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How to Save on Energy and Water Bills

July of this year will mark two utility increases that Australian households are certain to be dreading.  Water will increase by 3.5%, and electricity prices are set to increase by up to 18%.

It’s no secret that water is one of the most important resources we have. Likewise, electricity is an essential part of modern life. Yet, utility prices continue to soar.

A recent survey by Beyond Bank revealed that one in four Australians are struggling to cope with rising living costs.

Further concerning is the warning issued by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). They’ve warned that the average household electricity bill could increase by another 20% next year.

The good news is that there are many affordable ways to reduce your water and energy consumption.

1. If you are an Arc Energy customer – you will be pleased to know that our rates have only moved down over the last three years because of our smart buying methods and ability to gauge the market trends.

2.We also install in all our embedded apartments a smart app monitoring device (smart homes) to help our occupants change bad energy usage habits

3.An Arc Energy Central system operates 30% more efficiently than the brands used by our competitors  

If you are not an Arc Energy customer then you should be doing the following:-

1.Contact Your Utility Provider

If you’ve been with the same energy provider for a while, it’s always a good idea to call and ask them if they can give you a better deal.

Energy is an essential service and retailers are legally required to offer help to customers struggling to make payments.

Ask your provider about the best plan for you and whether payment plans are available. Plus, there are government assistance programs like power-saving bonuses, voucher schemes, and energy rebates.

Your water supplier may also be able to provide a payment plan in times of financial difficulty. If they are unable to provide a payment plan, the Water Payment Assistance Scheme (PAS) can help eligible customers receive water credits.

2. Fix Leaks ASAP 

Seal air leaks around doors and windows through caulking or weather-stripping. Sealing these leaks will help keep warm air inside your home during winter and cool air inside during summer.

Check your faucets for leaks. A leaky faucet can waste litres of water per week. However, fixing leaks is cheap and easy with tools most people already have at home.

3.Install Energy and Water Efficient Appliances 

LEDs can use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 25 times longer. So you’ll save money on replacements.

According to, by replacing 10 halogen light bulbs with LEDs, an average household can expect to save around $650 over 10 years on their electricity bill.

To save on water, install low-flow faucets and showerheads at home. Dual-flush toilets can save a family of four up to 35,000 litres of water a year.

4.Turn Off Lights When Not in Use

Many people leave lights on in unused rooms or forget to turn them off when they leave. It’s especially important to remember this if you have kids who like to play with light switches and faucets.

5. Unplug Appliances When Not in Use

If you aren’t using an appliance, unplug it. This includes your computer, television, microwave oven, and coffeemaker. When appliances are plugged in but not running, they still use energy.

Some devices even continue to draw energy even when they’re plugged into an outlet that isn’t switched on. You may want to plug these things into power strips and switch the strips off when you aren’t using them.

6. Rainwater Harvesting 

Due to the rising cost of water and drought-stricken areas in many parts of Australia, people are starting to look into other options such as rainwater harvesting or even recycling grey water.

While rainwater tanks will have upfront and maintenance costs, rebates for water tanks are available from the Australian government. Rebate amounts depend on tank volume and other factors.

7.   Use Household Appliances Efficiently

If you have an older refrigerator or freezer that doesn’t have an energy saver feature, consider replacing it with one that does — especially if it’s more than 10 years old. Only use your dishwasher and washing machine with full loads to optimise water usage.

It’s obvious that elevated electricity and water prices are becoming the norm. However, that doesn’t mean your household bills need to go through the roof. For further savings contact Arc Energy to help you insulate and improve your efficiency.

How to make your Home more Eco-Friendly

Be more energy conscious

With more than one-third of Australia’s carbon emissions coming from energy usage in the home, now is the time to re-evaluate your energy consumption. Becoming more energy conscious is as simple as turning off lights in empty rooms, shutting down computers from the source and unplugging unused appliances.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a living space where there’s abundant natural light, use it. On a sunny day, you might not need to turn on the lights at all in areas where windows can give all the illumination you need. Natural resources such as light and cool air will also help you cool and heat areas of your home so you can decrease your dependence on your air conditioner or electric heater.

Another helpful tip to be more energy conscious is preventing “phantom energy” which is the energy that is used by equipment that remains plugged in but not in use. This might include your kettle, toaster, phone charger and sound system.

Go Green

Whether you have an outdoor space filled with an extensive range of plants and shrubs, or a small herb garden on your balcony, consider upgrading your green space with the addition of a compost area.

Rather than throwing your food scraps in the bin, collect them for your compost scheme instead. It’s an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint and the compost is great to spread over your garden bed to encourage the growth of your plants.

If your home isn’t really equipped for a composting space or an outdoor garden, bring the greenery inside instead. Introducing indoor plants to your living space will improve the air quality of your home; simultaneously you’re doing your bit for the planet and reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Use Energy-efficient Appliances

Household appliances and equipment account for about 33% of energy consumption and about 45% of greenhouse gas emissions in the average household. The Australian government identifies high-efficiency appliances and other household products with the Energy Rating label. The program originated as a way to reduce energy waste and pollution by educating consumers on the most efficient and technologically advanced models, with the added bonus of saving them money on energy costs.

From April 2020, the government also introduced zoned energy rating labels for air conditioners. While the old labels simply provided a star energy rating for an air conditioner when used in heating or cooling mode, the new air conditioner labels provide more information including the difference in the energy efficiency of each model of air conditioner across three climate zones and estimated annual energy consumption of each model within these three zones.

Investing in an energy-efficient appliance may cost more upfront, but your reduced energy bills will save you much more in the long run. For example: If you have a fridge over 10 years old, it might be time to upgrade as today’s fridges use about 40% less energy than those made 10 years ago. Think about the cost savings and of course, reducing your energy consumption.

Coping with the New Regulations in Building and Construction – Energy & Water Sector

Construction Quality 

A 2019 Deakin University study found that 85% of newly constructed, multi-owner residential buildings in Australia had some form of defect.

Water damage was found to be the biggest problem in apartment buildings. Researchers also looked at the regulations surrounding defect management and rectification in residential properties.

Contributing Factors to the Building Defects:

  • Human error
  • Misuse of building products
  • Lack of training
  • Lack of licensing

Restoring Buyer Confidence

“The building commissioner is doing his part to restore confidence in the sector, and noted good developers are using good certifiers and good engineers to alleviate any defects or concerns.”  – Fred Faker Arc Energy Group

Horrendous building failures like Opal Tower and Mascot Towers prompted the decision of the NSW government to provide extra regulatory powers to Building Commissioner, David Chandler.

Since Chandler’s appointment to NSW Building Commissioner in 2019, significant changes have taken place in the construction industry:

  • The Design and Building Practitioners Act, 2020
  • The Residential Apartment Buildings Compliance and Enforcement Act, 2020

The reform aims to encourage practitioners to take individual and collective responsibility for their work. Moreover, it seeks to provide owners with an avenue of recourse in the event of a building defect.

  • Apartment building designers and building practitioners performing design and construction work need to be registered.
  • All construction drawings must be declared by a designer and uploaded to a public online portal.
  • Before occupancy, the developer must declare that the final property build matches the submitted drawings, in every detail.

Energy Efficiency & Hot Water Flow requirements  

The National Construction Code (NCC)

The National Construction Code (NCC) sets out the requirements for the design and construction of a building in Australia, including plumbing and drainage.

A building, plumbing or drainage solution will comply with the NCC if it satisfies the relevant Performance Requirements. These include:

  • Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Provisions
  • Verification Methods
  • Performance Solutions

Changes are coming for all three volumes of the NCC, and implementation will take place on September 1, 2022. The proposed update falls in line with the targets set out in the Australian government’s Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings. The changes are seen as an important step towards more healthy and comfortable homes for Australian families.

“More energy-efficient houses provide a win-win-win opportunity in terms of jobs, energy savings and emission reduction, and are essential as we progress towards a zero-carbon future. Australia’s homeowners and tenants need certainty that they are gaining the health, comfort, efficiency and environmental benefits that they could reasonably expect.”   – Professor Ken Maher AO, President, ASBEC

NCC Changes to Plumbing and Drainage Regulations

The proposed residential energy efficiency provisions for NCC 2022 include changes to the Performance Requirements and compliance options. They also include changes that will impact the plumbing industry.

  1. Limiting Lead In Plumbing Materials

92 per cent of health professionals and plumbing suppliers agree that lead content in products that come into contact with drinking water should be reduced.

Currently, the use of lead in plumbing products is permitted by Australian Standards. Some products that come in contact with drinking water can contain up to 6 percent lead. The proposed limitations will see maximum levels of 0.25 per cent for all new copper alloy products which come into contact with drinking water.

  1.           Quantification of Performance Requirements

Performance Requirements have been quantified across several areas. Quantification related to plumbing and drainage include:

  • Flow rate and pressure
  • Water efficiency
  • Sanitary plumbing
  • Microbial growth

Regulatory Pressure

Developers and builders are facing regulatory pressure from their local council and the Building Commissioner. With the coming NCC changes, expert consultation will be required to stay compliant.

Best Practices vs. Industry Standards 

Currently, developers must ensure that hot water doesn’t take more than 30 seconds to get to an apartment. Arc Energy has been providing hydraulic reviews to illustrate more efficiencies for builders and developers. The outcome for all occupants is no fast hot water and higher energy efficiency.

Best practices are a set of guidelines, ethics or ideas that represent the most efficient or prudent course of action. Standards are often set forth by an authority, such as a governing body or management, depending on the circumstances. While best practices generally dictate the recommended course of action, some situations require that industry best practices be followed.

Arc Energy, Australia’s leading managed network provider, helps developers ensure that guidelines and best industry standards are met. They can peer review and design best practice outcomes and provide professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective.

Australia’s Rush Into Electric Vehicle Ownership

Consumer interest in electric vehicles (EV) continues to surge thanks to high fuel prices and rising climate concerns. EV sales have tripled from 6,900 in 2020, to 20,665 in 2021, as reported by the Electric Vehicle Council.

“Higher fuel prices we’ve seen around the world encourage people to switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles and additional uptake of hybrid and electric vehicles.”

  •  Professor Paul Burke, Head of the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics at ANU

In the US market, it’s been predicted that new EV sales will reach 50 percent by 2030. While Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) predicts that all new cars will be EVs by 2044.

Electric Vehicle Subsidies

Aside from the potential for long-term savings, state and territory governments are actively investing in EV uptake initiatives. For instance, NSW has dedicated $171 million to

to be spent on charging infrastructure. Other incentives include:

  • Rebates
  • Waived or reduced stamp duty
  • Registration fee discounts
  • Zero-interest loans for energy-efficient home upgrades and zero-emission vehicles


‘EV Ready’ New Developments

“Energy efficiency is becoming less optional and more necessary, if you look at the way the world is going. The next generation of renters is more demanding of green outcomes, too.″⁣ – Anil Sagaram, Chief Executive, Acacia Money

New developments are being marketed as ‘EV Ready’ to attract premium values. Groups have also been lobbying to ensure new builds are ready to accommodate EV charger installation. As a result, regulations requiring such an accommodation could come into effect as early as 2023.

The EV Charging Outlook for the ACT 2021 suggested that 70 percent of charging will occur at home. Other studies place this figure at  80 – 90 percent, and this places existing apartment and unit buildings in unchartered territory.

It’s no surprise that 71 percent of Australians support rebates to reduce the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle. Neither is it surprising that EV sales increased by nearly 200 percent in 2021. However, it does bring up the question of whether the current infrastructure in Australia is able to adequately support electric vehicles. Specifically, whether existing apartments and unit buildings can be retrofitted to integrate the required electric-vehicle charging stations.

Benefits of Providing EV Charging Stations for Strata and Apartment Buildings 

  1. Appeal to prospective residents and tenants

EV charging stations are bound to become an expected standard by sustainable-minded residents and tenants. Much like, the provision of high speed internet, EV charging infrastructure could make or break buyer and renter decisions.

  1. Increase property value and rental income

Buildings with more sustainable features sell for higher prices than their sustainable counterparts. Renters are more compelled to pay a higher price when the amenities justify the cost.

  1. Improve green ratings and meet sustainability goals

Making provisions for EV charging stations indicates a commitment to sustainability goals and essentially future-proofs your investments.

Challenges for State Governments to Tackle Before EVs Become Mainstream

With all the concerns surrounding existing apartments, the Australian Apartment Advocacy (AAA) has issued a warning to state governments. They’ve warned against ‘throwing around cash subsidies to drive electric vehicle sales’ without careful consideration of the environment needed to house the influx of cars in apartment and unit buildings.

Operators such as Arc Energy provide specialised supply specialised EV charging solutions for strata and apartment buildings. Oftentimes the infrastructure is funded by the operator and costs are recovered from the uses age chargers.

Ahead of the consumer rush to purchase electric vehicles.  Arc Energy is taking appropriate measures to ensure that existing strata and apartment buildings don’t have to handle the inevitable problems that will arise, on their own.

It’s clear that existing strata and apartment buildings have a long way to go before the 2044 prediction of all new cars being EV. However, those issues must be addressed so that Australians can confidently continue to invest in forms of transport.

What Residents Want

With apartment living on the rise, and set to continue, customers are spoilt for choice when it comes to making a decision of where to buy and rent. With the accelerated update of renewables, batteries, EV’s and smart-meters, we know that today’s consumers are demanding more control of their energy use and a better outcome for the planet. Arc Energy is leading the way in the embedded network industry by combining the traditional network system with renewable technology to create smart, efficient, future-proof developments. We partner with developers to improve the marketability of their developments, focussing on the point of difference: The Arc Energy difference.

Low electricity tariffs and Pay-on-time discount

Consumer complaints about energy retailers have been increasing as energy prices rise and household’s struggle to afford basic utilities. We’re committed to making a difference for all Australians by offering them low electricity tariffs as well as a pay-on-time discount.

Renewable Technology

Arc Energy Group is a major player in the renewable energy market, offering renewable technologies including Solar PV, EV Charging Stations and energy-efficient smart-home appliances. This serves as a major bonus for eco-conscience residents who are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. As well as this, our smart metering technology empowers residents to better understand, manage and control their energy usage.

Building Management

Our appointed engineers understand the needs and functionality of your building which means a low-risk arrangement. What that essentially means is that if there is ever an issue with anything utility-related, the Arc Energy team will help your property or strata manager solve the issue or put you in touch with the right people.

Australian Based Call Centre

Arc Energy is an Australian based company with offices in NSW and VIC. Our friendly customer service team organise billing and provide ongoing care for our customers. We’re also committed to educating our clients on reducing and controlling their energy usage through our online resources including explainer videos and simple tips to manage energy consumption.

Why NABERS Energy Ratings Matter

The National Australian Built Environment Rating System, or NABERS, is an important government rating system that measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies and homes. Utilising performance information such as utility bills, NABERS measures the water usage, waste management, energy efficiency and indoor environment quality of a building and its impact on the environment. Not only does a higher NABERS Energy rating indicate a more sustainable building, it evokes common associations with:

  • Lower operating costs
  • More modern plant/equipment
  • Social responsibility
  • Superior energy efficiency
  • Attracting and retaining tenants

Why do your NABERS Energy Ratings Matter?

Beating the Competition

When it comes to a benchmark score rating, the higher your score is, the better. As larger commercial office spaces are required to disclose their NABERS Energy ratings, it’s very easy for the end-user to compare the energy efficiency of different office spaces simply by comparing their NABERS ratings.

A key way to ensure your building comes out on top is to consider your NABERS score in comparison to those of surrounding buildings or spaces. In some cases, it may be worth considering NABERS improvement projects. These have a strong focus on achieving a higher NABERS rating, which may help give that push to beat the competition.


Increase Building Value

A high NABERS rating is a widely recognised mark of excellent environmental achievement. In a tight property market, NABERS can provide a means of distinguishing your building from the rest. NABERS gives companies the confidence to promote their green initiatives and report building performance with reputable government certification. A NABERS rating above the median shows the commitment to environmental performance, creating the opportunity to improve rental returns as tenants and guests, particularly government agencies, are increasingly seeking evidence of environmental responsibility when they choose where to stay.

At Arc Energy, we pride ourselves on being champions for sustainability, offering our clients a suite of renewable energy solutions to shape a better future. Through solar, LED lighting, EV charging facilities, efficient centralised water systems and smart home automation, we have helped developers across Australia reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions, offering their tenants a real point of difference.

Our expert team has the capability to source, install, manage and maintain a suite of renewable energy solutions. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve a higher NABERS rating and add value to your development.

UDIA TV Sponsored by Arc Energy

UDIA TV Sponsored by Arc Energy

As Arc Energy Group continues to lead the way with innovation and vision for a better energy future we also want to make available strategical information on government planning outcomes and possible market shifts by taking advantage of our strong relationship with the Urban Development Institute of Australia. Join us as we hear from Geoff Roberts  AM and Dr Sarah Hill from the Greater Sydney Commission as they outline the Commission’s priority in the COVID-19 economy and now that the LSPS process for Sydney has been completed. Geoff Roberts AM will provide further details of his vision for the Commission in his new role as Chief Commissioner. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A joined by UDIA NSW CEO Steve Mann.

Date:Thursday, June 11
Location:Your desk via webcast

The Electric Vehicle boom will dominate 2020

The electric vehicle boom is upon us with at least eight new electric vehicle models hitting Australian shores in upcoming months. This not only opens up further choice for drivers wanting to reduce private transport emissions but it also allows for drivers to simply have the latest in automotive technology.

New models have been scheduled to arrive in 2020 from Audi, Porsche, Volvo and Polestar, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Mini and a new player on the local scene, EV Automotive. it will see more electric vehicles on local roads in a country that is still lagging behind the global shift to zero emissions transport. By 2030, 3 out of 10 vehicles will be electric. Therefore, it’s becoming increasingly important for developers to consider the future needs of their residents by providing them with these future-proof solutions.

Some may ask why electric vehicles?

They’re cheaper to run

Owners of electric vehicles have the advantage of much lower running costs. The electricity to charge an EV works out to be around a third as much per kilometre as buying petrol for the same vehicle. Making EV facilities more accessible and convenient for residents will ultimately encourage them to consider an electric vehicle over a standard gasoline one.

They can attract new and return customers

Charging stations can also attract new and loyal customers. If your development consists of a restaurant or shopping facility, you might entice customers with your charging stations who might otherwise go somewhere else. As well as this, the installation of EV charging stations also increases customer “dwell-time” by nearly an hour – meaning more time for customers to spend their time and money within the premises.

They can help position you as a Green Leader

If your company is pushing a sustainability strategy, adding EV charging stations is one of the easiest steps you can take. By adding charging stations, you demonstrate to both your employees and customers that you are taking action to promote sustainability and do your part in reducing emissions. Your potential buyers are spoilt for choice when it comes to purchasing an apartment in what is becoming a saturated property market. Installing future-proof amenities will not only make your building stand out from the rest, but it will also position your brand as a sustainable, forward-thinking leader in the market.

EVs represent cutting-edge technology and offer a solution to some of our world’s pollution problems. Installing EV charging stations within your development brings both financial and environmental benefits, and it offers long-term advantages for your brand. Over the past few years, Arc Energy has installed EV stations to some of the nation’s largest developments, the most recent being Melrose Park. When it comes to future-proof, sustainable developments, we’re the embedded network company you can trust. Contact us today to learn how we can help you optimise your development with our range of renewable solutions.

Sky’s the limit: Sydney CBD Skyline set for a Revamp

Sydney’s skyline is set to soar after the state announced it had given approval to the City’s Central Sydney Planning Strategy. This will be the city’s biggest revamp of the CBD skyline since the 1970s.

NSW planning minister Rob Stokes and Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore have approved the 20-year development strategy, which will allow developers to build above current height limits, up to 300 metres, nearly 24-storeys taller than Chifley Tower, the city’s current tallest commercial building. The new strategy will also require all new towers over 55 metres to be at least half commercial in order to maintain Sydney’s status as a global city and economic powerhouse.

As well as increased job and lifestyle opportunities, this announcement provides the chance for future developments to embrace smarter and greener initiatives. Recent developments like Barangaroo have set a new standard, committing to be carbon neutral and water positive through a range of efficient water, energy and waste solutions.

With hundreds of new developments set to emerge in the next two decades, this means larger investments in efficient, smart and renewable technologies to pave the way for Sydney’s smart city vision.