Embedded Energy Networks Australia

Unplugging Embedded Networks

A Perspective for AFA Members

The following article has been provided to the Australian Furniture Association by our partner, Energy Action.

Most business are connected directly to the local electrical grid. It’s a setup that gives the advantage to the retail competition. Yet, for some businesses, there’s an alternate reality. They find themselves caught within the complex web of an embedded network. This means they’re separate from the standard regulations and retailer competition.

The result? These businesses are left with no choice but to purchase electricity from the local embedded network operator. Sounds simple, right? Think again.


Embedded Energy Networks Australia

Embedded networks, deceptively elegant in their operation, are structured to maximise profits. They largely serve the interests of its owners and operators, allowing companies to bear the brunt of the energy expenditures. They disguise themselves as able to provide renewable energy solutions, but their prime concern is hardly ever the businesses that actually fund the energy consumption.

Surprisingly, the NSW Government ran an enquiry into embedded networks in 2022, three major findings emerged:

  1. The enquiry highlighted a lack of transparency within the operations of these networks.
  2. Businesses caught in these networks were found to be at a distinct disadvantage due to limited control over their energy usage.
  3. It shed light on the regulatory gaps surrounding these networks, leading to the potential for unfair market practices.

In response to this, the government pledged to tighten regulations surrounding embedded networks. Though the objectives are excellent, a change in government, bureaucracy, and regulatory capture is not providing assistance to NSW companies swiftly.

The right option for the future

While the government mulls over the complexities of regulatory rules, firms can cut ties with embedded energy networks Australia. Investing in independent electrical metering systems might be costly upfront, but the long-term benefits are worth considering. It’s about time businesses pivoted from being energy consumers to strategic energy managers.

Energy Action has some experience in embedded networks. They set-up and ran one that they divested in 2022. Why, you ask? Simply put, we aimed to refine our focus on our core energy procurementenergy management, and net-zero offerings. CleanPeak Energy, the new proprietor of our embedded networks business, committed to growing this venture while continuing to serve existing customers. The result: a win-win situation for everyone involved.

To those Australian Furniture Association (AFA) members who do find themselves in an embedded network, the challenge is to be smart about driving down costs. One method is to transition out of the embedded network and connect to the normal grid. An approach can come with a hefty price tag. Requiring electrical metering investment and installation. If you’re able to fund infrastructure investment, you’ll get access to truly competitive electricity prices.

Having a backup plan

If installing new electrical meters won’t work, there’s a plan B – checking your bills is a straightforward yet effective approach. Make sure that your embedded network charges, including electricity prices, don’t exceed regulated ceilings.

If they charges do look out of line, while your states ombudsman will probably be ineffective, the mention of them to your embedded network operator won’t be – they’ll very quickly pay you proactive cost focussed attention.

Pulling the plug on embedded networks isn’t as daunting as it might initially seem. For AFA members, careful planning can give you options.

To get the best energy results for you and your business, the AFA recommends its partner – Energy Action. Get in contact with them today for a tailored solution that will work for you.