price of carbon is initially set at $23 per tonne of CO2 – this will rise by 2.5% per year in real terms until 1 July 2015. From this date, the carbon price will be set by the market and the number of permits issued by the Government will be capped. For more information, refer to Clean Energy Future

Q. How do I reduce my network tariffs?

ANSWER:
Send a copy of your bill to Energy Intelligence and we can evaluate the most optimal network tariff for your site. 

Q. Is renewable energy reliable? Is there enough to supply me?

ANSWER:
All electricity produced from electricity generators (coal or renewable energy) are pumped into our electricity grid. It is the grid operators that ensure reliability to customers, coordinating supply with demand. They gauge when certain generators are operating or idle. Therefore electricity from specific renewable energy generators does not directly go to individual houses and has no impact on reliability. As demand for accredited Green Power increases from customers, energy suppliers will buy more renewable energy from new renewable energy generators. Your investment in accredited Green Power will feed more energy from clean renewable energy sources into the grid that services your home.

Q. What is demand?

ANSWER:
Demand is a measurement of the amount of electricity needed within a small period of time, usually 30 minutes.   Demand is important as electricity infrastructure needs to be built to cater for demand.  Demand is thus charged by the networks as a price signal – reducing your demand reduces your costs as the need for networks to build new infrastructure is reduced.

Q. Should I stay on spot rates?

ANSWER:
We do not recommend staying on spot rates.  While the rates may appear low in winter, generally spot rates will increase dramatically over summer when your usage is likely to peak.  If you are currently on spot rates please contact us so we can help assess your options.

Q. Does it cost more to use electricity at certain times of the day?

ANSWER:
Generally yes.  Electricity contracts have different rates for peak and off-peak.  Peak is usually between 7am and 11pm on weekdays, while off-peak covers all other periods.  Off-peak rates are usually a third the price of peak-rates, so costs can be reduced by shifting usage to off-peak times.

Q. What percentage Green Power should I choose for my business?

ANSWER:
The higher the Green Power component of your electricity use, the more you are doing to promote the use of renewable energy and reduce the impact of climate change. As such, offsetting your power as renewable energy can help position your company as a responsible corporate citizen. Offsetting 10 per cent or more of your electricity allows use of the Green Power logo to promote an environmentally conscious image to your clients and customers. An offset of 50 to 100 per cent allows you to gain exposure by being listed on the Green Power website.

Q. What is Green Power?

ANSWER:
Green Power is renewable energy sourced from the sun, the wind, water and waste that is purchased by your energy company on your behalf.

Q. What is a Gate Meter?

ANSWER:

A Gate Meter is also known as a parent meter.  The Gate Meter is a market meter that records the entire consumption of electricity consumed in the Embedded Network.  Dependent on the site, some Embedded Networks may have multiple Gate Meters.

A Gate Meter can be designed into your building electrical schematics for a new development or can be retro-fitted to an existing site such as shopping centres or office buildings.

Contact us today and we can review your infrastructure to determine how a Embedded Network can work for your site.

Q. If I’m in an embedded network, can I choose my electricity retailer?

ANSWER:

In Victoria YES – you are considered a Tier 2 customer.

Your chosen retailer would need to replace the embedded network meters with a market meter, and you will still receive an invoice for network charges from the embedded network operator.

Q. What is an embedded network?

ANSWER:
An embedded network allows you to aggregate network and energy charges and on-sell electricity directly to your tenants. The benefits are that your tenants save money and you make additional revenue. Embedded networks are suitable for large multi-tenanted properties, such as office buildings and shopping centres.

Q. Why should I set up an embedded network?

ANSWER:

Setting up an embedded network allows you to aggregate network and energy charges and on-sell electricity directly to your tenants making a profit from doing so. Embedded networks are suitable for large multi-tenanted properties, such as office buildings and shopping centres.

Please contact us to discuss whether an embedded network is suitable for your site.

Q. I have a new development, can an Embedded Network work for me?

ANSWER:

Embedded Networks work for most multi-tenanted building.  This includes shopping centres, residential high rise, office buildings and industrial complexes.

The ideal time to put in an Embedded Network is while the building is in design phase however the Embedded network can be catered for at a later phase of the construction.

The benefit of establishing an Embedded network early includes:

  • assisting in organising permanent power including dealing with the local distributors
  • on-charging the builders for power they consume on the developers behalf on cheaper rates then what the builders would normally pay. This will also alleviate any messy electricity account transfers    
  • deal with us directly for the meters for tenants -  saves the hassle of dealing with the local distributors for a bulk-meter installation appointment
  • save $ on meters - instead of paying the local distributors to install the meters and not owning them, with an Embedded Network, you own the infrastructure

Q. How would an Embedded Network help an Owners Corporation?

ANSWER:

Owners Corporation can benefit from an Embedded Network including

  • cheaper rates for Common Area; lower landlord outgoings
  • savings can be re-invested back into the building maintenance
  • better management of multi-apartment accounts such as service apartments, apartments waiting to be leased
  • tenant's receive cheaper electricity however still have the freedom of choice (only in VIC)

Q. Do I need an Embedded Network Manager?

ANSWER:

From 1 December 2017, all network exemption holders must appoint or become an Embedded Network Manager (ENM) when a customer within an embedded network enters into a market retail contract.  

If you are an Embedded Network Owner or Operator and need help to determine if you require an ENM or you simply need to appoint an ENM to your Embedded Network, Energy Intelligence can help. 

Contact us on 1300 277 233

 

Q. Can I get out of my existing electricity contract?

ANSWER:
Large market contracts have strict termination guidelines and so we would not recommend exiting a large market contract before the end date.  However Energy Intelligence can recontract your site 6-12 months before the expiry of the existing contract.  This would enable you to take advantage of market conditions if favourable.  Please contact us so we can discuss these options with you.

Q. When should I contract directly with a meter provider?

ANSWER:
You should directly contract with a meter provider as this provides greater access to your meter data and historical retention of this data.

Q. Why enter into an electricity contract?

ANSWER:
Entering into a large market electricity contract allows you to fix the energy costs of your invoice for the term of the contract.  This protects you from high default rates retailers may charge, and from high fluctuations in the spot market.  It also offers price certainty when forecasting your operational expenditure.  Please contact us so we can procure the best contract for your business.

Q. When is a good time to contract?

ANSWER:
Generally the optimal time to contract would be when the electricity market is low.  Energy Intelligence will be able to offer you strategic advice on when to best procure an electricity contract.

Q. What if I’m already on an electricity contract?

ANSWER:
Energy Intelligence will still be able to forward contract for when your current contract expires.  We would do this strategically to reflect the current state of the electricity market.  Please contact us on 1300 277 233 to discuss.


Top 10 Questions


Q. What is a NMI?

ANSWER:

NMI stands for National Metering Identifier – a unique 10 digit value for every connection point. The NMI is used to transfer your site between retailers and for billing.

In general NMI's contains both the state and the distribution patch the connection point belongs too.  For example Citipower (VIC) NMI blocks generally are from 6102000000 to 6103999999 or VAAA000000 to VAAAZZZZZZ and Energy Australia (NSW) NMI blocks generally are from 4102000000 to 4104999999 or NCCC000000 to NCCCZZZZZZ.

Q. What is Full Retail Contestability (FRC)?

ANSWER:
Full Retail Contestability means that all electricity and gas customers are able to choose their retailers in a fully deregulated energy market.

Q. What is a Gate Meter?

ANSWER:

A Gate Meter is also known as a parent meter.  The Gate Meter is a market meter that records the entire consumption of electricity consumed in the Embedded Network.  Dependent on the site, some Embedded Networks may have multiple Gate Meters.

A Gate Meter can be designed into your building electrical schematics for a new development or can be retro-fitted to an existing site such as shopping centres or office buildings.

Contact us today and we can review your infrastructure to determine how a Embedded Network can work for your site.

Q. What classifies a consumer “large market”?

ANSWER:
In Victoria and South Australia the threshold is consuming using > 160,000 kWh (Kilowatt hours) pa. In NSW, QLD and ACT the threshold is > 100,000 kWh pa.

Q. If I’m in an embedded network, can I choose my electricity retailer?

ANSWER:

In Victoria YES – you are considered a Tier 2 customer.

Your chosen retailer would need to replace the embedded network meters with a market meter, and you will still receive an invoice for network charges from the embedded network operator.

Q. What’s the difference between a retailer and a distributor?

ANSWER:

The retailer sells energy to you and generates a bill for that energy. You have a choice of retailers. A retailer will pass-on costs relating to the supply of electricity to your property. These costs are linked to the distribution of network charges.

The distributor maintains the power grid between the generators and your site. As their assets are fixed you do not have a choice of distributor.

VICTORIA
CitiPower - Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs
United Energy - Eastern and southern suburbs of Melbourne
SP AusNet - Eastern Victoria
Jemena - North-west suburbs of Melbourne
Powercor - Western Victoria

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
ETSA - All

NEW SOUTH WALES
Integral Energy - Sydney’s greater west, southern highlands and Illawarra
Energy Australia - Sydney, central coast and Hunter regions
ACTEW - ACT

QUEENSLAND
Energex - South east Queensland
Ergon - Rural and regional Queensland

However, Energy Intelligence can assist with optimising your network charges to ensure you are paying the lowest tariffs possible.

Q. I’ve noticed LRET and SRES charges on my invoice. What are these?

ANSWER:
The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) is a federal certificate scheme administered the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator to encourage additional electricity generation from renewable sources.  Please refer to http://www.orer.gov.au/publications/lret-sres-basics.html for more information.

Q. What are smart meters?

ANSWER:

‘Smart’ meters are meters that record data every 15 to 30 minutes (also known as interval data) and send the data back daily to the meter owner/meter data provider.

Smart meters are classified as Type 1 to 4, where as meters that store interval data (exact same meter as a smart meter however are not remotely read) are classified as Type 5. Meters that do not store any memory are classified as Type 6 meters.  These are the typical old meters that were installed and are currently being replaced by the smart meter roll out program. For more information on the Victorian smart meter roll out including benefits and how they work, click here to visit the official smart meter's website

Q. What is an embedded network?

ANSWER:
An embedded network allows you to aggregate network and energy charges and on-sell electricity directly to your tenants. The benefits are that your tenants save money and you make additional revenue. Embedded networks are suitable for large multi-tenanted properties, such as office buildings and shopping centres.

Q. Is electricity FRC only within Victoria, or is it Australia-wide?

ANSWER:
Electricity Full Retail Contestability (FRC) commenced in Victoria and NSW in January 2002, in South Australia on 1 January 2003, and the ACT on 1 July 2003. Retail Contestability for electricity customers in Tasmania commenced in July 2006, and will be phased in over a 4-year period, while FRC was implemented in Queensland from 1 July 2007. FRC is not yet available for Western Australian electricity customers.