Which Energy Source will lead Australia to Sustainability?

Australia is a major supplier of energy to the world markets, exporting over three-quarters of its energy output, worth nearly $80 billion. Our country’s resource and energy exports accounts for over 60% of total export earnings. With this being the case and sustainability being the target, it leaves our state of affairs highly questionable.

Let’s start with coal. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal. Among the many advantages of coal is that it provides significant employment opportunities for Australians, a big tick for our economy. It is plentiful (currently), easy to access and convert to energy and once mined it can be stored with no hazard risk. Unfortunately, the worst type of pollution is from the burning of coal as it not only releases high levels of carbon dioxide, but emits radiation, with the waste contributing more radiation to the environment than nuclear power stations. These emissions are linked to major health concerns, including respiratory illnesses and lung disease.

Is climate change and the growing rate of cancer and other illnesses a direct consequence of the high level of burning coal?


  • Australia has the best quality coal worldwide
  • Coal equates to 20% of Australia’s export
  • Coal operates at 59% efficiency
  • The burning of brown coal equates to over 57% of electricity production in Australia alone
  • Brown coal is a far greater pollutant than black coal (Australia burns brown coal)
  • The toxins released from the burning of coal has been proven to be a contributor of heart and lung alignments, as well as neurological problems
  • Based on the current export rate, coal resources in Australia will be completely depleted by the year 2120

Burning coal produces about 15 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.


Natural gas is the most used energy source; it’s highly combustible and is the cleanest fossil fuel energy source available. Natural gas can be used in the form of compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Natural gas produces nearly a third less carbon dioxide than coal and almost half less than oil when burned.

  • Australia is currently the biggest exporter of gas
  • Gas equates to 19% of Australia’s electricity production
  • Gas equates to 50% efficiency
  • The combustion of gas omits less than 60% of CO2 emissions than coal


Uranium used in nuclear power plants for electricity generation is in fact the most efficient and environmentally friendly energy source. Australia has one third of the world’s total uranium. Nuclear energy originates from the splitting of uranium atoms, which generates heat to produce steam and then used by a turbine generator to generate electricity.

Nuclear is able to operate at 98.9% efficiency.

Uranium is an extremely ‘clean’ source of electricity generation because nuclear power plants don’t burn fuel; they don’t produce greenhouse gas emissions. However, only around 10% of the world’s electricity is generated via this method, because if it’s not stored, maintained or disposed of correctly, radioactive material can leak. Therefore, nuclear power plants must be maintained and if they are maintained correctly (complete shutdown required), they are extremely safe.

If you look at the statistics over 18,500 cumulative reactor-years of commercial operation in 36 countries there have only been three major accidents to nuclear power plants: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.


Renewable Energy

Renewable energy makes up 22% of Australia’s electricity production, with Hydro (Hydroelectricity) being the largest renewable energy contributor.


Hydro (flowing water) produces low greenhouse gas emissions and low operating costs. On the downside, interruptions of natural water flow can have a negative impact on river ecosystems and it involves high upfront capital costs.


Wind operates at 32% efficiency and Australia has the best wind sources globally. However, wind fluctuates and therefore wind energy isn’t constant. Wind turbines are very expensive and cause noise pollution.



Solar panels produce no greenhouse gas emissions and are virtually maintenance free, once installed. However, they are made up of ruthenium, indium, tellurium, lead and lithium and when disposed of these toxic materials can leach out as they break down; landfill also creates new environmental hazards.


Geothermal energy (heat from the Earth) can be extracted without burning a fossil fuel such as coal, gas, or oil. Geothermal fields produce only about one-sixth of the carbon dioxide that a relatively clean natural-gas-fuelled power plant produces. However, it has a high investment cost along with leak, water contamination and corrosion concerns.

Sugar Cane

Sugarcane is a well-known biofuel source. Ethanol from sugarcane yields 25% more energy than the amount used during the production process, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 12% compared to fossil fuels. Growing sugar cane requires a warm, rainy climate, which limits its potential as a global fuel source.

Wave Energy

Wave energy (or wave power) captures energy by ocean surface waves. Water and waves are abundant and widely available with a variety of ways in which to harness. There is no damage to the land and huge amounts of energy can be produced. The biggest disadvantage is location (getting your energy from the waves), along with the disruption to marine life.

The biggest area of growth is renewable energy (mostly hydro) and is now a cheaper energy source for electricity generation than coal. An important factor to remember is that the oceans are nearly the largest source of energy. The energy production is definitely constant and viable. Not only is that, despite the costs, the ocean is also a source of absolutely clean and renewable sources of energy.


Sustainable Energy Goals

If global renewable targets from each country are met, by 2070 the entire planet will have ‘net zero emissions;’ an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and greenhouse gas emissions taken out of the atmosphere.

Are global renewable targets realistic?

Australia is rich in fossil fuels and is dependent on export and the Australian Federal Government has not committed to meeting their own energy targets. In other parts of the world, renewable energy production is the fastest growing source of jobs. The pathway to a renewable future in our fossil fuel rich country is a political one, which indicates why Australia’s commitment to renewable energy production is quite low.

Australia’s electricity grid is not suitable for renewable energy, so this poses other difficulties. To upgrade Australia’s grid it would be estimated to take in excess of 20 years. However, Australia’s electricity grid is suitable for nuclear. In conjunction with nuclear, coal power could be used to provide an alternative source of electricity during scheduled nuclear power plant maintenance.

The environmentally damaging production and recycling of some renewables makes nuclear energy a far cleaner and environmentally friendly choice, even if coal was to be used as an alternate energy supply during plant maintenance. All this poses many questions about the current decisions being made by the Australian Federal Government. By reading between the lines, it’s not hard to understand which energy source is better for Australia’s economy and which are better for the environment.

Underfloor heating systems can save you money and energy.

The World’s Safest and Smartest Underfloor Heating System

Why not consider floor heating for your family home or place of business this winter and take away the chill?
Livella underfloor heating systems are smart, featuring world first technology that saves you money and enormous amounts of energy for our environment.

Prolux Electrical Contractors are the electrician’s in Melbourne who provide installation for Livella Floor Heating in Melbourne. Prolux provide residential homes, commercial businesses and industrial warehouses with both energy efficient and cost effective heating solutions: in-slab and on-slab radiant floor heating.

What is in-slab underfloor heating installation?
In-slab heating is the process of laying floor heating cables within a concrete slab and therefore needs to be done when construction is happening.

What is on-slab underfloor heating installation?
On-slab or above floor heating is the process of clipping heating cables to set concrete and then screeding over (thin layer of cement and sand mixture placed on top) the floor heating cables and either tiling, laying floor boards or carpet over it. This can be done after construction, at a later stage.

What are the benefits of using electric underfloor heating?

  1. Clean and Safe Heat
    Livella floor heating systems produce clean, safe heat. Electric floor heating is both a healthy and more responsive alternative than the other traditional heating appliances, making it perfect for use throughout your office or home, as a family friendly option. Unlike heaters that are mounted on the wall, gas or fire log heaters or lamp heaters that just produce very hot heat in only one area, floor heating systems deliver gentle low temperatures evenly throughout, for a superior, all clean and safe heat effect.
  2. Suitable for Wet Areas
    Underfloor heating is waterproof, making it perfectly safe for use in all wet areas: bathrooms, showers, wet rooms and other public amenities. If there is damage to the floor heating system, e.g. accidentally drilling a doorstop through the floor, then your RCD or safety switch will instantaneously disconnect power from the heating cable.
  3. Asthmatic and Allergy Friendly Heat
    Livella floor heating is the most allergy and asthma friendly form of heating available. Because floor heating systems bypass air, they do not circulate dust, smoke, pollen particles or other allergens, which can prove problematic for asthmatic and allergy sufferers. Livella’s warm floors allows them to deliver continuous comfort and the reliance of convective currents to warm people and surfaces evenly, all whilst greatly enhancing air quality.
  4. Totally Invisible and Unobtrusive Heating
    Underfloor heating is both invisible and unobstructive. Livella floor heating cables can be installed underneath any floor covering, making it an amazing space saver plus keeping it safely out of reach from prying fingers. With floor heating you won’t be looking at unsightly wall heaters or heater vents in and around your home. And, there are no cords to trip over. You wouldn’t even know it is there, apart for the warm radiance you’ll feel beneath your feet.
  5. Natural Warmth
    Livella’s underfloor heating systems are installed only millimetres under floor tiles, timber and carpets and literally take minutes to start warming up your cold rooms, producing natural warmth.

How much does floor heating cost to run?

Floor heating, whether it’s in-slab or on-slab heating is efficient to run and is very cost effective. Running costs equate to one and a half cents per square metre, per hour, which is 0.36 cents per day. Floor heating is also great for drying clothes, as it’s much more cost effective to run than a clothes dryer.

Asthma, Hay Fever & Allergy relief!
Families who suffer from allergies, hay fever or asthma will appreciate the difference that clean, safe heat will provide them with. Finally being able to relax in your warm environment without drying out the air – which is a common cause of eye and nose irritations – or unnecessarily disturbing airborne irritants, is a key benefit to installing floor heating in carpeted rooms. By drying surfaces in a designated room you’ll limit the ability of mould spores and dust mites surviving, which in-turn will create a healthier indoor environment for you and your family.

Like to know more…








It’s obvious why many people are choosing Prolux Electrical Contractors Melbourne to have Livella radiant floor heating installation in their homes and places of business, as the benefits speak for themselves. Call us today so we can create an environment that provides you with SAFE, CLEAN heat.

Call Prolux Electrical Contractors on 1800 800 880
The Melbourne electrician for all of your floor heating electrical requirements.

3/52 Corporate Boulevard, Bayswater VIC 3153

6 Star Energy Efficiency Electrical Maintenance

Energy Management Solutions Melbourne

Prolux Electrical Contractors are committed to bringing innovation to energy management and delivering positive environmental outcomes for tenants, business owners and Property Managers.

We are proud of our energy efficient initiative, ProGreen, which promotes and implements sustainable energy solutions for Australian businesses.

In office tenancies, good energy management means using energy efficiently and avoiding energy waste. The skill is in minimising energy use but still providing the working environment you need to support your business’s operations.

Many businesses, that haven’t as yet made any technical changes to improve their energy efficiency can typically reduce their energy use and associated costs by around 20%, simply by modifying business practices behaviour. This is not only significant for your organisation’s bottom line, but is a significant saving in greenhouse gas emissions, which is of major benefit to the environment.

Understanding the energy use of your business
The amount of electricity your business consumes on a daily basis will vary, depending on the number of people you have employed (both in your office or factory and other locations), your equipment and it’s requirements (the amount of computers, printers, machines, etc), the working hours (the amount of time equipment and other resources are running) and the overall design of your office space (taking things into consideration like natural lighting and use of lifts, air conditioning, toilets, etc), as well as any measures you have taken to improve your energy efficiency.

Typical energy use in an office
While all office environments use energy differently, a typical office energy use can cost up to $35 per square metre annually, this results in up to 500kg of greenhouse gas emissions per square metre every year. Factors like air conditioning can add even more to the equation.

“It is important to understand how your business uses energy, what you pay for directly out of your own pocket and what you pay for indirectly, in the form of base building maintenance services.”

Typical business tenancies use energy as follows:

  • Lighting 30–65%
  • Computers 20–45%
  • Office equipment: such as printers, copiers, small power, etc 5–20%
  • Kitchen equipment 5–10%
(Source: OEH research.)

Three steps to determine how your business consumes energy:

  1. Analyse your energy bills – Look into the best possible price for your business in terms of your consumption patterns and location. Shop around and get the best price, negotiate an electricity supply agreement with an energy retailer.
  2. Analyse your pattern of consumption – You need to do your research or have specialists in electrical building maintenance record data to determine how much energy your building is consuming and in which areas you’re consuming what amounts, in order to implement an efficiency energy strategy. Most corporate office buildings will also be equipped with a Building Management System (BMS). A BMS will have data recorded that you can use to analyse your patterns of consumption. Calculate the average power use per square metre (in W/m²). Use the formula below to calculate:
    Power use (W/m2 ) = (kWh x 1000)/(time interval in hours x floor area)
  3. Calculate your energy rating – To work out your energy rating, you will need:
  • the area of your office premises (in m²)
  • hours of occupancy (in hours per week)
  • postcode
  • number of computers in your office
  • energy use for the tenancy over the past 12 months

To calculate your energy rating, enter this data into the National Australian Built Rating System (NABERS) online calculator, which will estimate a star rating on a scale from 0 to 6. A rating of 6 stars indicates that your premises have market-leading energy efficiency and 0 stars suggest that your building premises are very inefficient in using energy.

Setting up a system to collect, analyse and report on your business’ energy consumption and costs can help you to:

  • maintain savings from existing energy efficiency investments and initiatives
  • identify areas of energy wastage and any new opportunities to save money
  • develop a solid database to enable cost control and external comparison
  • understand trends of energy consumption in your office
  • monitor the greenhouse impact
  • communicate progress

Want a 6 Star Energy Rating for your building?
Installing energy efficient lighting and equipment as part of the base building will achieve cost savings for you. Lighting and equipment include:

  • energy efficient light fittings: T5 or LED lights – lights considered efficient consume less than 8 W/m2
  • configured wiring, so that light switching can be zoned – in this way areas of 60–100 m2 can be switched separately and only small areas will be switched on when they’re needed
  • movement sensors for lighting areas when they are not in use: boardrooms or for office areas after hours
  • photo electric (PE or light-level sensitive) cells to turn off perimeter lights, when there is sufficient daylight
  • sub-metering – tenant lighting and power can be tracked
  • blinds and/or shades on windows – control solar heat gain


Energy Efficient Electrical Maintenance Case Studies:

Base Building Electrical Maintenance

Designing for energy efficiency
Achieving energy efficiency is easiest when you have control in designing the building premises. This is the perfect time to incorporate energy saving technologies, within the design. It is imperative that your premises are designed to be energy efficient from the outset. Once the design has started it becomes increasingly difficult to change and this can also be expensive. With the right brief and knowledge, it is relatively straightforward to design your energy efficient office fit-out, building premise, factory or industrial space.

Lighting for energy efficiency
Lighting can account for more than 60% of tenants’ energy costs in offices, and is one of the biggest consumers of energy directly controlled by tenants. Increases in lighting efficiency will have a significant effect on your energy use. Light fittings available today are far more energy-efficient and have longer lives than in the past, making them cheaper to run and reducing replacement costs. They can provide a range of light qualities for different uses.

Factors to incorporate into your energy efficient lighting plan should include:

  • high-efficiency lamps
  • high-efficiency light fittings
  • low-loss ballasts (preferably electronic)
  • innovative ways to maximise natural light
  • movement detectors
  • light sensors
  • timers

How efficient is your current lighting system?
Office buildings may have inefficient lighting systems; they may be over lit or have outdated equipment. There will be multiple ways in which lighting can be improved to achieve better quality of light to suit the work in your building or factory, energy efficiency, lower heat loads and reduced electrical maintenance.

“Australian Standards suggest that the lighting levels in a typical office should be not less than 320 lux. An efficient lighting system can achieve this by using 7 W/m² or less.”

How much light do you need?
Different tasks need different amounts of light – known as ‘illuminance.’ (Illuminance is measured as the amount of light striking a surface.) Luminance, on the other hand, is what we measure off the surface that has light hitting it. (Luminance is the measurement of the product of the incident light and the surface – anything that is reflected). Illuminance levels for different areas are prescribed in Australian Standards, which set out recommendations for illuminance in lux, lamp colour appearance and rendering, and maximum glare. Find out your building’s lighting requirements and the wattage per square metre prerequisites.

Office equipment and appliances
Do computers, monitors, printers, photocopiers, AV components, etc have a ‘sleep’ mode facility and are they enabled?

Is factory equipment running efficiently? Is 3 phase power being used on industrial machinery and large air conditioning systems and communication and server rooms (data centres)?

Are kitchen appliances highly efficient, with an energy rating of 4 stars or higher?

Can you assign a 24-hour, 7 day timer on the hot water system?

Office planning
Does the planning and design of the office facilitate flexibility in the office layout, and minimise the demand on building services?

Auditing the energy use of your business
An energy audit will evaluate your current energy use and show how you can make and prioritise improvements. An energy audit can be as easy as just walking through the premises and identifying obvious areas of excessive usage or wastage, or it may involve a comprehensive analysis, including sub-metering and data cataloguing to provide a detailed cost-benefit analysis for investigating energy-saving actions. Prolux Electrical Contractors have extensive knowledge in providing clients with energy efficient solutions, saving usage wastage and money: Power Factor Correction, Voltage Optimisation and lighting controls (including LED lights).

Getting the right equipment
Buying energy efficient equipment, have it set-up specifically for your needs and training employees on how to use it effectively will save you money. It will provide you with significant electricity savings and also savings in your air conditioning costs, due to reducing the amount of heat your equipment generates.

“Any equipment that draws electrical power should be chosen based on its efficiency, or managed efficiently to minimise its power use.”

Data centres, communication and server rooms maxing out?
In buildings with large or highly intensive data centres, the IT equipment may in fact take over from lighting as the number one, highest consumer of energy. Data centres and server rooms can typically use between 20 to 100 times the amount of energy per square metre, as a typical general office area. Three phase power can help to improve the energy efficiency of these large data centres and also deliver substantially more power all at the same time.

If you’re looking to achieve a 6 star energy rating for your office building, industrial or commercial building, then don’t hesitate to call Prolux Electrical Contractors today, for a no obligation analysis of the buildings you manage.

Call Prolux Electrical Contractors on 1800 800 880
The electrician for all of your electrical maintenance requirements.

How Power Factor Correction will reduce your commercial building’s energy costs.

Large electrical users face peak demand charges from power companies, effective July 2016.

Facility and Property Managers need to be aware of the new changes associated with electricity and how it will impact electricity costs. Implementing correct Power Factor within a building will be the most effective and economical way of saving costs.

Large electrical users will be affected by the new billing structure from power companies, effective July 2016. From this date, power companies will be charging all large users based on peak demand. Power Factor Correction will ultimately reduce the demand and save on electricity costs.

What is Power Factor Correction?

Power Factor Correction reduces the electrical current drawn from a power company for INDUCTIVE loads. It does this by storing power and providing it to INDUCTIVE loads when required. Energy is stored in capacitor banks, otherwise known as Power Factor Correction Units. Storing power and providing it to INDUCTIVE loads when it’s required will in turn draw less energy from a power company, for the same amount of power that would be required for equipment to work.

Power Factor Correction is a way of raising Power Factor that is less than 1, and bringing it closer to 1, to be more efficient. The closer it gets to 1, the more efficient it’s going to be.

Prolux Electrical Contractors provide Power Factor Correction for Facility Managers of large commercial and industrial factories and corporate office buildings alike, wanting to reduce their energy demand costs. This form of energy efficiency is particularly suitable where large starting currents are required and the Power Factor is brought to an undesirable level.

What is Power Factor? How does Power Factor Correction work?

Power Factor is simply the measure of the efficiency of the power being used. Power Factor is the ratio between the kW and the kVA drawn by an electrical load where the kW is the actual load power and the kVA is the apparent load power.

A Power Factor of 1.0 means that 100% of the power supply is being used efficiently; zero angle, so kW (actual power) = kVA (alleged power). A power factor of 0.5 means that you’re paying more for every kWh used, as the power is being used inefficiently and wasted; the power being used doesn’t match the needs of the load correctly.

In order to fully understand Power Factor and the relevance of Power Factor Correction you must grasp the concept behind it, utilising electrical loads.

A site would typically be made up of two different types of electrical loads: RESISTIVE loads and INDUCTIVE loads.

Halogen / Incandescent Lights         T8 Fluorescent Lights
Heating Elements – Hot Water           Refrigeration Units
Heating Coils – Kitchen Appliances           Air Conditioning Units
Computers & Televisions           Pumps

For RESISTIVE loads, the energy (or electricity) supplied by a power company is exactly the same as the electricity used.

For INDUCTIVE loads, some energy is used up to create a magnetic field, which is a waste of energy. This waste of energy is not used by the load, but is required in order for it to operate.

Power Factor is measured between 0 and 1, with 0 being the least economical, and 1 being the most economical.

Power Factor is the ratio between the electricity required to operate the equipment and the electricity supplied by a power company.”


Power Factor Correction

Think of it like this, if you purchase a bottle of water, you pay for the whole bottle, including the section at the top, which is full of air. In this instance, the bottle is only 99% full. If this was equated to Power Factor, your Power Factor would be 99%, or as we call it, ‘a Power Factor of 0.99.’ If you purchased a bottle with no air in it at all, it would be 100% full, therefore the Power Factor would be 1 – perfect Power Factor.

If you purchase a bag of chips, you pay for the whole bag, even if it’s only three quarters (3/4 or 75%) full. If this was equated to Power Factor, your Power Factor would be 75%, or as we call it ‘a Power Factor of 0.75.’

The air in the bag is referred to as REACTIVE Power, the chips are referred to as REAL Power and the bag of chips before it’s opened is referred to as APPARENT Power.


With an understanding of the difference between REACTIVE, REAL and APPARENT power you’ll be able to comprehend how implementing Power Factor will cost you less.

RESISTIVE loads are like the bottle of water. INDUCTIVE loads are like the bag of chips.

Similarly, if you use a motor which is 10 horsepower (hp) and you run it with a Power Factor of 0.75, the energy that a power company has to supply to you in order for the motor to run is 13.3 hp (10 hp + 75% of 10 hp which is 3.3 hp = 13.3 hp). There is a 3.3 hp loss in creating a magnetic field in the motor. Remembering a motor is an INDUCTIVE load, so all INDUCTIVE loads will have this same issue.

If the Power Factor was 1 (perfect), then the 10 hp motor would only need to draw 10 hp from a power company. If the Power Factor was 0.5, then the 10 hp motor would need to draw 15 hp from a power company.

When to use Power Factor Correction

One very important aspect of improving quality of supply is the control of Power Factor. Low Power Factor means poor electrical efficiency. The lower the Power Factor, the higher the apparent power drawn from the distribution network.

By installing suitably sized switched capacitors into the power distribution circuit, the Power Factor is improved and the value becomes closer to 1.0, therefore minimising wasted energy, improving efficiency, liberating more kW from the available supply and saving you money.

The purchase cost of the installation is usually repaid in less than a year’s electricity savings.

How Power Correction affects your electricity bill

From July 2016, kVA will be used to measure electricity demand, instead of kW.

kVA encourages users to manage their peak kVA demand, improve electrical efficiency and drive down overall electricity costs. Reducing maximum kVA demand is the most effective way of reducing an electricity bill. The most economical way this can be reduced is by improving Power Factor.

An electricity company supplies you with VOLTS x AMPS, they have to supply you with extra to make up for the loss caused by a poor power factor. When the power factor falls below a set figure, the electricity supply companies charge a premium on the kW being consumed, or, charge for the whole supply as kVA by adding reactive power charges (kVar) to your bill.

The better the Power Factor, the less energy you are going to require from a power company. You are billed for your usage of power as well as the demand. Demand is the amount of power that a power company supplies to you.

There are generally two major components on an electricity bill that your charge is calculated on. DEMAND and USAGE.

The higher the DEMAND, the more you will be billed and the more the USAGE the more you will be billed.

Power Factor Correction will lower the DEMAND, and in turn this will then lower the USAGE.

Reflects the amount of power required on site, for all equipment to work.

Reflects the amount of power actually used by all of the equipment.


If we only have 1 x 10 hp (7.4 kw) motor being billed and the Power Factor is 0.75 (as per the example shown previously), we know that 13.3 hp (9.8 kVA) is required, therefore the demand charge will be based on 9.8 kVA.

If we only have 1 x 10 hp (7.4 kw) motor being billed with Power Factor of 1 (corrected by a Power Factor Correction Unit), the demand charge will be based on 7.4 kVA.

Power Factor Correction Solutions:

  • Voltage Improvement
  • Filter Reactors
  • Capacitor Ratings
  • Power Loss Reduction
  • Power Factor Correction Capacitors

Maintenance of Capacitor Banks

It is important that regular inspections are carried out to help prevent an early failure and pick-up any faults. A routine inspection should ensure:

  • fuses are not damaged
  • contactors are operational
  • discharge resistors are operational
  • tightness of all electrical connections
  • removal of dust and deposit build-up
  • filters are checked and cleaned
  • tong test of capacitor current

How you’ll save money with a Power Factor Correction Unit

For a 25 storey building that’s 15-20 years old, a Power Factor of 0.65 would be expected.
Based on this, supply and installation of a Power Factor Correction Unit would cost circa $14,000 and generate savings of $450-$500 per month (refer to Preliminary Proposal).



Power Factor Correction is an investment that helps to improve your profit performance. Victoria has existing penalty structures in place for customers that operate on a poor Power Factor.

If you’d like a complimentary Preliminary Proposal with your ROI for the buildings you manage, simply provide us with the interval data for the past 12 months (available from your current electrical retailer).

Call Prolux Electrical Contractors on 1800 800 880 for more information.

Chameleon LED Lighting Solutions

Save energy and reduce your lighting costs…

Case Study
Car park lighting – installation of Chameleon LED lights

To improve lighting in underground car park. Lighting currently used is halogen globes and the company is requesting to save costs, reduce energy consumption and the frequency of service and maintenance required for these lights also.

Scope of Works
To install LED tubes as a direct replacement to the fluorescent tubes currently in place. To remove 232 x 36w tubes from 116 existing twin fluoro fittings. The project consists of opening up the fittings, bypassing the ballast and starter and re-assembling the fitting. Installing 232 LED tubes with a microwave sensor will reduce the lights to 30% brightness after no motion is detected (integrated microwave sensor instantly turns the light to full power mode once a presence is detected in the area). Furthermore, removing 117 x 36w tubes from one side of the existing emergency battens and fitting a new tube with a microwave sensor will again reduce the lights to 30% brightness after no motion is detection. Only one side can be done, as the other side must remain as a fluoro tube so the emergency light will operate correctly. Replace lighting in store room to LEDs (a premium LED replacement will last 20,000 hours). Supply, wire and install 5 x replacement LED globes to the store room area on level 6. Supply, wire and install motion detector controls for the above lights and remove the key switch control.

“Did you know lighting can make up to 80% of your total electricity bill?”

Outcome and Benefits
LED tube change over to car park to reduce energy consumption by up to 90% and CO2 emission by 200.3 tonnes p.a. A financial cost saving for the company of $160,000 by Year 5 and a maintenance and electrical saving for the company of $35,438 by Year 5; significant savings. Furthermore, a benefit of an annual electrical consumption reduction from 160,000 kWh to 20,000 kWh.

“On average, most companies will save over 50% on their overall lighting cost.”

Conclusion and Recommendations
Replace all 236 T8 Fluoro Tube 1200mm lamps/lights (double and single) with Chameleon 10 Chip lamps/lights in the car park. The Chameleon provides light when it is needed. It is designed for use in fire stairs, car parks and service corridors. It has a generous integrated heat sink to maximise LED performance supporting a life span of 50,000 hours. It also has a keyed lock for fast & easy removal of fixture, without requiring power to be isolated if required. Data logging of completed installations has demonstrated use of these areas of less than 3%, enabling industry leading energy saving results.

“Every kilowatt per hour saved in lighting can help save greenhouse gas emissions.”


Call Prolux Electrical Contractors today on 1800 800 880 for a discussion on how we can help you achieve maximum energy efficiency for your building’s lighting requirements.

How can I reduce my Electricity Bill?

How can I reduce my Electricity Bill?

Identifying the key areas relating to your household’s electricity bill is paramount in keeping energy costs down.


What are the main areas of energy consumption in households across Melbourne?

Firstly you need to ask yourself ‘what facilities in my home consume the most energy?’ By understanding the way in which you use energy within your home will help you save money. Let’s look at what consumes the most energy in the average Melbourne household. Heating and cooling tops the chart with approximately 40%, followed by water heating at around 25%. Household appliances equates for approximately 18% (including those in stand-by mode), with fridges and freezers consuming around 6% as does lighting with 6% and finally cooking with an average of 5%.


What appliances in my home are costing me the most to run?

Ducted air conditioners and heaters use the most energy, followed by electric hot water units, plasma TVs, large LCD TVs, fridges/freezers and clothes dryers. These may vary depending on the models used, age of appliances, wattage and usage rates; averages only.

If you have a swimming pool or large spa they’ll use around 1,500kWh-3,000kWh of electricity per year with running costs of between $600 and $1,200; running costs dependent on the type and size of the pump, how long it’s run for and whether it’s heated.


Tips to help you save $

Water Heating / Shower: Did you know that switching your high pressure shower head from a high flowing nozzle to a 3 star rated shower head can reduce your usage by half? And don’t forget to switch off your hot water service when you’re going away!

Laundry / Washing: Wash in cold water. Detergents on the market these days provide great cleaning results washing in cold water and it’s better for the environment.

Heating in winter and cooling in summer: For each degree below the recommended level for summer and degree above for winter will increase your household’s energy consumption by around 10%. Remember 24-26 degrees for air conditioning in summer and 18-20 degrees for heating in winter.

Check and save $: Do you have an off peak rate? If so, when is it? Why not take advantage of the cheaper time slots and switch on your washing machine or dishwasher during that time. It’s also important to keep an eye on your electricity bills to monitor any price increases – switch if you’re not happy or find a better supplier to suit your needs.


Do you know the restrictions relating to the amount of Artificial Lighting and Power permitted?

What are the restrictions relating to Artificial Lighting and Power for Buildings?

It’s important to know the regulations of the Commercial Building(s) you’re managing. Non-Residential incorporates Classes 3 and 5 through to 9 and for the Common Areas of Class 2 Buildings. Section J of the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) outlines the National Construction Code (NCC) requirements for Artificial Lighting & Power and Building Classes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Section J, it assesses the compliance of the energy efficiency measures in the Artificial Lighting and Power Design and must be adhered to in all buildings.

The Lighting Calculator for Property Managers…

As a Property Manager, you can be faced with the difficult task of making sure each building complies with strict regulations. Prolux Electrical Contractors can assist in identifying lighting and power requirements and can provide you with valuable solutions. Furthermore, the Lighting Calculator has been designed by the ABCB to assist in developing a better understanding of lighting energy efficiency parameters. To put in simply, it helps you to identify the wattage per square metre for each room, to work out the Illumination Power Density for areas outlined, while taking into consideration all variable factors. Illumination Power Density is the total power that would be consumed by lights in any given space, this includes lamps, ballasts (device to limit the amount of current in an electric circuit), current regulators and control devices (lighting timer, motion detectors or dimming devices) other than those that are plugged directly into a socket outlet for intermittent use, such as floor standing lamps, desk lamps or work station lamps, divided by the floor area of the space. Multiple Lighting Systems refers to the Illumination Power Load when multiple lighting systems serve the same space.

Download the NCC Lighting Calculator

Just a few properties Prolux Electrical Contractors have serviced, in and around Melbourne’s CBD…

441StKildaRdMelbourne 50QueenStMelbourne CollinsStMelbourne






Building Classes:

Class 1a – Detached, Terrace, Townhouse or Villa
Class 1b – Guesthouse
Class 2 – Two or more Sole Occupancy Units
Class 3 – Accommodation or Residence in Public Building
Class 4 – Only Dwelling in Class 5,6,7,8 or 9 Building
Class 5 – Office Building
Class 6 – Shop Building
Class 7a – Car Park
Class 7b – Warehouse – Storage or Display
Class 8 – Laboratory or Building used for production
Class 9a – Health Care Building
Class 9b – Public Assembly Building
Class 9c – Aged Care Building
Class 10a – Sheds and Garages
Class 10b – Non-Habitable Structure

How many Watts per Square Metre can Building Owners and Tenants use under ABCB guidelines?

–  For lighting indoors – 5 watts per square metre
–  For lighting in outdoor areas, including pergolas – 4 watts per square metre
–  For lighting in garages or sheds – 3 watts per square metre

These percentages relate to maximum usages. Exceptions to this rule only exist when certain lighting controls are used, and this may vary depending on specific structures and set-ups. An LED globe, for example, may use a tenth of the power that a halogen globe uses to create an equivalent amount and style of light. Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) also offer significant energy savings. Lighting variables can alter these figures; dimmers and motion detectors and lighting regulations don’t account for lamps and other non-permanent lighting fittings either, provided that they’re not directly wired in. Body Corporate Managers must ensure there is adequate public lighting to illuminate all hallways and common areas, or risk liability. In regards to light fittings, if they are recessed in the ceiling, it is the Owners Corporation’s responsibility. If it hangs into the lot, it’s the owner’s responsibility.

What does all this mean for Property Managers?

The table below identifies the Wattage per Square Metre for Non-Residential Buildings.

Wattage per Sq/M                           Power Density for Specific Area
9 watts                                                Office – artificially lit to 200lx or more
7 watts                                                Office – artificially lit to less than 200lx
5 watts                                                Service Area (Change Room, Staff Room)
6 watts                                                Public Toilets
12 watts                                              Laboratories – artificially lit to 400lx or more
13 watts                                              Health Care (Care areas and Corridors)
7 to 10 watts                                       Health Care (Children’s Ward and Examination Room)
17 watts                                              Factories/Industrial
9 watts                                                Switchboard Room
10 watts                                              Conference/Board Room
10 watts                                              Auditorium/Church/Public Hall
8 watts                                                Common Rooms/Corridors in Class 2 Building
15 watts                                              Entry Lobby from outside Building
22 watts                                              Retail/Shop
5 watts                                                Plant Room
8 to 10 watts                                       Storage Room
10 watts                                              Wholesale Storage and Display Area
6 watts                                                Car Park
25 watts                                              Car Park Entrance – first 20 metres
10 watts                                              Lounge Area for Communal use in Class 3 Building
5 watts                                                Sole Occupancy of Class 3 Building

“Lighting contributes up to 38% of a building’s energy use. It is one of the easiest areas to save energy for owners.
 Australian standards specify minimum luminance levels for different commercial tasks. Work areas require twice the luminance of foyer areas, which in turn are twice those of toilets, passage ways or stairs.”

Need help confirming you’re complying with the ABCB’s Section J?

How do I calculate Watts per Square Metre?

  • Measure each room’s width and length in metres.
  • Multiply the numbers by 3.280839895. For example, a room at 10.2 by 6.4 metres converts to 702.82 feet (10.2 x 3.280839895 = 33.46) (6.4 x 3.280839895 = 20.99).
  • Multiply the length of the room by width to calculate the area in square feet. In our example, the area of the room is 33.46 x 20.99 or 702.32 square feet.
  • Obtain the energy consumption (in watts) in each room. For example, the lighting in this room comes from 30, 75-watt and eight, 100-watt lamps. This equates to 30 x 75 + 8 x 100 = 3,050 watts.
  • Divide the wattage consumed in the room by its area in square feet to calculate the watts per square foot. In our example, 3,050 watts divided by 702.32 square feet equals to 4.34 watts per square feet.

How do I convert Lux to Watts per Square Metre?

One hundred Lux is equal to one Watt per Square Metre. Therefore, when converting Lux to Watts per Square Metre, all that is required is to multiply the number of Watts in question by 100.

For more information, or a detailed analysis on your building’s energy efficiency call Prolux Electrical Contractors today.

Call Prolux Electrical Contractors on 1800 800 880
The Melbourne electrician for all your electrical requirements.

3/52 Corporate Boulevard, Bayswater VIC 3153