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Archive for 2017

Should We Use Blockchain to Incentivise Energy Efficiency?

Should We Use Blockchain to Incentivise Energy Efficiency?

The meteoric rise of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and other cryptocurrencies this year has placed blockchain well and truly in the hype phase of the Gartner Hype Cycle. Should we jump on the bandwagon and issue our own token for energy efficiency? Whilst "NegaCoin" is an appealing idea, there are several major barriers - the oracle problem, lack of demand/liquidity, the power suck of current blockchain technology and the lack of skilled developers. For now, it's going to sit on our backlog but we'll be watching this space.
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Opportunity Knocks for Mid-Tier Buildings

Opportunity Knocks for Mid-Tier Buildings

Mid-tier buildings make up 80% of Australia's commercial building sector and present easy opportunities to improve energy efficiency for the built environment. While these non-premium buildings have often been neglected, addressing the energy efficiency not only reduces costs, but translates into vast benefits such as increased occupancy comfort and attracting/retaining both key tenants and employee talent. Read through to see the challenges, initiatives, options, and rewards by addressing energy efficiency in this sector.
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Should We Stop Adani?

Should We Stop Adani?

The Queensland state election is on this Saturday and the Adani coal mine is a hot campaign topic. Green groups are advocating strongly to "Stop Adani" but I'm not so sure that's the right message. Hasty solutions from either side won't work. What we need is a long term plan for how to generate secure employment for far north Queenslanders for decades to come. With automation threatening to decimate blue collar jobs, it's time to start thinking about how to retrain and upskill resources sector workers.
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Takeaways From Australian Testing Days 2017

Takeaways From Australian Testing Days 2017

Didn't make it to Australian Testing Days last week? Never fear, I've summarised the most impactful sessions through clumsily drawn sketchnotes (plus some words). In this article, I document the Humpty Dumpty Effect, Test Sketching, creating a bubble of agile in your organisation, risk profiling your app and model-based test automation.
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Transport Priorities in Sydney

Transport Priorities in Sydney

While a massive $45B is being funnelled into WestConnex and associated roads, a paltry $60M/year is celebrated for spending on bike infrastructure while enforcing draconian fines. Active infrastructure for walking and biking comes at a low cost with vast benefits to health, local and city economies, jobs, and traffic congestion. It's high time the state government resets its focus on public good to fund projects that deliver good value for money, return urban space to people instead of cars, prioritise human activities, and increase public transport options to expand the currently limited capacity.
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Ten Unconventional Ways to Reduce Your Energy Consumption

Ten Unconventional Ways to Reduce Your Energy Consumption

Many of the recommendations for improving energy efficiency are quite boring and non radical. Turn down your thermostat, switch off lights when you go home for the day ... yawn! To make energy efficiency more appealing, I have come up with ten unconventional (some might say radical) ways to save power.
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Five Big Ideas From the EnergyLab Hackathon

Five Big Ideas From the EnergyLab Hackathon

A few weeks ago, EnergyLab ran a one-day hackathon in Sydney. Thirty people got together to brainstorm ideas and build prototypes for the future of Australia's energy system. I went along for the final pitch session and was inspired by the scale of ambition and the quality of the ideas. Some of them will take a fair bit of work to execute but hopefully the teams persevere and unleash their products on the market.
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Variability: Efficiency Tweaks for Your A/C

Variability: Efficiency Tweaks for Your A/C

A/C systems can be set up to use 30-50% less power if variable control technologies such as variable speed drives (VSD), variable air volume (VAV), and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) are used. These technologies allow A/C systems to operate efficiently at part-load, lowering energy use and extending lifetimes. Find out more about how these can fit into your current site with our guidelines on the relative advantages for each type.
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My First Month at COzero

My First Month at COzero

About a year ago I made a decision to transition into the tech industry. I went from working in the logistic industry to working in the tech industry. It's been a challenging experience of continual learning. Now that I'm working at COzero this is where the real learning. It has been a challenging but rewarding experience starting my first role in the tech industry.
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424 Things You Should Know Before Sitting AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate Exam

424 Things You Should Know Before Sitting AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate Exam

Want to pass the AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate exam? Here are some study tips including 424 questions you should be able to answer before sitting the exam.
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A Standard Work-Breakdown Structure for Data Science

A Standard Work-Breakdown Structure for Data Science

In a previous post we introduced how we are approaching data science at COzero, making sure it is an integral part of our DNA as a company. However, data science processes are usually described by some rendition of elements of the scientific method or at times borrowing terms and procedures from statistics. Here we present our interpretation of that process in more detail, which we don't claim is the whole truth but a conscious effort to remove the hype to make the process sustainable from a business perspective.
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Data Science in a Business Context

Data Science in a Business Context

Much is said about the successes and failures of the new kid on the block, data science, and arguably there is much hype about it today. But being at the core of COzero's DNA, we made a conscious effort to remove the hype and use data science within our business. What does it mean for a company to do data science? Here is our answer.
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What Do Changes to NABERS Building Standards Mean for Businesses?

What Do Changes to NABERS Building Standards Mean for Businesses?

Australia's NABERS building standards program has been in effect since 1998 and has helped building owners save more than $100 million in the last seven years alone. In July, 2017, the program was extended to cover even more commercial buildings. To commemorate this milestone, I'll review how NABERS compares to other efficiency rating programs around the world and examine whether NABERS compliance has a positive return on investment.
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What Does the Power of Choice Ruling Mean for Australian Businesses?

What Does the Power of Choice Ruling Mean for Australian Businesses?

From December 2017, all new buildings will get smart meters as part of the AEMC's Power of Choice ruling. Are we all doomed to grow extra eyeballs from the radiation from smart meters and have our homes broken into due to meter data hacks or could the extra data that smart meters provide make the grid stronger and more efficient? It will all depend on the success of the implementation but hopefully the learnings from smart meter rollouts in Victoria and Italy will make Power of Choice a tour de force for Australia's electricity market.
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How Does Australia's Energy Efficiency Compare to Other Countries?

How Does Australia's Energy Efficiency Compare to Other Countries?

Since 2012, Australia has plummeted from 6th place in the ACEEE international energy efficiency benchmarking report to 16th. During the same period, Japan has leapt forward from 6th place to 2nd place in 2016. Both countries have substantial room for improvement and our hope is that efforts from utilities in both countries to help their customers reduce energy consumption will propel Japan and Australia up the ranks in the 2018 report.
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Optimising Operational Hours to Minimise Capacity and Consumption Charges

Optimising Operational Hours to Minimise Capacity and Consumption Charges

Having an efficient operational profile makes the difference between flicking an electricity bill over to accounts payable and having a heart attack while skimming over the capacity charges. It's important to ramp equipment up sensibly so that you can maximise occupant comfort and productivity without causing consumption spikes.
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When Does Submetering Make Sense?

When Does Submetering Make Sense?

Managing energy consumption without submetering is like trying to drive without headlights. If you manage a large site, submetering gives you granular consumption data so you can pinpoint waste, streamline your operational profile and pass on costs to tenants.
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Dealing With Electricity Bill Shock Post July 1

Dealing With Electricity Bill Shock Post July 1

Electricity prices have skyrocketed since July 1st but that doesn't mean you just have to groan and pay up. Take ownership of your bill - negotiate a better rate and then use the bill shock as motivation to decouple your revenue from your electricity bill. There are a myriad of ways to reduce your energy consumption whilst serving customers better. Our customers typically find they can reduce their consumption and capacity charges by 20%. That'll do a lot more for your bottom line than trying to haggle over a few cents/kWh.
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Energy Efficiency Breakthroughs in Data Centres

Energy Efficiency Breakthroughs in Data Centres

In 2008 there were dire projections that data centres would become a tremendous strain on the grid. However, concerted efforts from Google, Amazon, Facebook and other tech giants to improve energy efficiency have meant that although the total number of installed servers has dramatically increased since 2008, energy consumption has remained stable. How did they do it and what can businesses in other industries learn from this efficiency breakthrough?
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Streamlining Our Deployment Processes With Docker and Buildkite

Streamlining Our Deployment Processes With Docker and Buildkite

Docker makes replicating builds fast and easy, Buildkite pipelines manage build, test and deploy steps, and AWS removes most management overhead from our infrastructure requirements.
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