A real win-win: Saving strata pros time, money and hassle

  • 14
  • October 29, 2020

This article originally appears in Property Manager Australia Magazine’s inaugural edition.


Technology is evolving at a rapid rate. Everywhere you look, there’s new technology being developed – everyone’s looking to innovate and become the next Apple or Amazon. So what is it that dictates whether new technology survives, and is widely adopted by the masses? In most instances, it’s ease of use.

It’s out of that desire for ease of use that the term ‘plug and play’ was born. Through the years, we’ve seen greater simplification and connectivity to make adopting new technologies a straightforward process. WINconnect’s Community Energy Networks follow this principle.

WINconnect is Australia’s largest provider of community energy networks. We provide state-of-the-art energy infrastructure to developments at no up-front cost; by harnessing the wholesale bulk energy rate, pass through price benefits to residents and tenants, and the technology benefits to the Owners Corporation.

The community energy network infrastructure future proofs buildings by allowing developments to ‘plug and play’ into the latest in sustainable building technologies – like solar panels, electric vehicle charging, and in the not too distant future; battery storage.

We have delivered community energy network infrastructure to more than 1,000 buildings across Australia.

In addition, we have conducted over 50 ‘brownfield conversions’ for commercial and retail centres nationwide – retrofitting the network infrastructure to buildings seamlessly. For over a decade, WINconnect has taken care of the end to end process of installing, establishing and running community energy networks for shopping centres, airports, apartment buildings, retirement villages and residential communities.

We work closely with body corporates and strata managers on community energy network solutions that work for them. We take care of the design, installation, operation and maintenance of the infrastructure, all while bringing the best customer service to residents and tenants.

At WINconnect, we pride ourselves on the part we play in greening buildings, and through our community energy network infrastructure, we enable developments to generate their own renewable energy.

As the community energy network provider, WINconnect serves as the building’s energy retailer – we are responsible for billing residents and tenants, so we take your residents or tenants on as our customers. We pride ourselves on customer service – so body corporates know that residents and tenants are in good hands. At WINconnect, customers experience the benefits of a Melbourne-based call centre where staff have no requirements on the amount of calls they must take per shift. There are no formal KPIs – just a mantra that customers’ concerns are addressed the first time they call.

This could mean spending a little extra time with each caller to offer a more tailored service, rather than a one size fits all approach. We’ve empowered our staff to make decisions on the spot, without tedious approval processes from superiors.

Our new customer billing platform means that we can provide customers access to all information regarding their service in one place. It also means our service can include more market leading reporting, data analytics and optimisation capabilities.

Billing is streamlined – as well as accurate. Customers have no lock in contracts and can switch to an alternate energy retailer beyond the community network if they wish.

We have a track record of working with body corporates to develop solutions that work for them. WINconnect chief operating officer, Simon James, speaks about one of our most innovative tailor-made solutions: “One particular development approached us and said that their number one priority was to be able to install solar panels. However, like many high-rise residential apartment developments, it was clear that traditional rooftop solar was not going to be a viable option for this development.

“While the rooftop itself wasn’t available, we worked with a supplier to source light-weight solar panels that could be glued to the vertical louvred surface on the rooftop.

“What resulted was a fully functional vertical solar panel system solution that will save that building’s body corporate $6,000 per year on energy costs.

“We also provided this development with our digital solar analytics tool which gives us live information on how much energy is being generated at any given time, provides historical generation information, and identifies and communicates any faults with the system that can then be quickly rectified,” said Mr James.

This isn’t the only example of WINconnect saving body corporates on cost, many of our buildings have received free solar panels, which have generated savings of up to $12,000 per annum for one particular owners corporation and offset harmful carbon emissions equivalent to planting 10,000 trees.

Through WINconnect’s community energy network model, body corporates and strata managers enjoy the convenience of one provider for any queries they face. No more hunting for tradespeople to remedy basic utility faults.

When it all comes down to it – WINconnect’s community energy network infrastructure future proofs buildings, enables developments to be able to generate their own renewable energy, saves money for owners corporations and makes life easier for building managers – all while offering exemplary customer service to a development’s residents or tenants. It truly is a win-win for all involved.