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inside Sparkies on Cruise Ships Apprentice Connect service Project Solar – Seeing the Sun in a New Light THE INTERVIEW: Tom Hafey




table of contents Average Net Distribution 30,756 CAB Audited as of March 2012

HPM Legrand opens super site 05 energy spotlight


sparkies on cruise ships


the buzz


ApprenticeConnect service


project solar


the art of upselling


conference wrap up


the insider’s guide to solar panels


meet a master electrician


benefit spotlight


news from the distributors


regulator wrap up


letter of the law


the interview


gadget guide


techno biz


technical talk


workplace relations


all about ME


test drive


events calendar


shocking photo


the last word


General Enquiries Master Electricians Australia PO Box 2438, Fortitude Valley BC Queensland 4006 PHONE 1300 889 198 FAX 1800 622 914 EMAIL WEB ABN 31 145 178 203

Welcome to the SPRING edition of The Master Electrician.

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EDITOR Malcolm Richards ASSOCIATE EDITOR Kirsty Bond ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Janelle MacDonald PHONE 07 3252 4860 EMAIL DESIGN AND PRINT POMO 07 3844 3873

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the electrical apprentices who started their training last year, an astounding 27 per cent are likely to cancel this year. In an industry where apprentices are the backbone and future for ongoing success, a new service is set to revolutionise the apprenticeship process and help lower the drop-out rate significantly. Turn to page 18 to read more about how ApprenticeConnect can help your business and the industry as a whole. Having very recently joined the MEA team, I have learnt a great deal about the electrical industry – where it has been, but more importantly, where it is going and how MEA is committed to raising quality within the industry. Turn to page 20 to check out Australia’s most advanced commercial solar farm project which recently launched in Toowoomba – an excellent example of where the industry is heading. Until next time. Associate Editor or call 1300 889 198

The Master Electrician is printed on environmentally responsible paper sourced from accredited sustainable forestry plantations. The paper is made with Elemental Chlorine Free pulps (ECF)

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Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this publication are offered solely in pursuance of the objects of the Electrical Contractors Association and Master Electricians Australia to provide an informative service to contractors in the electrical industry on legal, commercial and other issues and problems related to the industry. The Electrical Contractors Association and Master Electricians Australia are not aware that any person intends to act or rely upon such statements and opinions contained in this publication or the manner in which it might be possible to do so. The Electrical Contractors Association and Master Electricians Australia issues no invitation to any member or other persons to act or rely upon such statements or opinions or any of them and it accepts no responsibility for any of them. It intends by this provision to exclude, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for any such statements and opinions. The Master Electrician Magazine can be viewed online at

The Master Electrician

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HPM Legrand opens super site and welcomes new CEO

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell with HPM Legrand’s Giuseppe Parola and Gilles Schnepp

Leading electrical suppliers HPM Legrand step up for the industry, with the official opening of its new national distribution centre and appointment of a new Australian CEO. With a new 23,000 square metre site in Sydney’s south west, the local subsidiary of one of the world’s leading electrical suppliers, Legrand, is stepping forward in ensuring current manufacturing remains, and flourishes, in Australia. The state-of-the-art facility in Prestons will provide a centralised location from which to distribute HPM, Legrand, BTicino, Cablofil and Nelson products across the country. It will showcase all products from lights and switches, cable management and home automation, as well as lighting management and power distribution and protection.

Mr Berland says HPM Legrand is now working with Master Electricians Australia (MEA) to ensure the future vitality and professionalism of the industry is strong. “We support the grass roots of the industry by sponsoring the ApprenticeConnect program and working with MEA to ensure electricians are well trained, accredited and use products which meet Australian standards,” he says. “Manufacturing will remain and flourish in Australia as long as local industry bodies and electricians support the manufacturers.”

HPM Legrand’s newly appointed CEO Tony Berland says he is looking forward to taking the business to the next level.

MEA CEO Malcolm Richards says HPM Legrand is a credible and reliable Australian Manufacturer and their new facility will bring a number of benefits to the electrical industry.

“The move to Prestons highlights the commitment HPM Legrand has made toward current manufacturing, and ensuring it stays in the country and does well,” he says.

“This sends a clear signal about the supplier’s long-term commitment to the Australian market, and that will be good for both contractors and consumers.”

“I hope to maximise opportunities in our industry now that the consolidation and operational efficiencies have been set in place.

Departing CEO Giuseppe Parola says the decision to relocate HPM Legrand’s core business functions to one super site was in the best interests of the company, and the industry.

“Relocating the core business functions to one site will achieve greater synergy and more effective communications between divisions so as a result Master Electricians can expect a greater efficiency and accuracy with product orders and service.” Mr Berland joins the Australian business after more than two decades with the Legrand Group, moving from Singapore where he was general manager for South East Asia since 2009. “Over the last few years HPM Legrand has been focused on strengthening its product line-up, staffing and service capabilities,” Mr Berland says. “We are using the heritage of HPM as a strong and highly regarded local brand, and the expertise of Legrand as an international brand, to move forward.” The new facility will include a 7,000 square metre manufacturing facility, including a showroom, as well as central warehousing, supply logistics, finance, marketing, sales, research and development, customer service and human resource departments.

“We believe this move will place the company in the best competitive and cost effective position to achieve greater synergy and more effective communication between divisions, and consequently, better outcomes for the business now and in the future,” Mr Parola says. Mr Parola has been responsible for overseeing the HPM Legrand merger, reorganisation of the business and relocation of the head office. He will return to his home town in Italy to run one of the groups’ largest manufacturing facilities. Staffed by around 300 employees, the Preston facility also boasts the latest in lighting efficiencies throughout the premises, including Legrand lighting management system with daylight harvesting, and some of the market’s most efficient lighting products. HPM Legrand was officially opened by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Legrand Group Chairman and CEO Gilles Schnepp. It was attended by more than 100 key industry, business partners, and dignitaries including Liverpool Lord Mayor Wendy Waller, Member for Liverpool Paul Lynch, and Local Member for Menai Melanie Gibbons. The Master Electrician

Spring 2012


feature energy spotlight

Retrofitting with energy efficient lighting Energy efficient lighting is becoming increasingly popular in Australian homes and businesses, with halogens being phased out for LEDs. We explore the benefits of LEDs, and sustainable solar lighting solutions in place of halogens.

Across the industry, builders and

contractors constantly search for more energy efficient and cost saving means of lighting for their clients. With the ban placed on importing 50 watt halogen downlights by the Australian government in April this year, the importance of energy efficient and low environmental impact lighting products and systems is raised more frequently than ever before. Now that the ban is in place, Australia has been provided with the perfect opportunity to explore more energy efficient means of lighting, saving electricity and opting for a more sustainable approach. This has led the industry to turn toward using light emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs are a type of solid-state lighting (SSL), and are energy efficient with a long life. The peak body for Australia’s lighting industry, Lighting Council Australia, encourages the use of environmentally appropriate, energy efficient, quality lighting systems. They identify LEDs as highly energy efficient, lasting up to 50 times longer than incandescent lamps, and two to five times longer than fluorescent lamps. This makes them ideal for hard to access locations.

LEDs are also durable and can withstand vibrations and shocks, and are unaffected by regular on-off switching. In addition, they are at full brightness as soon as they are switched on and many are fully dimmable. These benefits make LEDs the leading energy efficient choice to replace halogens, producing the same amount of light and warm colour at about 20 per cent of the power of halogens. The best part is, LED downlights are extremely compatible with halogen transformers and dimmers, making retrofitting a breeze. With an alternate energy efficient lighting source found in LEDs and their ease of installation, there are a number of products on the market contractors and home owners can take advantage of. Verbatim have recently released their keenly anticipated 820LM Classic A LED lamp aimed at domestic applications. The new lamps can directly replace 60W halogen or incandescent lights, offering an alternative suitable for residential purposes. Verbatim Marketing Coordinator Elaine Salt says the new Classic A lamps offer clients an alternative to halogen lights at lower costs.

“Until recently the LED market had very few options to replace the standard 60W bulb,” Ms Salt says. “And what was available was generally cost prohibitive for the standard consumer. These new Classic A lamps are the first to be released in a new ‘green’ series, which will offer substantial cost savings over previous LED models with a brighter output. They are also perfect for lamps and traditional ceiling fixtures in smaller rooms.” Verbatim’s new Classic A lamps are available in both E27 and B22 sockets and in colour temperatures of 3000K (warm white). They feature a 20,000 hour lifetime and up to 85 per cent energy saving, and come with a 24-month warranty and have an RRP of $24.95. Ms Salt reminds customers that upgrading lighting can significantly reduce energy use by up to 80 per cent. “Verbatim has developed their own online interactive LED lighting calculator that shows you how much you can save off your lighting costs, and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by switching from halogens to LEDs,” she says.


The LED lighting calculator is simple to use and will automatically choose a Verbatim equivalent LED to a current halogen bulb. Verbatim Executive Sales Manager for Australia and New Zealand Alan Kleeman says feedback from the calculator has been positive. “We have electricians and people in the trade who constantly use this tool to calculate their savings or that of their clients,” Mr Kleeman says.

“The long lifetime of 70,000 hours means we no longer have to continually purchase and replace bulbs and that electricity savings can be enjoyed for decades. This is new for the lighting industry, which has been held back for so long by planned obsolescence and inefficient technology.” The DR700 is rebate-ready for residential and corporate retrofitting under NSW's ESS scheme and Victoria's VEET program. It's also compatible with all existing dimming systems and is offered with an unconditional three-year warranty.

“The general consumer is also a fan of the calculator, its ease of use and simple interface shows people very quickly the savings that can be made by switching to LED.”

Exlites Gen II vandal resistant solar bollard offers LED lighting for the outdoors.

Australian LED designers Brightgreen provide another option to halogens with their award-winning DR700 – the only retrofit bulb with the equivalent brightness of an average 50W halogen. The DR700 recently took out the top honour at this year's Premier's Sustainability Awards in Victoria thanks to its innovations in environmental design.

Victorian distributor for Exlites, Solar Lighting Solutions’ Greg Steele says the solar bollards are state of the art technology with quality products and optimum light output.

With a light output of 720 lumens and power usage of just 10W, the DR700 is an energy efficient option to halogens and an industry leader in efficacy.

“They are specifically designed for 365 day run time with a five year warranty and expected 10 year life,” Mr Steele says.

It has been designed to last for 70,000 hours (equating to 30 years with standard use), which is a vast improvement on halogens, which have a lifetime of just 2,000 hours.

“The Gen II solar bollard is made from an extruded polycarbonate head with an inbuilt solar panel and P/E cell for dusk to dawn operation, with the high quality nichia LED’s specifically angled so that light is thrown out from a specially designed reflector for optimum light spread and output.”

“The DR700 is the longest lasting bulb and with its output of 720 lumens, there is no light lost when replacing halogens, just an 80% reduction in running costs,” Brightgreen CEO and head product designer, David O’Driscoll, explains.

The bollard is powered by a lithium battery producing an expected minimum of 9,000 cycles. Mr Steele says forever increasing electricity prices and carbon taxes ensure the bollard is in hot demand locally and around the world.

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The Master Electrician

Spring 2012



Sparkies on Cruise Ships

Life on the high seas. Stephanie Lim catches up with a sparky who has spent over a decade of his life on board a few of the largest cruise ships in the world.

A rock-climbing wall, an ice-skating rink,

a 9-hole miniature golf course, a threedeck restaurant, a two-level nightclub, a full-sized sports court, and a 1,350-seat theatre. These are only a few of the many amenities the MS Voyager of the Seas boasts. And all these features, including the 1,556 rooms within the ship, require top-notch maintenance and up-keep. And Wlodzimierz Bogdan Olejniczak is the lucky sparky whose job is to ensure all electrical work on board the ship is maintained to the highest standards. As the Chief Electrical Engineer on board the Voyager, it’s Olejniczak’s job to make sure everything is smooth-sailing. “As Chief Electrical Engineer I’m responsible for managing and coordinating a team of 14 people,” Olejniczak says. “We ensure that the entire electrical side of the ship – from the engine controls and propulsion, to elevators and dimming systems – run smoothly, to provide a seamless holiday experience for our guests.

"Just like any other management position my role also involves budget planning and writing reports, among other things. But it is the electrical work that I really enjoy, and is the most exciting about my role.”

belt, not including the four years he spent as a cadet, having entered the industry after completing his M.Sc in Marine Electrical Engineering over 30 years ago.

No simple task, as the $500 million Voyager of the Seas is a 138,000 tonne mega liner that carries up to 3,840 guests. Completed in 1999 for Royal Caribbean International, the mega ship is referred to as a “floating hotel”, boasting the world’s first rockclimbing wall and ice-skating rink at sea.

“I started my career at sea with The Polish Steamship Company. During that time I worked on bulk carriers, tankers and product tankers,” he recalls.

“The ship contains six generators producing 17,600KVA each, an 11KV network, and 3 propulsion motors producing 14MW each,” Olejniczak says. “And that’s just the beginning!” As you can guess, a job like that would require a keen understanding of marine electrical work, as well as electrical experience. Olejniczak has over three decades of experience in electrical work under his

“After that I worked on refrigerator ships for ten years, and since 2000 I have worked for Royal Caribbean International.” Reminiscing about the early years of his life at sea, Olejniczak says it took a lot of hard work and dedication before he came aboard Voyager of the Seas. “My first cruise ship with Royal Caribbean International was Explorer of the Seas, and my second was Mariner of the Seas. I was then very fortunate to be promoted and sent to Voyager of the Seas, and I have been assigned to her since the beginning of 2008,” he says.

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“Now, I follow the ship wherever she’s set to go.” And follow he most certainly has. While travelling the world is a fantasy many of us can only dream about, it is the reality that Olejniczak lives. Olejniczak says while on board Voyager of the Seas, he’s been fortunate enough to travel around the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and China, Korea and Japan. “During my career I’ve visited pretty much every continent,” he muses. “These days, being assigned to the Voyager allows me to return to the same ports several times and get to know them better. Villefranche in France and Dubrovnik in Croatia have been particular highlights so far – fantastic local cuisine, and modest yet full of surprises.” But as with living life on the high seas, the enjoyment Olejniczak draws from his work also comes with a negative side. “Ships are complex and complicated, and working on a cruise ship can be an extremely demanding job and very busy at times” he says.

“We ensure that the entire electrical side of the ship – from the engine controls and propulsion, to elevators and dimming systems – run smoothly, to provide a seamless holiday experience for our guests."

“I guess it’s also more challenging in terms of being away from my family for long periods of time.”

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Despite this, Olejniczak believes it is crucial to take the time to enjoy the finer things in life, and recommends stunning views and fine dining at the first class restaurants on board the ship to soothe the soul. “Even though I do keep a busy schedule, I think it’s always important to find a bit of time to sit back and relax. Whenever I can I try to enjoy an evening meal at the Windjammer or Portofino restaurants – the views from Deck 11 are breathtaking.” All in all, there isn’t anything in the world Olejniczak would trade for the life and job he has, and extends a friendly invitation to fellow sparkies that find themselves venturing on board the Voyager of the Seas. “Cruise ships are a great opportunity to work with very advanced equipment and enjoy a variety of tasks,” he says. “You have to be a bit of a Jack of all trades. “If by any chance any fellow sparkies visit our ship I would be more than happy to provide insight into the technical equipment we have on board and show them what electrical work – and life – on a cruise ship is like!”


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the buzz

Regulatory changes imminent for electricity metering The National Measurement Institute (NMI) plans to lift the current exemptions for electricity meters and will introduce new legislation on 1 January 2013. The new legislation will remove the current exemption for some categories of electricity meter under the National Measurements Act 1960. The legislation will have a significant impact on the selection of meters to be installed on projects where those meters are to be used for trade, in particular for embedded metering systems where electricity is on-sold by landlords to tenants in shopping centres, commercial office buildings and multi-residential developments. The lifting of the exemption will apply to: • Meters with a throughput of less than 750MWh per annum • Meters in use, or intended for use, for trade. The exemption will only be lifted for meters installed after a certain date, currently anticipated to be 1 January 2013. What this means for electrical contractors: • Meters intended for trade use must not be supplied and/or installed unless they are of an approved pattern, and • Meters must not be used for trade unless they are verified. Under the National Measurements Act 1960, you will be committing an offence if you supply and/or install meters which are used or intended to be used to bill tenants, calculate monetary transactions or calculate taxes, if these meters are not pattern approved and verified. Any existing non-pattern approved meter that is used for trade will have to be replaced with a pattern approved meter when it fails. Furthermore, meters that are not pattern approved cannot be relocated and meters that are pattern approved but not verified, must be verified if they are relocated. What is Pattern Approval and Verification? Pattern approval is a process of evaluating the performance of a type or model of meter under various influences and disturbances such as temperature variations, electrical interferences, voltage fluctuations and harmonics. The requirements for pattern

approval are set out in NMI Specification NMI M-6 which has been harmonised with the recommendations of the International Organisation of Legal Metrology. NMI-M-6 is a direct reflection of OIML-R-46. Verification is the process of assessing whether an individual meter operates within the specified limits of error. To be verified, a meter must be of an approved pattern and comply with the certificate of approval. The verification must be performed by an appointed utility meter verifier. Meters manufactured overseas must be tested in the country of manufacture by an accredited testing and calibration laboratory. Sample testing of a batch of imported meters must be carried out in Australia by an appointed utility meter verifier. Verification ensures that meters are tested by laboratories accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and supplied complete with traceable Calibration Certificates. This leads to cost savings where non-utility meters are for National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) and Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) certification purposes because each meter is individually calibrated, so there is no need to further prove the meter accuracy; unlike meters designed to comply with IEC 62053 Standards only, which are generally not individually tested or validated. Why is the exemption being lifted? Lifting the exemption will bring the requirements for the metrological control of electricity meters into the Australian system of weights and measures under the National Measurement Act in the same way that other industries are regulated. The aim is to increase confidence in the measurement of electrical energy for consumers and industry. The changes will also introduce national consistency of metering requirements since the National Electricity Rules (NER) do not cover all of Australia, and do not cover all meters used for trade within regions covered by the National Electricity Market (NEM). For example, tenants in apartments, commercial buildings and retail developments with sub-meters may not be covered. In addition, the NER do not require verification, so even if a meter


is of an approved pattern, and covered by the NER, there is no requirement for that individual meter to be verified.

What does this mean for electrical contractors and designers?

Billing errors remain a significant reason for consumer complaints to jurisdictional energy ombudsman schemes. The reasons for these complaints vary and can be related to such issues as unseasonal or unusually high demand, retailer error and sometimes metering errors. In a large number of cases it is necessary for the meter to undergo testing for accuracy, at the customer’s cost, if there is no error subsequently identified. It would therefore be valuable to know whether a meter which is the subject of a complaint had already been tested and verified.

Primarily, you will need to consider the spatial requirements for the installation of the meters. At this stage, there are no smart DINrail mount or panel mount meters (96mm x96mm) that have NMI pattern approval. Why? Because you can’t easily fit the necessary electronics required to make a compliant meter, into a 96 x 96mm case.

Sub-metering and embedded networks NMI makes no distinction between meters and sub-meters. Sub-meters (sometimes called ‘private’ meters) are installed downstream from a metered connection point to the local distribution network. When the exemption is lifted, the National Measurement Act will apply equally to sub-meters, so if you are designing and installing embedded metering networks in buildings and precincts where energy consumption is charged to tenants based on the sub-meters installed, you must comply with the Act. Which meters can electrical contractors use? Many electricity meters are already of an approved pattern and are verified. The exemption has been in place to allow manufacturers and distributors of metering and billing systems to get their meters NMI pattern approved, and to sell existing stocks of non-pattern approved meters. The NMI (formerly the National Standards Commission) has provided services for the pattern approval of electricity meters since 2001 and has established the system for verification. The NER make reference to pattern approval for meters installed in the National Electricity Market (NEM), and it has become common practice for utilities to specify that meters must be of an approved pattern in their purchasing contracts. Many pattern approved meters are available with multiple communications options including: • ZigBee™ Mesh and ZigBee™ Smart Energy Profile • RS232 (includes modem power from meter) • RS485 Multi-drop • GSM/GPRS Push (initiated by the meter)

There are a number of manufacturers currently working hard to try to get a pattern approved DIN-rail meter designed, but it is a difficult task. Therefore switchboard metering enclosures will need to be increased in size and where meters are installed in subswitchboards or to meter final-circuit distribution boards, riser and electrical cupboards spaces will have to be re-considered. If you already have an existing non-compliant metering system, for instance, using non-complaint panel-mount meters or DIN rail mount meters, and one of those meters fails after 1 January 2013, legally you will have to replace it with a pattern approved meter. This may cause some installation headaches as it is unlikely that the replacement meter can be fitted in the same space. You may also have some issues interfacing the new meter to an existing system as there are very few pattern approved meters which have MODBUS or BMS interfaces. Most use highly secure proprietary protocols as required by the utilities. Summary The proposed lifting of the exemption on electricity meters will have significant implications for electrical designers and contractors installing sub-metering systems for multi-tenanted developments where there is the intent to on-sell electricity to the tenants. It will become a legal requirement to supply and install pattern approved and verified meters, and consideration must be made in both building and switchboard design for the increased space required to install these meters. However, the benefits, in terms of increased confidence in the accuracy and long-term reliability of energy metering systems, outweigh the impact of the increased physical dimensions of the meters.

• Modbus RTU to allow 3rd Party BMS system integration

For more information please visit the International Organisation of Legal Metrology at

Additionally, pattern approved meters are supplied with large non-volatile memory capacity and, in some cases can store up to 24 years of half-hourly interval data (2 channels), removing the requirement for external data logging and ensuring that consumption data is never lost.

A full list of pattern approved electricity meters is available here: CertificateOfApproval/OtherInstruments/Electricity_utility_Meters/ Pages/default.aspx The Master Electrician

Spring 2012


AT SMART BUILDING SERVICES, WE UNDERSTAND YOU NEED A RELIABLE, ACCURATE, VERIFIABLE & ROBUST SUB-METERING SYSTEM. All of the electricity & water meters we use in our sub-metering systems are National Measurements Institute pattern approved and verified which means they are robust, accurate (each meter comes with its own individual NATA calibration certificate), never ‘lose’ data (as up to 24 years of 1/2 hour interval data is kept within the meter) and most importantly they are legal to use ‘for trade’ purposes as required by the National Measurements Act, 1960, after January 1st, 2013. Smart Building Services Pty Ltd (SBS) designs and commissions integrated multi-utility sub-metering & integrated automatic meter reading (AMR) systems for: Electricity, Cold Water, Recycled Water, Hot Water, Chilled Water (Air-Con), Gas & Diesel. We also provide periodic data, data hosting, web-based data presentation and tenant billing services . You may be surprised at just how inexpensive our meters are, and with remote automatic meter reading from as low as 80¢ per metering point per month, you’ve nothing to lose! A FULL LIST OF NMI PATTERN APPROVED METERS IS AVAILABLE HERE:


REDEFINING THE MEANING OF “SMART” *The proposed date for lifting the exemption is 01/01/2013. Source: NMI Utility Metering Newsletter_Issue 4, August 2012.


Sydney Opera House commits to recycling fluorescent lighting One of the world’s greatest sights is the iconic Sydney Opera House lit up at night. Fluorescent lighting from this landmark building will now be recycled, thanks to their participation in the FluoroCycle recycling scheme. FluoroCycle is a voluntary scheme, that has the very important aim of reducing the amount of mercury entering the environment from the disposal of mercury-containing lighting. In Australia, an estimated 95 per cent of lights that contain mercury end up in landfill each year.

The Carbon price and refrigerant gas – getting the cold, hard facts The introduction of the Federal Government’s Carbon Tax in July has had a significant impact on the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry, because of the way it increases the cost of refrigerant gas. Synthetic greenhouse gases such as those used in refrigeration are generally used in small quantities, but they have an extremely potent effect on the atmosphere. And while modern gases no longer pose a threat to the ozone layer, they do have significant global warming potential and are included in the carbon tax regime as a result. Federal Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said one refrigerant gas, R404A, has a global warming potential “more than 3,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide”, and will be taxed at around $75 per kilogram. This compares with $23 per tonne (or just 2.3 cents per kilogram) for carbon dioxide under the tax regime. To calculate the equivalent carbon price for refrigerant gas, the Government multiplies the carbon tax by the global warming potential of each gas. So with a starting price of $23 per tonne this year, R404A (with its global warming potential of 3460 times CO2) will be taxed at $74,980 per tonne or $74.98 per kilogram. When the carbon tax rises to $25.40 per tonne in 2014, this gas will be taxed at $82,800 per tonne or $82.80 per kilogram. Other gases affected this year include R134A ($29,900/tonne or $29.90/kg), R410A ($39,680/tonne or $39.60/kg) and R407C ($35,090/tonne or $35.09/kg). “The Federal Government is introducing an equivalent carbon price on these gases to encourage the take-up of alternatives with no, or much lower, global warming potencies,” Mr Combet said. “It also provides an incentive to repair refrigeration equipment, rather than let these gases leak into the atmosphere.” Opposition Industry spokesperson Sophie Mirabella said the extra cost for refrigerant gas came on top of a 20 per cent price rise in gas costs this year. “The price of refrigerant is set to dramatically increase, slugging food manufacturers, the transport industry, supermarkets and grocers, and, ultimately, consumers,” she said.

The Sydney Opera House Trust were joined by major New South Wales-based companies AusGrid, Essential Energy, Savills Australia and Westpac, at a recent ceremony to give recognition for joining the national FluoroCycle recycling scheme. Certificates from Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water were given to these companies in a small presentation at the Opera House in acknowledgment for supporting the scheme. The Australian Government has supported FluoroCycle by providing $600,000 in funding for the first three years of the scheme, which will assist in FluoroCycle’s commitment to reduce the impact of waste disposal on the environment and further improve the efficiency of resource use. Having such an iconic and well-known building as the Sydney Opera House on board is no doubt a significant advantage for the scheme, and is sure to encourage other companies, both large and small, to participate. So far, 135 organisations nationally have signed up to the initiative and Senator Farrell said he urged more companies to show the same commitment to protecting the environment. “Joining FluoroCycle is an ideal way for businesses to do something practical to help the environment,” he said. For more information about the FluoroCycle scheme visit www. The Master Electrician

Spring 2012

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the buzz

Victoria’s Solar Feed-in Tariff Slashed The Victorian Government has announced it will accept the recommendations of the independent Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission’s (VCEC) final report into distributed generation and will introduce a new feed-in tariff (FiT) for rooftop solar and forms of renewable and low emission generation. The recent VCEC review claims that offering over-generous FiTs to new solar customers would result in unnecessary future electricity price rises in Victoria. “VCEC recommended establishing a FiT that is sustainable, predictable and free from cross-subsidies,” says the VCEC. Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said “We’re obviously disappointed at this decision to reduce support for solar power, which will make it harder for everyday Victorians to reduce their power bills and put industry jobs under pressure.” “It is appropriate that the Victorian government reduces the level of its support scheme, given the recent reduction in the cost of solar power systems. However, the proposed FiT of 8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kW) is too low and does not reflect the fair and reasonable value of the electricity and other benefits that solar power systems provide to our energy system.”

Mr Marsh said the Victorian solar policies to date had been very successful. “The solar industry now employs approximately 4,800 Victorians and has stimulated $1.34 billion of private investment in Victoria. This change could have a serious negative impact on an industry that has been delivering major economic benefits to the state,” he said. Victorian Energy and Resources Minister Michael O’Brien said that the new FiT for Victorians installing solar or other renewable energy systems of less than 100 kW will come into effect from 1 January 2013. Solar customers currently receiving the Premium Feed-In Tariff (PFiT) or the Transitional Feed-In Tariff (TFiT) will not be affected by the recommendations. PFiT and TRiT rates and scheme conclusion dates will not change. The new tariff will provide a minimum of 8 cents per kW hour for excess electricity exported to the grid. The rate will then be updated on an annual basis in line with the adjusted wholesale electricity rate. The TFiT scheme and the Standard Feedin Tariff (SFiT) will now be closed to new applicants, and customers currently signed up under SFiT arrangements will continue at their existing rate until the end of 2016.

If you have already paid a deposit or have already had a solar system installed, you may still be considered for the higher Transitional rate, provided that all the required paperwork was lodged with your electricity suppliers by 30 September 2012. Paperwork that may be considered if it was submitted by 30 September 2012: • Connection Form or Solar Connection Form (to the electricity distributor) • Electrical Works Request (EWR) (to the electricity retailer) • Certificate of Electrical Safety (CES) (to the electricity retailer) • Feed-in Tariff Application Form (to the electricity retailer). In addition to meeting the paperwork deadline, customers will also need to have their meters upgraded and be receiving credits from the FiT by 31 December 2012. For more information regarding Victorian FiTs and any future changes to solar energy, contact 13 61 86 or visit the Victorian Department of Primary Industries website at energy/environment-and-community.

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The Master Electrician

Spring 2012



ApprenticeConnect Service

A new apprenticeship service will save you the hassle of doing paperwork ever again. Stephanie Lim finds out how you can get involved in this top-notch service that has garnered state-wide success and is raising the bar on apprenticeships for the electrical industry.

In an industry where apprentices are the backbone and future for ongoing success, a new service is set to revolutionise the apprenticeship process. The ApprenticeConnect service is a new option for electrical contractors that eliminates the hassle involved in employing apprentices. A Master Electricians Australia (MEA) initiative, the ApprenticeConnect service assists contractors in the apprenticeship hire process from recruitment to completion, managing not only complex paperwork and administration, but apprentice mentoring and advice.

or her relevant Electrical Work License, and both apprentice and employer receive all final Commonwealth Incentives.”

ApprenticeConnect Manager Stacey Ozolins says ApprenticeConnect employers have the option of a combination of services such as advice and facilitating communication, facilitating a training plan with the Registered Training Organisation (RTO), as well as coordination of off-the-job training and mentoring, among others.

“They often become disillusioned, not knowing where to turn. Having the support of an expert in the apprenticeship process can sometimes mean the difference between giving up and accessing the necessary resources and services required.”

“These services are tailored to each individual and business, allowing contractors to select and indenture the apprentices that suit them and their business,” Ms Ozolins says. “This enables both the apprentice and employer to achieve the best possible apprenticeship experience. Upon completion of an apprenticeship, the service also ensures the apprentice gets his

Apprenticeship Mentor Claire Lasslett says apprenticeships can sometimes be extremely trying without the help and support of someone with knowledge of the industry. “The world of apprenticeships can be a minefield for employers and apprentices who are not familiar with the apprenticeship process,” she says.

Ms Lasslett identifies apprentice drop outs occur due to a number of reasons, including a lack of support, confusion due to a large number of stakeholders, lack of knowledge about how to access services or what services are available, and low wages. “I had an apprentice who commenced his apprenticeship in NSW but wanted to recommence it in Queensland,” she recalls. “He encountered difficulties with taking into consideration training that he had already received, and was very confused as to how to


To find out about member-only offers call 1300 663 793

go about recommencing his apprenticeship. He was on the verge of giving up his apprenticeship before he became involved with ApprenticeConnect. We were then able to assist him with the RPL process and credit transfer, as well as previous work recognition on the job. I’m happy to say he is now a licensed tradesman.”


Ms Ozolins says due to funding awarded under the Federal Government’s Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring Package, MEA has been able to employ more mentors and advisors to better the ApprenticeConnect support service. “MEA has provided a further nine staff members to join our Mentoring and Advisors contracts,” Ms Ozolins says. “These staff are pivotal in guiding apprentices through their apprenticeship, and all have a strong Vocational Education, Training and Employment background. They will be based in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, and South Australia, and will contribute greatly to ensuring our apprentices get the best advice and mentoring they need throughout the life of their apprenticeship.” “We have also recently launched Mentor and Advisor programmes in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales to great success, with South Australia to follow in late October."

“The world of apprenticeships can be a minefield for employers and apprentices who are not familiar with the apprenticeship process ..."

She says the service has seen proven success since its implementation in 2007. It is currently being offered at a reduced rate due to a new arrangement with the federal government, and new federal funding. It will now cost $41 a month for every apprentice in his or her first year, and $82 a month for a second year apprentice, where the cost was previously $220. The ApprenticeConnect service is available to all who want to undergo an apprenticeship in the electrical industry, and is extended to contractors and companies who are not MEA members. To take advantage of the ApprenticeConnect program and find out more about member-only offers, contact 1300 663 793, or fill out an Expression of Interest Form on the Master Electricians Australia website. The views and opinions expressed in this document are those of Master Electricians Australia Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government or State and Territory Governments.



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The Master Electrician

Spring 2012



Project Solar –

Seeing the sun in a new light One small electrical contractor in a regional Queensland town has taken the country by storm after designing, installing and commissioning Australia’s most advanced commercial solar project. Rebecca Belsham explores the project which aims to change common perceptions of renewable energy.

Australia’s latest commercial

solar farm, Project 7SD, was recently launched in the unsuspecting regional Queensland city of Toowoomba by Excel Solar, the solar technology arm of Excel Power Electricians, an Accredited Master Electrician.

Solar Excel’s Managing Director Terry Davis says he hopes the $250,000 project will create awareness of the electrical and solar industry and inspire the next generation of electricians in the region.

Excel Power employs 18 staff across all its operations and only launched the solar chapter of the business in 2008. “Our solar project proves that small and medium sized electrical firms can still achieve substantial and unique outcomes. We don’t have to always leave it all up to the big guys,” Mr Davis says. “We’re really proud of what we’ve done. We’re only a small local company but we got in there, had a go and we’re already seeing great results.”

“Renewable energy is the way of the future. One day solar power will just be power,” Mr Davis says.

The 60 kilowatt solar plant features 200 fully monitored photovoltaic 300 watt panels on 2270 sq meters of land.

“Our key aim of the solar farm is to educate local businesses and the community about the environmental benefits and simplicity of renewable energy productions so that a 100 per cent renewable energy future can quickly become reality.

The project utilises the safest strong based inverter system, with individual module monitoring so the system can be remotely monitored 24 hours a day.

“This is a unique project as it requires very little maintenance; the whole system can be monitored remotely with live data, and surprisingly, the whole thing is positively geared.”

Mr Davis says the farm has been supplying more electricity to the grid than initially expected since being switched on in April. “The solar plant is capable of producing more than 400kWh of energy a day, that’s enough energy to power twenty houses,” he says.

“Unlike many other solar projects, we’re unlikely to see a drastic collapse in energy production if one panel fails because we’ve designed each panel to be isolated so a whole row won’t crash. Mr Davis says Excel Solar was inspired by the huge renewable energy projects being carried out in Asia and Europe. “Our Management team has attended international conferences, product releases and large solar plants throughout the world, motivating us to get our project off the ground,” he says. “Being able to network, swap ideas and educate our team at Excel Solar from these overseas visits has proved invaluable to our team. “Germany’s best solar day is Australia’s worst and Germany is 85 per cent renewable energy with wind and solar. “Imagine the power we could generate if we had adequate projects up and running.” Despite Australia’s slower take up of renewable energy project, the Bureau of


Resources and Energy Economics’ (BREE) recent Australian Energy Update, shows momentum is increasing in the country’s use of renewable energy.

about 253,000 gigawatt hours in the 201011 period, declines in coal-fired generation were offset by increased generation from renewable energy sources and natural gas.

BREE Executive Director and Chief Economist Professor Quentin Grafton says renewable energy recorded the strongest consumption growth in 2010-11 at 21 per cent, followed by natural gas and oil consumption which both increased by seven per cent.

“Energy statistics and their analysis are critical to industry, government and the community to ensure we make better decisions about our energy future.

“Our solar project proves that small and medium sized electrical firms can still achieve substantial and unique outcomes.” “We’ve seen the total energy consumption in Australia grow by two per cent in the last year,” he says. “While the total electricity generation remained, more or less unchanged at

the new Watt Hour Meter Slim, efficient, accurate with easy installation!

Solar Excel’s Terry Davis says he hopes their Toowoomba project will encourage more Australians to see solar in a new light. “We’re proving that solar farms don’t have to be such a huge challenge for the energy sector. “Australia needs to be investing in photovoltaic solar right across the industry chain, especially in training, and community acceptance. “Innovation, knowledge, safety principles and quality products will guide solar energy to a well-deserved, prominent place in our future.”


Project 7SD features • The system has six 10kW three phase inverters, wired in two strings to each inverter. • Each string consists of seventeen 300W mono crystalline CNPV modules, meaning it has a total of 204 modules. Each inverter is wired as a slave to the master unit. • The projected total annual energy yield of the project is 115.9MWh. • The project is currently tracking within the projection and with summer approaching it is now expected to exceed original predictions. • The project is expected to have a life span of more than 25 years. • CNPV, a leading international solar company, rated the project as equal to German standards. • The Solar Edge system used holds every module at one volt when in maintenance mode reducing the risk of electrocution. • The Solar Edge system can not only detect a DC arc when in operation but it can eliminate it without human intervention.

Advantages at a glance • Sets a totally new standard • Immediate measurement up to 32 A • Replaces the classic single phase a.c. watt hour meter • Quick, space-saving installation only 35 mm in width • An extremely compact product • Class 1 Accuracy • Suitable for verification • SO - interface for connection to energy management systems

• The system is linked to the Next G network, connecting it to local weather conditions and allowing live monitoring.

• The array of panels takes up 970 square meters on the 2, 270 square meter project site.


• The farm utilises a ground-based, screw-in pier design, rather than traditional concrete foundations, reducing costs by 60 per cent and boosting the speed of application.

Who else would you trust!

Ampere Electrical Manufacturing Co. Pty. Ltd. 168-176 High St Prahran Victoria, 3181. Tel (03) 9510 4333, 9510 2428 Fax (03) 9510 5940 Toll Free: 1800 AMPERE (1800 267 373)

The Master Electrician

Spring 2012



The art of upselling Upselling products to your existing clients is an effective strategy to boost your profits. Rebecca Belsham sat down with industry experts to learn why you should ask if your customer wants fries with that burger.

“Would you like fries with that?” As annoying as this

question can be, the person asking it is doing what every sales manager dreams about – they are up-selling.

all your circuits to provide maximum protection?” or “Did you know there are new self-contained units available now which don’t require refrigeration skills, that I could easily install for you?“.

Up-selling is intended to increase the volume and value of your sales by offering existing customers a greater quality or quantity of the product or service for a slightly higher price.

“Questions can provide a great way to get your client thinking about other options and it will also reinforce your own credibility as an expert,” Mr Bailey says.

No one does it better than the retail and fast-food industries, so who better to take advice from than the master of retail, the National Retail Association’s (NRA) CEO Gary Black.

“Generally speaking, electrical customers are more satisfied with higher-quality merchandise than they are with ‘value’ products, so by upselling you can also improve your customers’ satisfaction.

Mr Black says electricians shouldn’t think up-selling can only be used in retail outlets and fast-food shops.

“And satisfaction, over time, results in loyalty, repeat business and referrals, which is what will make your business a success,” he says.

“Up-selling is a hugely popular marketing and sales strategy because the cost of finding new customers and clients is quite high for most businesses,” Mr Black says.

The NRA’s Mr Black says customers are most receptive to what you have to say once they’ve already agreed to buy your product or service, so offering an upgraded product at the right time is crucial.

“Up-selling to existing customers allows businesses to maximise their return on those expenses and quickly bolster profits. “For example, by gently encouraging a customer to buy a better quality, more expensive version of an air-conditioner, rather than the initial cheaper model they were considering, you will have instantly increased your income.” Master Electricians Australia Business Development Manager Andrew Bailey recommends asking questions as a gentle method of up-selling such as, “Have you considered safety switches on

“Many people are hesitant to up-sell because they fear annoying the customer and losing the sale but in reality the opposite is true,” Mr Black says. “Customers who have already agreed to buy your product or service are actually appreciative of your thoughtfulness in offering them an added benefit or more for their money. “Really listen and get to know your customer needs and then you can use that information to promote appropriate products.”


Ti ck oN eTs sa No le w

coNsTrucTioN skills queeNslaNd

awa r d s Friday 9 November Gala black Tie eveNT The do's and don’ts of up-selling


DO: • Know your stuff – Act just like a professional salesman. Customers expect you to be the expert so you have to be an expert. You must know everything about your product or service. Do you know the history of your product? Do you know everything about the competition? What do you know about the prospective buyer?

TickETiNg cONTAcT uS

• Have a plan – You must have a clear roadmap detailing exactly what you are going to do, say and accomplish from the sales interaction. • Pull out information by asking questions – Before you can give someone problem-solving advice, you have to know and understand the problems. Have a plethora of prepared questions and rehearse, just prior to a call. • Uncover problems – As you seek out problems, you must also uncover problems; expose issues that the customer didn’t know existed. When you reveal areas where the client is losing money or time, you will become a true expert and trusted advisor.


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• Sell solutions – After you have clearly exposed, identified and quantified the problems, you can sell them the solutions. DON’T: • Underestimate today’s buyer – Today’s consumers are educated, aware, technically savvy and shrewd. With access to a global knowledge base at their fingertips, your prospective customer may know as much about your product and industry as you do. • Wing it – Don’t be the typical show-up and throw-up sales person. • Be pushy – You persuade people by asking—not telling. Don’t talk more than you listen. • Assume or make up numbers – Know the facts. For example, if you are going to present that the client would lose $200 a month by not upgrading to the product you’re recommending, then demonstrate that with real numbers. • Sell benefits – Benefits are not solutions. A benefit only matters to the customer if it solves their problem. Always sell solutions.

Legal Solutions for

ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS Advice on contracts Contractual and payment disputes Business Structures Asset Protection Buying & selling businesses

Wills & Estates Debt Collection services Workplace Health and Safety Tax & Super Employment Law

Call Ian Heathwood on (07) 3223 5942 or 0418 199 416 or Michael Cope on (07) 3223 5939 or Louise Wessel on (07) 3223 5924 McKays Solicitors Pty Ltd ACN 150 269 506

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Brisbane Level 26 239 George St (07) 3223 5900

Mackay McKays Law Centre 34 Wood St (07) 4963 0888

Credit: Sean McPheat – MTD Sales Training The Master Electrician

Spring 2012



Conference wrap up It’s that time of the year again. Industry partners and business associates get together for the MEA/ ECA Annual Electrical Industry Conference … gangster-style! Here’s a behind the scenes look at the goings-on at this year’s conference.

Each year, the Master Electricians Australia (MEA)/Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) annual Electrical Industry Conference is one of the largest annual gatherings of the electrical industry. A much-awaited affair for industry advocates, it was an exhilarating five-day event this year. Kicking off on Friday 10 August, the event offered an action-packed schedule of business, technical and leisure activities that kept everyone on their toes and entertained. The conference was held in Melbourne this year. Delegates gathered at the Crown Metropol's 28 lounge and sky bar where they were welcomed with a picturesque view of the city’s skyline while being treated to the melodies of a string quartet. The Hon Richard Dalla-Riva MLC, AFL legend Tom Hafey, Fair Work Building and Construction’s (FWBC) Brian Corney and Careers Australia’s Patrick McKendry produced entertaining presentations on Saturday morning, marking the start of business sessions for day one. Delegate Michelle Eccles says networking between fellow contractors and the sharing of information was invaluable.

“The value added by the input from suppliers and affiliated companies was tremendous,” she says. “The information sessions were very informative, with Tom Hafey inspiring the group with his enthusiasm for life and his genuine commitment to getting the best out of everyone.” The afternoon saw everyone taking part in sporting affairs, with delegates witnessing St Kilda’s triumph over Melbourne at an AFL game held at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, while others enjoyed a punt at Flemington Racecourse. Sunday morning’s business sessions were opened by The Clean Energy Council’s Tim Sonnreich, followed by presentations by Global Sustainable Energy Solutions’ Geoff Stapleton, McKays Solicitors’ Ian Heathwood, and networking guru Andrew Bayly. The evening’s events were held in racing’s inner sanctum - the Committee Room at Caulfield Racecourse. The room’s occupants were in fits of laughter thanks to funny man Tom Gleeson and his razorsharp wit, while at the same time enjoying the views of both the Caulfield Racecourse and City skyline.

A Monday morning breakfast event saw delegates treated to invaluable insight into the global economy and its effects on Australia from AMP Capital’s John Meagher. Following that, the Traders 500 event provided a great opportunity for delegates to keep up-to-date with the latest technologies, speak to leading suppliers and industry contacts, and network. More than 50 suppliers presented their most current products on the market. Traditionally, the last night of the conference is the most anticipated and this year’s revellers were not disappointed. Gangsters and molls flooded the Plaza Ballroom, one of Melbourne’s most prestigious venues, to dance the night away at the Gangsters and Molls Gala Ball. Delegate Ms Eccles says the ball was a sensational way to top off a thoroughly enjoyable conference. “Everyone looked amazing and the venue at the Regent theatre created a sensational atmosphere!” After an exhilarating five days, the conference was officially closed on Tuesday morning, following the launch


For this year’s photos, see electricalconference


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of a new apprenticeship program, ApprenticeConnect. Rave reviews from everyone who attended the conference have cemented the way for an even bigger and better conference in Las Vegas next year!

“We thoroughly enjoyed the activities and the additional free time to meet up with other contractors, suppliers, wholesalers and MEA staff. We are greatly looking forward to a family holiday and conference in Vegas next year!”

AllRange Electrical’s Bryan and Jacqui Ranger say the conference certainly lived up to expectations.

Ms Eccles says the conference was a great success with people from all over Australia enjoying great Melbourne hospitality.

“We have attended many conferences, and the MEA/ECA annual conference was a well organised and co-ordinated event,” they say.

“Las Vegas 2013 – see you there!” Keep an eye out for more details on the MEA/ECA 2013 Electrical Industry Conference. The Master Electrician

Spring 2012



The insider’s guide to solar panels (Part one – choosing the right product) Solar panels can be used to generate and supply electricity cleanly in commercial and residential applications, and are becoming increasingly popular among Australian home owners. Stephanie Lim brings you the insider’s guide to good solar panels with top manufacturers Blue Sun Group.

Solar is becoming increasingly

important for the electrical industry, helping to reduce the overall load for the grid. With emerging off peak and grid demand systems coming onto the market place, Solar will continue to supplement and support the supply of electricity for many years to come. Solar panel manufacturers Blue Sun Group are advocates for developing and perfecting reliable and affordable renewable energy systems for Australia. With ownership in a PV production facility in Shenzhen, China, the Australian-owned company is taking the next step forward in ensuring their products are developed to the highest standards.

“And as most of the population lives near the coast, high salt contents in the air need to be catered for as well,” he said.

“Mr Windred cautions the use of cheap materials can put the overall product in jeopardy for life expectancy and reliability, and may lead to safety concerns.”

Despite the fact that not all solar panels are created equally, Blue Sun Group’s Alan Windred believes it is crucial that a panel should have features that suit the environment they are to work in.

Blue Sun Group provides a full complement of Photovoltaic modules available for on grid and off grid markets, containing features such as matched cell selection, concealed cross connections, O-ring resealable junction boxes, replaceable blocking diodes, high-grade Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA), anodised frames and 3.2mm toughened glass.

“For example, the northern parts of Australia create many factors to take into account, such as high UV radiation and high humidity,” Mr Windred explains.

But Mr Windred cautions the use of cheap materials can put the overall product in jeopardy for life expectancy and reliability, and may lead to safety concerns.

“Using poor quality or mismatched MC connectors can lead to earthing or connection failures,” he explains. “This is why new standards have been introduced to ensure all manufacturers now have matched MC plugs. Since 2008, Blue Sun Group has used matching TUV accredited plugs on all modules, cables and accessories.” Mr Windred identifies the use of poor grade or low UV grade EVA can also lead to premature degradation of panels. “This can cause the inherent problems that come with browning of panels, and give less protection to soldering joints within the panel,” he says. “Poor manufacturing and handling of panels can also lead to cracks, hotspots, and poor sealing practices. Furthermore, low grade cells or mismatched cells will lead to shortened lifespans and lower performance of panels. Shaves or thinner cut cells although showing the same full light efficiencies can have significantly reduced low light performances, giving the end consumer less performance over the day.”

Has your business got what it takes?

Becoming a Master Electrician has changed the way we think. It ensures that we conduct ourselves in a safe manner and that we comply with all of our OH&S requirements. I feel proud that I am an Accredited Master Electrician Frank Spiteri, A & F Electrical - Melbourne

Master Electricians deliver the highest quality, electrical safety, integrity and energy efficiency advice

Why become a Master Electrician? Research shows that consumers trust the ‘Masters’ brand, and are more likely to choose a Master Electrician over the competition. Buyers equate Master Electricians with experience, quality, reliability and integrity. Through our extensive advertising to public and industry on the benefits of using a Master Electrician, you will be in demand from the public, builders, principle contractors and the government. Master Electricians accreditation provides you with unlimited access to: • A wiring rules hotline • A large technical and standards advice team • Industry training and education • Employment and workplace relations advice • Expert advice on commercial and business matters • Regular up-to-date news and information • Use of the Master Electrician branding • Networking opportunities with industry supporters, suppliers, other allied trades and associated organisations

To find out how you can become a Master Electrician call 1300 889 198 or visit


With a large percentage of the Australian population in coastal areas, the longevity of the overall product is reliant on the quality of aluminium, glass and other components. Utilising different modules can also affect the overall performance of the product if the modules have different resistance or voltage ratings. “Different wattage in a string of panels can be used within reason with little side effects other than the string performing to the poorest performing panel. But panels should always be properly matched,” Mr Windred says.

“Continuous improvement is achieved by assessing the modules in the factories’ testing facilities, in the field, and taking into consideration independent feedback”

Mr Windred says Blue Sun Group manufactures all its products, enabling them to control the quality of production from raw materials to end products. “Blue Sun’s products are then sold internationally through two companies, Blue Sun Group (Hong Kong) for the Asian markets, and Blue Sun Group (Australia) for the Australasia and European markets.” Blue Sun’s Photovoltaic modules are developed taking Australian conditions into account, as well as the mitigating issues identified with solar modules in Europe. “Continuous improvement is achieved by assessing the modules in the factories’ testing facilities, in the field, and taking into consideration independent feedback,” he says. “Upgrades are made through consultation with TUV-SUD test laboratories. And with Australian ownership of the production lines, our 190 factory employees include 50 managers to ensure quality at every part of the production process to exceed Australian standards.”

Choosing panels to suit conditions: • Concealed cross connections Concealing cross connections give modules a few distinct advantages in scenarios where there is direct impact of sunlight. They eliminate the potential for degradation of solder joints by UV rays and remove the main solder joints from the top edge of the panels – which can be the hottest area of the module – thus reducing thermal degradation of solder joints. Lastly, they enhance the aesthetic aspect of the module, giving it a nice professional finish! • High-grade Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) The EVA in modules contains excellent UV stability, with a UV cut-off wavelength of 360 nm. EVA is used to hold and fix photovoltaic cells in position, increase transmittance of sunlight, isolate cells from harmful environmental factors, provide electrical insulation, conduct heat away from the cells, create strong encapsulation adhesion, and provide excellent weather resistance. The EVA is placed on both sides of the photovoltaic cells and sealed through high temperature baking onto the cells. • Replaceable diodes The O-Ring sealed junction box gives the installer or service agent the ability to access the blocking diodes making the photovoltaic modules one of the few on the Australian market that is truly maintainable and serviceable. • Matched cells Cell selection and cell matching are an important part of the process in building modules, by using both visual selection and electronic testing. Cells are matched by grade and output, and build positive tolerance wattage modules rather than mixing grades of cells to achieve a specific overall wattage. This provides better long term efficiencies as ensuring all photovoltaic cells in a module degrade at the same rate. • High shunt resistance Shunt resistance (Rsh) is a key aspect of cell selection. Cells with high Rsh value provide better performance in low light conditions such as rainy, snowy and cloudy days. This also provides better output in the mornings and late afternoon when there are low light conditions. • Quality build materials Modules should be framed in anodised aluminium with a 3.2 mm high transmittance front glass, and low iron toughened glass in compliance with the Australian Standard. The modules should also be tested by TUV-SUD and surpassed the hail impact test of 25mm hail at 23 m/s.


meet a master electrician

Name: Glenn Eccles Company: Power On Electrix State: Western Australia Status: Accredited Master Electrician

Life doesn’t have to be all work and no play, and Master Electrician Glenn Eccles of Power On Electrix shows us how. Where did you grow up? I was born in Perth, and have lived here all my life other than a brief ‘tree change’ spending a few years in the South West in a wonderful small timber town called Nannup. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be either a vet or a dentist. Nowadays, these two jobs would be the last jobs I would want to do as I could not imagine myself looking into the mouths of other people or sticking thermometers into pets in places not intended for thermometers. What’s your favourite weekend/ holiday activity? That’s easy! Wintertime is spent dirt bike riding with my two teenage sons and a large group of our friends. Some of the isolated areas we have come across are quite breathtaking and the bonding between us all is invaluable. Summertime is spent boating and fishing. I like to get across to Rottnest Island as often as possible.

What is most rewarding about your job, what makes it all worthwhile? The ‘thrill of the kill’ experienced in being successful in winning a job, particularly when so much time has been spent working to achieve the go ahead. Although training apprentices can be challenging at times, it can also be rewarding being a large part of their development and achievements. We are very lucky to still have three apprentices which were trained by us still working now as competent tradesman and being major players in our team. How do you keep a healthy work/ life balance? Work hard and play harder! Unfortunately I don’t get as much time as I would like for resting and exercise over and above the exercise I get from dirt bike riding. This is an important issue and something which I should focus more upon. What are you most proud of? My wife and partner in the business, Michelle, and our three children, consisting of Jack who is 18 and doing office fit-out installations, Sarah who is nearly 17 and in year 12 and would like to study sports science, and James who is nearly 16 and in year 10.

What do you think the most important thing is to remember in order to do well in your profession? Being fair and honest to all concerned, provide alternatives, be fair to your suppliers, and avoiding any major conflict with other trades and other members of our industry. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but Perth can be a very small place at times. What motto do you like to do business by? ‘Do it once and do it well’, and ‘what goes around comes around as life is full of many coincidences’. What tip would you give to others starting out in the industry? The most important tips I have would be: • Think twice about going into business too soon after completing an apprenticeship. There is plenty of time to go out on your own, but my advice would be get as much experience working for other contractors first and gaining the respect as a competent tradesperson. • Always keep yourself informed, particularly of rule changes and other amendments such as changes in Regulations and Acts. • Build up a network of older experienced mentors who can help you succeed and minimize the risk of sabotage to the industry often caused by the lack of experience.

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benefit spotlight

Master Electricians – Support is only a phone call away No matter how big or small the issue, MEA are here to help you.

Running your own electrical contracting business is no

easy task; having the correct qualifications, insurances, licenses, attaining work and having experience as a contractor is only the start. If you find your days are spent working ‘in’ your business whilst the evenings and weekends are spent working ‘on’ your business trying to keep on top of the paperwork and the everchanging and regulated legislation, you are not alone. It’s no wonder small business owners have so little time left in the day when they are required to be experts not only in day to day contracting work but also in workplace relations, industrial relations, workplace health and safety, plus being an occasional debt collector, accountant and even lawyer! Some contractors join Master Electricians Australia (MEA) for the credibility that is associated with the Master Electricians brand and having all their competencies and compliances in place. Others join to take advantage of discounts offered by commercial partners such as fleet savings or to access online tools such as the most up to date technical and safety forms, templates and links. Amanda McCallum of AMJ Electrical explains what having MEA accreditation means to her. “I really value the support of MEA and the credibility they give my business name, along with tools like the safety audit,” she says. But we are frequently told by time-poor Master Electricians that having a real person only a phone call away to discuss not just the ‘big’ things like legislation but everyday issues, is invaluable. In the last twelve months, Master Electricians seeking advice and information have made over 20,600 calls to our team of industry specialists.

Bob Menzel from R & M Menzel in Victoria knows first-hand just how useful that phone call can be when one of his employees was hit by an unknown falling object while ascending a wind tower in July. Bob shared his experience with fellow delegates and MEA staff at the recent Annual Conference in Melbourne. “When the accident happened, it was so reassuring knowing I wasn’t on my own and had back-up. Being able to pick up the phone and speak to an industry specialist was invaluable because it ensured all my ‘ducks were in line’. Anthony King (from MEA’s Technical and Safety Support team) was absolutely excellent and couldn’t have been more helpful,” he says. Master Electricians tell us they save hours of wading through Government websites, on the phone being transferred from department to department or reading lengthy documents to find information (and still are at risk of then interpreting it wrongly). Our industry specialists are qualified and up to date with every issue from strategic industrial relations advice in workplace investigations to how to handle a problem with an employee or whether an apprentice should be paid overtime, the advice provided by a pool of on hand experts can really make a difference, save time and even help avoid costly mistakes. Think of MEA as an extension of your own business, offering a onestop-shop of personalised support. MEA are here for its Master Electricians and are on your side. To become an accredited Master Electrician is only a phone call away. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help your business. Visit or contact 1300 889 198.

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news from the distributors


QLD Help your customers to great rewards and yourself to more business

Energex has just launched Positive Payback for air-conditioning, pools and hot water to help address peak demand on the electricity network. Positive Payback rewards customers who connect energy hungry appliances to Economy Tariff 33 or who install technologies that make their equipment operate more efficiently when the electricity network experiences peak demand. Customers who install PeakSmart split system air-conditioning can get a $250 gift card (up to three per household) or a $500 gift card for installing a PeakSmart ducted system (one per household).


Launch of Origin Energy portal for electricity customers


Jemena has welcomed Origin Energy’s launch of Origin Smart, a smart meter-enabled web portal that will help people control their electricity costs. Jemena has safely installed more than 130,000 smart meters for customers in the Jemena Electricity Network area and has been offering all its smart meter customers free access to its Electricity Outlook web portal ever since it was launched in June. The tools also give customers a much better insight into how they are using electricity in their home or business. Jemena believe customers using Electricity Outlook or Origin Smart will benefit from voluntary, flexible (or time-of-use) pricing because it will enable many of them to take more control of their electricity costs by shifting some of their consumption from peak periods to off-peak periods. Customers who already use less energy at peak times would be likely to benefit immediately from switching to a time-of-use tariff. More information can be found at

PeakSmart air-conditioning has been designed by major air-conditioning manufacturers and adheres to industry standards. It works via a signal receiver, a small device installed in PeakSmart air-conditioners that remotely tells the air-conditioner to cap its energy consumption when the network reaches peak demand. Pool owners can claim a $250 gift card for connecting their pool pump to Economy Tariff 33 or a $150 gift card for purchasing a minimum 5-Star energy efficient pool pump. Customers can also claim a $100 gift card for connecting their hot water system to Economy Tariff 33. You can help yourself to more business by promoting these great offers and savings to your customers. For more information, visit or call 1300 762 397.


Horizon Power

Renewable energy industry boosted


The introduction of generation management on 1 July 2012 forms part of Horizon Power’s re-launched and improved renewable energy buyback product that now offers town by town pricing, clearer eligibility requirements and updated technical requirements. The utility has introduced the generation management standard to meet customer enthusiasm for installing renewable energy. Generation management will enable Horizon Power to control the variability of output from renewable energy sources, either by energy smoothing devices or through feed-in management. With this control, Horizon Power would be able to connect great amounts of renewable energy to the electricity networks. Horizon Power is committed to renewable energy and for the industry to develop a product that overcomes the challenges of installing renewable energy on isolated networks.

This will have the capacity to give customers more options about the size of systems they are able to install. The renewable energy industry has been receptive to meeting the challenge, a number of energy suppliers indicating they will have generation managed systems available to customers shortly. For more information, visit or call 1800 799 745.

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The Master Electrician

Spring 2012



A history of powering Sydney’s inner west


Ausgrid have begun work to replace and upgrade the infrastructure in the Camperdown zone, which has some of the oldest components in the Ausgrid electricity network. The underground cables, powerlines and substations that power Sydney’s inner west were installed at a time when only two thirds of homes in Sydney had electric lighting and average household energy use was a tenth of what it is today. Since the 1930’s the substation and local powerlines have received regular upgrades to maintain a safe supply of electricity to parts of Camperdown, Forest Lodge and Glebe. The work on this infrastructure is necessary to help meet the increasing power needs of 10,000 local homes and businesses including the University of Sydney and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. More than 150 substation technicians, cable jointers and testers will replace existing 5kV equipment at Camperdown zone

substation with new 11kV switchgear and 33 MVA transformers. Underground cable crews are also working in surrounding streets to replace 5kV cables and 3.5 kilometres of 33kV cable installed in the 1940s. This challenging project involves trenching into hard rock across busy intersections in built-up residential areas. During this time, crews are taking extra steps to reduce the disruption to local residents and motorists with all work expected to finish by 2013.


ETSA Utilities


Negotiated distribution service charges

Industry participants and ETSA Utilities customers should be aware of changes to ETSA Utilities Negotiated Distribution Service Charges for basic connection services (standard fees), negotiated connection services and negotiated non-connection services. Distribution Service Charges are those described in the ETSA Utilities Network Tariff & Negotiated Services – Manual No. 18, Section 9. To view or download a copy of the latest schedule of charges please go to the ETSA Utilities website at au and follow the links to Our Network/Negotiating Framework. The latest version of charges is incorporated within the document entitled ‘Network tariffs and negotiated services from 1 July 2012’. As indicated, the new charging regime for negotiated connection and non-connection services are effective as of 1 July 2012. For basic connection services, commonly known as ETSA Utilities standard connection fees, the new charges will be applied to any new Form A application received on or after 1 August 2012. Where a connection booking has been arranged prior to 1 August 2012, but where the connection work is scheduled to take place after that date, the 2011/12 schedule of charges will still apply. Please note that should the previous booking be cancelled or rebooked for any reason after 1 August 2012, the new charge rates will be applied.

It is recommended that all charges are carefully reviewed, as in some instances charges will now be applied where they may not have been in the past. For further information specific to these charges, contact the ETSA Utilities Builders and Contractors Line on 1300 650 014 or the ETSA Utilities General Enquiries Line on 13 12 61.

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Spring 2012


regulator wrap up The latest state news from regulators

Energy Safe Victoria

VIC Safety performance report on Victorian Electricity Distribution and Transmission Businesses

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) has released its second annual public report into the safety performance of Victoria’s major electricity companies. The report includes the five distribution businesses (Citipower, Powercor, Jemena, United Energy, and SP AusNet) and, for the first time, the two transmission businesses (SP AusNet and Basslink). In this report on the safety performance of Victoria’s major electricity companies, ESV has found that in 2011: • Additional investment is beginning to be made by each distribution business (DB) in line with their revised ESMSs, improving the reliability and reducing the fire risk in their networks. In 2011 the DBs were generally ahead in their targeted investment programs

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• The number of fire starts reduced, reflecting more benign weather conditions and modest improvements in failure rates of conductors and poles compared to 2010 • Audits conducted enabled ESV to conclude that: ­• ESV directions and recommendations were being implemented in a timely manner to match network businesses’ asset management plans and budgets ­­• MECs had prepared for the fire season in line with their bushfire mitigation and electric line clearance management plans ­­• MECs’ maintenance databases still need to improve and match the condition of the assets in the field ­­• Minor maintenance items were identified but none constituted an immediate fire risk • Overall, the electricity network asset failure rates for both 2010 and 2011 have been relatively small considering the size of the networks. The results are consistent with the performance of networks elsewhere in Australia • In other areas of electrical safety, the MECs performed adequately. However, areas for improvement were identified in the processes surrounding No Go Zones, and adherence to critical safety procedures while conducting electrical works • Finally, in 2011 ESV published a report into smart meter safety (followed up again in 2012), which concluded that meters were safe and were being installed safely by qualified workers. A full copy of the report is available from the ESV website at

Energy Safety

Revised Code of Practice for vegetation control


EnergySafety’s revised Code of Practice for vegetation control workers near powerlines was published in the Government Gazette and officially launched by the Hon. Simon O’Brien, Minister for Finance; Commerce; Small Business at a Tree Guild WA Inc. function on 18 July 2012. The Minister also launched the Tree Guild’s new Code of Practice and Code of Conduct at the same function. EnergySafety’s new Code is now in force for new entrants to the vegetation control industry for work inside the danger zone as defined in Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (Reg 3.64). Existing workers have six months to complete EnergySafety‘s online assessment of their knowledge of the new Code of Practice and demonstrate they have worked for the required times as a Safety Observer, LV Worker or HV Worker to continue working at those levels. The Code mandates competencies drawn from the Australian Qualifications Framework for each level of worker. The Government Gazette notice also announced that only a Registered Training Organisation approved to deliver the units of competency specified in the Code of Practice for Personnel Electrical Safety for Vegetation Control Work Near Live Powerlines is approved for the purposes of training and assessing the competency of workers. Members of the WA Local Government Association, who provide the majority of work covered by this Code, will be specifying compliance with the Code of Practice for all future contracts. The Electricity Regulations 1947 provide penalties for failure to meet the Code of Practice. A copy of the revised Code of Practice for Personnel Electrical Safety for Vegetation Control Work Near Live Powerlines is available from the website

The Master Electrician

Spring 2012


regulator wrap up Office of the Technical Regulator


Reminder to install Australian approved products The Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) is reminding contractors that certain types of electrical products, particularly those installed in a household situation, are required to be Australian safety/efficiency approved types. From a contractor’s perspective, the following are typical of the type of products commonly installed: • Residual current devices • Miniature overcurrent circuit breakers • Socket outlets • Wall switches • Ranges • Exhaust fans • Batten lampholders • Power supplies for lighting, for example, separate ELV power supplies for halogen downlights and LED drivers

These are all included on the list of products required to be approved for electrical safety. In addition, power supplies may also need to be registered for energy efficiency performance. If you are sourcing the above from a reputable wholesaler, it is likely that this wholesaler will have checked that the product they have purchased is an approved type and therefore its safety can be assured. Any of the above products sourced directly from an overseas supplier are also subject to the same legislation requirements and need to be compliant with Australian Safety Standards and marked with an Australian approval marking. If the supplier cannot provide confirmation that the products are covered by a certificate issued by an Australia certifier, and they are not marked with the Australian approval marking allocated on that certificate, the installer carries a risk. Installation of any unapproved product as listed above puts your integrity at risk and places your customer’s insurance in jeopardy.

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Fair Trading

National occupational licensing is coming in 2013


The National Occupational Licensing Authority (NOLA) has revised the starting date for the new national occupational licensing system. NOLA advises that the new implementation date will be from the middle of 2013. Under the new system, licence holders will get a single national licence and be able to work anywhere in Australia and hire staff from other states without the need to pay for different licences. The national system will replace existing state and territory based licensing. Current licence holders will automatically become part of the new system.

Electrical Safety Office

A reminder when testing to prove electrical equipment is de-energised


When testing to confirm you have effectively de-energised electrical equipment or circuits, always confirm the test instrument is functioning correctly by testing it on a known ‘live’ source. Having de-energised the equipment or circuit and proven it is de-energised, you need to retest your test instrument on another known ‘live’ source to confirm it is still functioning correctly. Proximity testers should be used only to determine the presence of electricity and not used as a means of proving de-energisation. Relying on a proximity tester could be fatal.

The NSW licence holder occupations that will initially be affected by this transition are: • Electricians • Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics • Plumbers and gasfitters • Property occupations, excluding conveyancers and valuers. In the future, the national system will also include other building related occupations. Closer to the implementation date, NSW Fair Trading will write to licence holders with more information about the new national system. If you want to know more, go to the National Occupational Licensing Authority’s website at

Always ensure your isolation point cannot be inadvertently reenergised. Don’t take risks. Testing is live electrical work. Use a safe system of working even when ‘testing for dead’ and always use test equipment and PPE suitable for the task. More information on safety regulations and advice can be found on the Electrical Safety Office website at fair-and-safe-work/electrical-safety.

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Spring 2012


letter of the law

Will the Personal Property Securities Act affect you? Take steps to protect yourself now

What? On 30 January 2012, a new law called the Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA) came into effect.

It will also apply to other non-traditional security interests such as: • Leases of personal property (such as finance leases) • Hire/purchase arrangements

Who is affected? The PPSA will affect most businesses and individuals. If you have a security interest in personal property and fail to take steps to register it, you may end up losing it, even though you own it. What is personal property? It is basically anything other than land. Machinery, equipment, stock, motor vehicles, shares, book debts, receivables, crops, trademarks and patents are all forms of personal property. What is a Security Interest? A Security Interest will cover standard security arrangements such as: • Chattel mortgages • Vendor finance • Charges over shares • Bills of sales.

• Commercial consignments • Retention of title (where a supplier of property retains ownership of that property until the purchaser has paid for it) – you may have a clause like this in your trade contract. What if I don’t do anything? You may lose your personal property! For example, Mr Moneybags leases a car to Mr Poor. Mr Poor gives security over all his assets to Lucky Bank. Lucky Bank has registered its interest over Mr Poor’s assets on the PPSA register, but Mr Moneybags has not. Mr Poor goes bankrupt and Lucky Bank takes the car. Even though Mr Moneybags owns the car, because he failed to register his security interest on the PPSA register, Lucky Bank takes priority and can take the car. However, had Mr Moneybags registered his interest on the PPSA register, he would not have lost the car.


What do I need to do? In most cases you will be able to protect yourself by registering your security interest on the new electronic PPSA Register. However, there are some rules and potential pitfalls that you need to be aware of. Included below is a ‘Does PPSA Apply to You?’ checklist. If you tick any of the boxes, you should urgently seek advice about what steps you need to take to protect your interests. The PPSA may also affect asset protect structures you may have in place (such as an asset entity leasing/licensing plant and equipment to a trading entity) and also leases which include both land and chattels (i.e. furnished business premises). For those of you who may already have registered security interests in respect of personal property, those existing security registers including ASIC, Bill of Sale, Crop Liens and REVs, are being migrated over to the PPSA register. Security interests that could not be registered previously and were created prior to the commencement date of the PPSA will have limited protection for two years. It is best to get your affairs in order now however, and not rely on this. The key to protecting yourself will be to get the right advice, have your documentation reviewed and updated and register all security interests on the PPSA register properly. Be aware that we will not examine documents in safe custody or our current or closed files to identify possible security interests unless you specifically instruct us to do so. Failure to protect security interests could be expensive. Because of the significant changes to the law, we urge you to think seriously about the matters raised in this article. Checklist – Does PPSA apply to you? Will you be affected by the PPSA? If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions below, you should contact us to discuss how the PPSA may affect you. • Do you own personal property that could be in someone else’s possession for longer than 90 days? • Do you consign goods to other people to sell? • Do you manufacture and sell goods? • Do your conditions of sale state that you retain ownership until you are paid (i.e. retention of title clause)?

• Do you lease goods or chattels, whether on their own or as part of a lease of land? • Do you have security over a motor vehicle, boat or aircraft? • Do you have security over property which has serial number identification? • Are you involved in transactions under which debts are assigned to you? • Are your security agreements in writing? • Are your security agreements registered on existing registers? • Do you lend money or extend credit for the purchase of inventory or particular items of personal property? • Do you take security over intellectual property e.g. design, patent, plant breeder’s right, trademark? • Have you granted “fixed and floating” charges or have they been granted to you? • Do you deal in livestock, crops or equipment that are not in your possession? • Do you buy or sell personal property either with real estate or on its own? • Do you provide hire-purchase finance? • Do you include charging clauses in your standard documents to give you security for an obligation? • Do you take control of your customer’s bank accounts to secure obligations owed to you? • Does any existing agreement to which you are a party include provisions which create security over property to secure the obligations of a party under the agreement (i.e. joint venture agreements, shareholders or unitholders agreements, licensing agreements, franchise agreements, etc)? If your answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, it is likely that the PPSA will affect you. This list of examples is not exhaustive and any person or business that deals in personal property should carefully consider the impact the PPSA may have. This article was contributed by McKays Solicitors. For further information about the Personal Property Securities Act, please call Paul Agnew, Principal of McKays Solicitors on 07 3223 5908 or The Master Electrician

Spring 2012


PHOTOGRAPHY: Photo courtesy of Runner's World Australia & New Zealand

the interview

AFL Legend Tom Hafey

What are some areas you cover in your presentations, and what have you found is the best way to convey your message? I mainly speak on the areas of teamwork, motivation, and lifestyle. But I think most importantly I don’t tell the people I speak to how to do their jobs. I don’t try to tell them about life. I get many footy players saying they wish they could have done their time over again, or done things differently. But you don’t have to be a superstar to have success, just a good attitude toward life. You are often engaged by both football and non-football audiences. How do you connect with your audiences? You know, I always remind my audience that I recognise a lot of people may not be AFL fans, and I ask that they have an open mind. Because of my background, a lot of examples that I use in my presentations and speeches stem from that area. I think if you’re really switched on and enjoy what you do that’s the important thing.

From AFL Legend to motivational speaker. At 81 years young, ‘AFL royalty’ Tom Hafey shares the experiences that have built his career today, and assures us there can truly be life after footy. You had a successful career as an AFL player and then coach spanning more than three decades, living proof that there can be life after footy. Tell us about your transition from footy legend to motivational speaker. How did you begin your career as a motivational speaker? Well I’ve always felt very strongly toward fitness and health and family. So when my football career ended I became a coach, and then worked in the media. But my career as a motivational speaker actually began while I was coaching football. The coach has always got to be the most

footy players speak to football clubs, or even at corporate functions, but I’m very fortunate in the fact that I do all, including speaking at schools. Today I’ll be involved in a father-son night event, as well as a fundraising one.

enthusiastic person at the football club, and that’s where my career began. I actually went door knocking around schools for ten years for no money at all. I spoke to many kids about love and parents, about the negatives of drinking and smoking, and about looking out for themselves. One school I spoke at up near Geelong had only seven students. After that I put my name down on speaker agencies, and rang up and rang up until I got speaking jobs. I count myself very lucky because I really enjoy doing what I do. A lot of coaches or

During your football career, you coached four teams to Premierships, ten Grand Final appearances, and are one of only six coaches to have coached over 500 AFL/VFL games. Not to mention the 18 players you have coached that have themselves become AFL coaches. You are said to have an honest personality and a special ability with people. Would you attribute your success in AFL – both as a player and a coach – and as a motivational speaker, to your way with people? Well yes, I would think that. I believe I understand them and I always make it a point to never criticise people. I’m sometimes amazed at the things some coaches say to their teams or their players. I think to myself, you say that and you’re going to lose them forever, and saying you’re sorry afterward won’t be good enough. You always have to be careful


what you say. And personally, if I have something to say I make sure it’s between me and the player or the team. You are known as a natural and inspirational speaker. Where do you think your ability to connect with people through your presentations comes from? And where do you get your inspiration from? Well, I just really enjoy what I do for a start. But my inspiration also comes from my fitness and the way I live my life. I never take alcohol and I never have a smoke. People are always a bit surprised at the lifestyle I have, but I say it doesn’t hurt to look after yourself. You recently presented at the 2012 Master Electricians Australia annual conference in Melbourne. What were some key things you talked about and what advice would you give to our readers in the electrical trade and business? I talked about commitment, whether at work or playing sport. Essentially, being a moral citizen, and upholding the values that make a decent society for all to live in. Enjoy what you do for a start, and recognise that if you like what you do it will be a lot easier for you. Some people can be against everything, to be quite honest. And no matter what job they are in they will always find something to be unhappy about. I spoke to a fellow last week whose tongue had been removed due to a blood disorder, and he wrote down everything he wanted to say. Fortunately with modern medicine, many things are no longer impossible and doctors have taken part of his calf to create a new tongue for him. So I always say, remember that many people are a lot worse off and make the most of what you’ve got. What are some things you take away from your footy days that stay with you to this day, and that you still apply to life? As many in the industry may know, you may only have your footy career for a few years of your life. So it’s not much good sitting back questioning yourself and saying, why did I do this or that. Be the most enthusiastic person you can be and allocate out what you put in.

Aside from coaching, you hold several media commitments as a football commentator reporting for ABC Radio (3LO) and Sport 927 among others. What other ways do you stay connected to footy today? I go to watch footy quite often. In fact, I often go to country footy as I really like the atmosphere there. However, I’m not a great lover of the way the game is played right now. I don’t agree with the style of playing, as well as a couple of other things, and I reckon people my age probably feel the same way. I will always love the game, but it has changed through the years and it is not the same game that I’m connected with. Not long ago you appeared in a TV commercial that showed you running and doing push-ups as part of your regular fitness routine. Are you still as passionate about fitness today, and what keeps you young at heart? Well that was a Jeep ad I did a couple of years ago. And yes, I do my fitness routine all the time, and I get up every day at 5.20 a.m. I tell myself, why not? There’s not much use lying around waiting for the grave! That is certainly a long way away! Of your many achievements in life, one was being named Victorian Father of the Year in 2003. Tell us a bit about your family. I love family, I’m crazy into family! I’ve got three lovely daughters who married

three beautiful men and each of them have three kids each and each one of the kids has Hafey as their second Christian name! One of my grandkids is heavily into sailing and plays water polo, and one of my granddaughters plays soccer. All my three daughters play sport too. I also watch rugby league and I really love the Melbourne Storm and am taking my grandkids to see them play! All my family have got their sport, but none of them look like they are going to be budding footy players! What advice would you leave our readers with? Personally, I keep in touch with a lot of people. It is a very lovely feeling to be invited to weddings, and then the weddings of those couples’ children. I believe one of the things in life I feel strongly about is keeping in touch with people. We often let people drift away as things change over the years. But just jump on the phone and get in touch with someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile, and it’s an absolutely lovely feeling! Tom Hafey is a motivational speaker at numerous events and conferences. He is a former AFL player for Richmond between 1953 and 1958, and former AFL coach for Richmond, Collingwood, Geelong and Sydney between 1966 and 1988. Hafey was given the AFL Coaches Association Coaching Legend Award in 2011, and was an inaugural inductee into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996. The Master Electrician

Spring 2012


gadget guide

iPHONE 5 With over 200 new features, the new iPhone 5 is thinner and faster than ever, with a new form factor that uses a 4-inch panoramic screen with more resolution and less consumption. By making the screen taller, not wider, iPhone 5 is easy to use with one hand so you can tap, type and scroll the same way you always have plus you can enjoy even more apps optimized for the larger Retina display, widescreen HD video, a full five days on the Calendar and more of every web page. iPhone 5 is the thinnest smartphone in the world, with a new 7.6mm anodized aluminium body that is 18 per cent thinner and 20 per cent lighter than iPhone 4S. The new A6 processor chip was designed by Apple to maximize performance and power efficiency to support all the new features in iPhone 5 while delivering even better battery life. Those in rural areas should be aware however, the iPhone 5 does not have Telstra's Blue Tick for rural service guarantee like it's predecessor. But thanks to its new LTE capabilities it browses, downloads and streams content from the web even faster. And, as rumoured, it has a new smaller dock connector called Lightning. If you are in the market for a new smartphone, the iPhone 5 is a solid upgrade worth investigating. Starting at RRP $799 for 16GB model Visit for more information.


Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750

The Conserve Socket Power Timer automatically shuts off power, including standby power, to your electronics and appliances after a time interval you select in order to help you save energy and keep your electricity bill costs down.

Using a keyboard doesn’t get any easier than this. This solar-powered wireless keyboard makes battery hassles a thing of the past in a streamlined, comfortable design that charges itself whenever there is the presence of light. Once fully charged, the keyboard battery functions for at least three months in total darkness.

Coming with a three year product warranty, the Conserve Socket can be used anywhere in your home. Use with curling irons, clothes irons, coffeemakers, toaster ovens, and heaters to save energy and make your home safer. Limit electricity use by using with lighting, fans and heaters. Eliminate standby power when charging mobile phones, MP3 players, Bluetooth devices, and cameras. RRP $19.95 Visit for more information.

Combining the best of traditional keyboards, laptops and a Logitech-only concave key cap design, you willl enjoy faster, quieter typing that feels good, hour after hour. The keyboard has sleek lines and a thin profile that suits both desktop and laptop usage. Featuring ‘plug-and-play’ simplicity in its design, setting the keyboard up takes only seconds to plug the wireless receiver into a USB port on your computer, so you can start using it right away without the need for any software. Solar energy is an important issue in the electrical industry, and with the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard, you can lead by example in your own workplace. RRP $149.95 Visit for more information.


techno biz

Reel-Ezi Reel-Ezi is a polarity and main earth continuity tester, essential to comply with standards and regulations AS/ NZS 3000:2007 – 8.3.7 Polarity, 8.3.5 Earth Continuity. Features include: • Robust construction • 2.5mm x 25m of lead • Multi-purpose testing • Easily stowed • Connects direct to earth peg • Quick set up/pack up • Five year warranty on steel For more information visit

Fleetminder GPS vehicle tracking solutions

Verbatim release Outdoor PAR38 LED Lamp

Fleetminder is a complete GPS tracking solution, fleet management and business management system developed in Australia.

Verbatim are now shipping their new Outdoor PAR38 LED Lamp. Verbatim’s PAR 38 LED lamp is designed as a high-quality, energy efficient replacement for up to 100 watt halogen lamps. Ideal for commercial and residential applications, Verbatim PAR LED retrofit lamps provide clear, uniform beam distributions that are UL wet-rated, designed to withstand direct exposure to rain and spraying water which also make them perfect for hard to reach outdoor fixture locations.

Developed for businesses with staff and assets on the road, Fleetminder is guaranteed to improve a business’s bottom line. Fleetminder provides a complete range of reliable, robust and high quality hardware utilising GPS, GSM, SMS and Iridium technology to: • Improve staff and asset efficiency with minute by minute reporting of asset and vehicle location

The Verbatim 1250 Lumen PAR38 LED lamp can reduce energy consumption by more than 70% when compared to halogen PAR lamps and has a RRP of $79.95.

• Improve OH&S with the inbuilt panic alarm and optional distress alert

For more information and to find a stockist visit

• Reduce wastage and costs – save on fuel consumption, vehicle wear and tear, and unauthorised use of company assets • Prevent unauthorised vehicle or asset removal – Fleetminder can provide an alert if the equipment or vehicle is moved from its authorised location or if an alarm is activated • Disable stolen and overdue vehicles or assets. For more information visit

The Master Electrician

Spring 2012


technical talk

AS/NZS 5033 has been completely revised: New installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV)Â arrays Master Electricians Australia would like to draw attention to the release of the standard AS/NZS 5033:2012 for all those working in the solar photovoltaic industry. A new Standard The Australian/New Zealand Joint Technical Committee EL 042 have released the new version of AS/NZS 5033, which commenced on 16 July 2012. The new Standard has been in draft form for a considerable period of time to allow for consultation and input from all stakeholders, and has been substantially re-written with many additional changes and requirements. The 2012 Standard is an essential requirement for all those working in the solar photovoltaic industry. Master Electricians Australia advises all contractors to purchase a copy and thoroughly familiarise yourselves with the changes. Major changes A small number of changes have new implementation time periods. This is to allow any stock purchased by equipment sellers and installation companies to be used under the previous 2005 version of the standard. Appendix H has been added to the standard to

clarify this transition period and contains a table which lists the affected clauses and their implementation dates. The majority of the standard is to take effect three months after the date of publication while other clauses have one and two year implementation dates. This will minimise the financial impact on companies and enable a smoother transition into the new 2012 version Standard.

"The majority of the standard is to take effect three months after the date of publication while other clauses have one and two year implementation dates.This will minimise the financial impact on companies and enable a smoother transition into the new 2012 version Standard."


The intent of the sunset clauses is to allow for the genuine run-out of pre-purchased equipment and existing quotations/contracts. It’s important to be aware this may be monitored by the regulatory authorities and disputes between the intent and exact wording may have financial implications. If in doubt, use the new Standard immediately, change your installation methods to the new Standard and also apply this to any repairs or warranty work undertaken. It would be wise when carrying out for example, like-for-like component repairs, to fully address the increased safety methods adopted in the 2012 Standard. This would be addressed directly to the owner of the installation.

"The new Standard has been in draft form for a considerable period of time to allow for consultation and input from all stakeholders, and has been substantially re-written with many additional changes and requirements." Examples of major changes • The highest D.C. voltage allowable in domestic installations is set at a maximum of 600V D.C. (Clause 3.1.) • All modules in a string must have the same physical orientation (Clause 2.1.5.) • All Photovoltaic Modules now have a mandatory Insulation Class of 1 (Clause ) • Photovoltaic D.C. cabling inside a building environment must be protected by Heavy Duty (HD) Conduit. (Clause • A minimum IP rating of 54 applies to all outside electrical equipment (Clause These examples demonstrate the additional cost added to the installation methods now required by the 2012 Standard. For example, the 600V D.C. domestic voltage limit may require more

string wiring; the Class 1 classification of Solar Panels now require earthing; and the extra cost in time and products to run D.C. cables in HD conduit within a building. Documentation of system instructions and signage has also been changed as well as a recommendation for a common commissioning procedure. Installation safety The 2012 Standard has a normative reference to AS/NZS 3000, and because of this we would apply clause 1.9.3 to repairs as long as the fundamental principals could also be met. Many changes to the Standard have been made as a consequence of problems encountered with existing installations. Although the installation practices were compliant at the time, there may be a need to implement new safety methods of the 2012 Standard if a dangerous situation is evident. New document layout The 2012 Standard has re-classified each section. Section one is similar, however the 2012 Standard has only five sections as opposed to the nine sections in the superseded 2005 version. As new technology has become commercially available, the definitions in section one have been updated to include new inverter types and power conversion equipment. This particular change is in response to the new review of the International Standard for Inverters IEC 62109-2 Ed. I (2011).This requires further protective earthing procedures not clearly defined in the 2005 Version but required under normative standards AS/NZS 3000:2007. It is important to note that the appendices have also been re-categorised. Master Electricians Australia strongly advises that all contractors obtain the new 2012 Standard in order to avoid any potential risks and ensure compliance with the new requirements. For more information and to purchase a copy of the new 2012 Standard, visit The Master Electrician

Spring 2012


workplace relations

A Buzz of activity Since the last issue of The Master Electrician magazine, the Australian industrial relations scene has been a hive of activity, both lawful and unlawful. Decisions have been both beneficial and adverse, affecting electrical contractors large and small.

In the last three months, cracks in legislation which have been

highlighted by Master Electricians Australia on a number of occasions and are an ongoing concern for employers, have become even more evident. The symptoms of these policy failures have manifested themselves as the Grocon dispute in Victoria and the much longer dispute at the Queensland Children’s Hospital, which saw six weeks of illegal industrial action. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), Queensland Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) and now the Communications, Electrical, Plumbing Union (CEPU) have been found by Fair Work Australia (FWA) to be participating in illegal industrial action. As these events have been unfolding, the Trade Union movement calls for more powers of arbitration by FWA, but when the rubber hits the road the Unions simply ignore the independent umpire’s decision. Fair Work Act Review The expert panel appointed by Bill Shorten, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, released its review of the Fair Work Act

on 2 August 2012. The report makes 58 recommendations for the Government to consider and respond to. The Minister has stated that he will respond after consultation with stakeholders. In analysing the recommendations, it is reasonable to call the changes and concessions made to employers, ‘tinkering’ or ‘placating’ for the sake of making changes. However changes aligned with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Congress platforms appear to be higher on the agenda and have by far the largest implications on employers. The most concerning implications for employers are: • Extension of the list of family members where flexible working arrangements can be requested, whereas at present only disabled and children under five qualify (recommendation 5) • Informing FWA of Flexibility Arrangements and Bargaining commencements (recommendation 10) • FWA able to initiate conciliation in protracted negotiations both Brownfield and Greenfield agreements, regardless of the party’s status or position, or compliance with good faith bargaining requirements (recommendation 22 and 29)


• Outlawing collective agreements with one employee (recommendation 26) • Extension of voting rights to employees not covered by the agreement in question (recommendation 32) • Withdrawal of Ministers ability to terminate industrial action (recommendation 34) • Compulsory Arbitration of Greenfield agreements (recommendation 30) • FWA to determine right of entry if dispute arises and extension of right of entry even if the employee concerned no longer works for the employer (recommendations 35, 36, 37)

"The symptoms of these policy failures have manifested themselves as the Grocon dispute in Victoria and the much longer dispute at the Queensland Children’s Hospital, which resulted in six weeks of illegal industrial action." The CEPU sub–contractors clause Developed by the CEPU, this clause requires employers to ensure consultation occurs with the Union prior to engaging subcontractors and that all subcontractor employees are paid the same rates as those received by ADJ Contracting employees. Employer associations Australian Industry Group (AiG) and AMMA challenged the approval of the ADJ Contracting enterprise agreement on the basis that it conflicted with the Fair Work Act and the Competition and Consumer Act in a number of areas. Remarkably, the Full Court found that there were no legal authorities that employers had workplace rights under s341 of the FW Act. However whilst this case continues, Brookfield Multiplex and the CFMEU have appeared six times in front of FWA. Each time, FWA have refused to issue a protected action ballot order on the basis that the CFMEU were pursuing an issue that is not a permitted matter in their claim for a similar contractor’s clause with Brookfield Multiplex. It seems ludicrous that FWA Tribunal has no powers to determine if an agreement, once voted on and approved by the employees and employer, is allowed to be approved when it contains a nonpermitted matter that is unenforceable and that one party to an agreement has no rights.

Bendigo TAFE case The Bendigo TAFE was another curious case in that the High Court overturned a majority decision of the Federal Court. The Federal Court ruled in a split decision that an employer ‘subconsciously’ decided to take disciplinary action against an employee because of their union membership status. It is a basic premise of the courts that the facts of the case should be those adjudged, supported by evidence including sworn testimony by the decision maker which was the case in this instance. The decision of the Federal Court, if it was allowed to stand, would have meant that employers would have no ability to defend an adverse action claim and be open to almost limitless penalties. In some consolation for employers, this situation was highlighted by the Fair Work Act Review Panel and the panel recommended that these circumstances be changed by the Minister in the act. Thankfully now this will not be required, however changes should still be made to ensure that these circumstances do not arise again. Victorian Code of Practice for the building and construction industry In recognition of the frailties of the current act and the demise of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), the Victorian Government has implemented its revised construction guidelines. This will prohibit on-site practices and workplace arrangements that restrict efficient performance of work or productivity on projects. The guidelines which came into effect from 1 July this year ban a number of tendering practices and agreement provisions such as: • Restricting labour supply or conditions, e.g. providing that employers must consult unions or gain their approval for the number, source, type or payment of labour • Fettering all-in payments • Negating the state code or guidelines, or rendering them ineffective via clauses in other industrial instruments • Making provision for project agreements to apply, other than for major contracts defined by clients. The Guidelines apply to building and construction work to the exclusion of mining, maintenance and suppliers operations. The landscape of industrial relations will gather pace over the coming year as we enter into an election campaign and see the results of the Modern Award Review and the final changes to the Fair Work Act. Needless to say this will have major implications for employers and their planning over the coming years. The Master Electrician

Spring 2012


all about ME

MEA welcomes new board members

Master Electricians

Australia (MEA) are pleased to welcome Iain Sibbald, Troy Smith and Glenn Eccles who have recently joined the Board of Directors. All accredited Master Electricians were invited to put forward nominations and there was an excellent response. At the annual general meeting held on 10 August, the existing MEA Board and Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) Council selected four members who renominated, three new members and two representatives from the ECA. Each brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the electrical industry to MEA.

Iain Sibbald Mr Sibbald is the Managing Director of Fuse Electrical in Victoria. Mr Sibbald brings a wealth of experience to the Board having undertaken commercial and domestic work in diverse electrical environments including crane towers installing and maintaining electrical signage at great heights and aeroplanes as part of the emergency response technical team at Melbourne Airport. Since establishing his own electrical business ‘Fuse Electrical’ in 2004, Mr Sibbald has developed a passion for marketing and has successfully created, built and protected his business’ brand and reputation.

Glen Eccles Mr Eccles is the Managing Director of Power On Electrix in Western Australia (WA). Mr Eccles has been an active electrical contractor for 25 years in the domestic and commercial industries. One of the first Accredited Master Electricians in WA, Mr Eccles has a passion for the electrical maintenance industry and has worked hard to improve the electrical standards, striving to make properties safer in WA. He has been an advisor on many committees over the years and brings a significant amount of experience and knowledge to the Board.

Troy Smith Mr Smith is the Managing Director of Electric Results in South Australia. He is an experienced and successful strategic leader, possessing well developed marketing, sales and people management skills gained both at the coal face and in senior executive roles within commercial and industrial electrical environments.


Sparkies shine at Master Electricians Awards Nights

Some of the country’s best and brightest electricians were celebrated at the Annual Excellence Awards nights held by Master Electricians Australia (MEA) and the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA), on 22 September for the National Awards and 1 September for the North Queensland Awards. Thirteen awards were given to individuals and businesses who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their chosen field at the Gala Dinners held in Townsville and Brisbane. The ECA Group CEO, Malcolm Richards, was impressed by all the award recipients, commending them on their stellar efforts throughout the year. “Each of the winners epitomise what Master Electricians is all about, which is essentially to lead the industry and connect with others on these advancements,” Mr Richards said. The National Master Electrician of the Year was awarded to Mathew Timms and Dave Segav from Power Concepts based in Darwin, who have continually placed a strong emphasis on safety and training of staff and positive company culture. North Queensland Master Electrician of the Year went to Horan and Bird based in Garbutt, which values excellence in technology along with safety, reliability and quality. The North Queensland Apprentice Encouragement Award was won by Kristie-Leigh McQuilty, who is employed by AE Smith & Sons in Townsville. The National Apprentice Encouragement Award went to Michael Egan, who is employed by R & H Electrical. The honour of National Business Woman of the Year was bestowed upon Janelle Miller, part-owner of A & J Electrical and ECA’s Brisbane Branch Coordinator. Since 1983, Janelle has been working hard to build a strong reputation for the company. The Northern Queensland Business Woman of the Year was awarded

to Becky O’Brien of O’Brien Electrical, based in Mackay. Becky manages 10 staff plus her husband Travis, and is also ECA’s Mackay Branch Coordinator. The Commercial and Utilities Project of the Year, judged as the most outstanding in technical complexity, was fitted out by Commlec Services at a sportsground in Maribyrnong-Maidstone in Melbourne. The project included installing floodlighting of FIFA standard to the soccer field and IHF standard to the hockey fields. It took five months to complete due to the complexity involved. The Northern Queensland Commercial and Utilities Project of the Year was awarded to EcoLec for their work on a sports complex in Townsville. GTL Electrical was awarded the Lex Batterham Communications and Data Project of the Year for their work on the refurbishment of a function centre above a new brewery bottling plant. The project took 12 months to complete yet there was no interference to the daily running of the brewery. All design was undertaken between the owner and GTL Electrical, and the judges were impressed with the high quality finish. The Green Project of the Year Award was given to Power Integration for their work on a project at the Coolum Hyatt on the Sunshine Coast. This unique development involved installing the latest innovative technologies into Sekisui housing; providing smart wiring, security, energy management and lighting control. The Northern Queensland Green Project of the Year was awarded to Bonlec in Garbutt for installing state of the art green technology on a residential project. Wattrix received the Industrial Project of the Year Award for their fit-out of mining refuge chambers which is an ongoing project spanning more than two years. North Queensland Industrial and Mining Project of the Year went to Minelec in Garbutt. The Master Electrician

Spring 2012


all about ME For this year's photos, see


Other Sponsors

Mathew Timms from Power Concepts with Richard Flanagan, President of ECA

Solar Installation Project of the Year was awarded to Sunelec for their work on the 250MW Queensland Government Contact Centre, with Excel Solar Highly Commended for the 60KW Solar Farm in Toowoomba. North Queensland Solar Installation Project was awarded to Horan & Bird for demonstrating a high quality design and finish in a commercial installation; a classic example of practicing what they preach. Commlec was awarded Smart Wiring Project of the Year for their work on a residential home on Beach Road, Black Rock in Melbourne, with Power Integration Highly Commended for their refurbishment of a residential project on the Brisbane River after the floods. The North Queensland Smart Wiring Project of the Year was awarded to GTL for their excellent work on the Fit 4 Life building in Townsville. Power Integration won the Residential Project valued over $400,000 award for their work on a home located on the Brisbane River after the floods. Power Integration was able to provide the customer with a seamless installation with one point of contact across all trades required. The Northern Queensland Residential Project valued over $400,000 was awarded to Dav Electrical in Kirwan for their excellent work on a prestigious new development. The Residential Project of the Year valued under $400,000 went to Commlec Services for their work on a domestic building at Black Rock in Melbourne. During the seven month project, they completed the electrical installation, lighting and smart wiring.

The Northern Queensland Residential Project valued under $400,000 was awarded to Bonlec in Garbutt for their work on the sophisticated Mallorca Circuit Burdell home. Bonlec also won the Bob Cooper Award, being recognised for their achievements in the fields of safety, training, and use of high level technology. The Innovative Product of the Year Award went to Joe Hudson for the Remote Solar Isolator which provides isolation of all solar panels in an emergency situation, including in the occurrence of a fire. This product offers a new level of safety for every solar installation around the world. The President’s Award went to Ray Culpan from Culpans Electrical. Ray joined ECA in January 1955, just 5 months after starting his own business. During this time he has made a big contribution to the Gold Coast Branch of which he was the Chairman for many years. Mr Richards said judging the award nominees this year was particularly difficult. “The standard of Master Electricians’ work is improving year on year, and the winners selected have demonstrated they are well and truly industry leaders,” he said. Thank you to all the nominees and winners for entering, and congratulations. We hope to see all of you and more next time.

The Saturn range now has an extra Touch of class.

Saturn OneTouch switches and dimmers. ™

The stunning Saturn range of switches and accessories now has a new addition that your customers are going to love – Saturn OneTouch.

• Touch-sensitive control interface

Incorporating all of the fantastic architectural design features that have made the Saturn range so popular, Saturn OneTouch switches and dimmers have been designed to complement the existing range, with the added benefit of unique touch-sensitive control.

• 1 to 6 touch control wall plates and 1 and 2 gang architrave versions

With electronic switch and dimmer technology, and advanced load handling capabilities, Saturn OneTouch has become the most desirable touch-sensitive switch and dimmer on the Australian market.

• Cool blue LED indicator

For more information or to obtain a brochure, speak to your Clipsal Representative, call 1300 2025 25 or visit


© 2012 Schneider Electric. All Rights Reserved.

• Ultra-modern electronic switches and dimmers • Multi-way switching and dimming (up to three locations)

• Switch (400W), dimmer (350W) • Audible on/off tone • Available in Pure White, Ocean Mist and Espresso Black


test drive

Hyundai iLoad Test driver Jason O’Dwyer finds first impressions of the iLoad will not be his last.

When I discovered I would be testing Hyundai’s latest offering, the iLoad, I felt like James May being stitched up… or did I? (Pardon the pun!). Having had some experience driving commercial vehicles like the Kia Pregio and the Toyota Hiace in the past, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the iLoad. Initially I was a little nervous about the size of the iLoad. The base model 2.5L common rail diesel automatic weighs in at just over 3,200kg and at over five metres long and almost two metres wide and high, I figured it was going to be uncomfortable, clumsy and a serious hazard to drive. I started by setting myself up for the week. Most important first, I started with the stereo. It was easy to use with Bluetooth, MP3

and iPod connectivity. Overall the sound was good despite having two speakers which were a bit tinny-sounding at times. It also had stereo controls on the steering wheel. Nice touch! Being 6’2” tall, it’s common for my knees to get bashed when trying to get past the steering wheel, particularly in commercial vehicles. However, the steps into the vehicle and the room behind the steering wheel of the iLoad are more than ample. My knees were safe! The front has two passenger seats next to the driver’s seat, but the middle seat is conveniently offset from the other two, saving the elbows of all three front seat occupants from the pain and annoyance of knocking into each other. Like most commercial vehicles, the leg room of the middle seat could potentially be quite uncomfortable for anybody of more than average height.


I’m stating the obvious here, but storage for commercial use has most definitely been kept in mind when designing the interior of this vehicle. With two glove boxes, two storage spaces in each door, two cup holders, and two bottle holders for the front passengers, there is plenty of room to stow things. One minor issue I found was with the steering column. While the steering column does go up and down, it is not telescopic. There is also an auto-lock feature that locks the doors once you start driving and unless you turn the engine off, you’ll find you have to manually unlock the doors. However I have since discovered this ‘Hyundai Active Locking Operation’ can be turned off by a Hyundai dealer if the driver does not want this feature. Beyond that, the front cabin is very comfortable and would be suitable for both short and long distance trips. Unlike other commercial vans, the driver is not sitting directly over the front wheels. Even if you are a tradesman or a delivery driver, the iLoad would not make you sore and uncomfortable. The manoeuvrability of the iLoad was also very surprising. The turning circle is only 11.2 metres which is the same as the Ford and Toyota commercial vehicles yet the iLoad is longer in length. The payload area itself is very spacious and you would easily have the ability to take a full pallet from a forklift if you opt for the ‘barn’ door. Even so, the tailgate version I used had ample space and can certainly be a handy wet weather cover in bad conditions. The payload area has 10 anchor points and plenty of space for configuration. With two sliding doors, the iLoad gives you the option to customise the vehicle for many different trades, deliveries and purposes. Driving in peak hour proved much better than expected. Being so high up meant visibility ahead was great. The only slight issue was the blind spot in the back left-hand side where there is no window (but can be ordered as an optional extra). The five-speed auto was very smooth in stop-start traffic with no tell-tale sign of the old diesel auto transmission lag you can get in other vehicles. The ratios are well-spaced, seamless and well-matched with the suspension, ensuring the iLoad handles surprisingly well. Although I expect it would be a little unpredictable in the wet if it weren’t loaded up or had the added feature of stability control. In terms of performance, the vehicle was surprisingly quick and responsive. The 2.5L engine gives plenty of power at 125kw and

"I’m stating the obvious here, but storage for commercial use has most definitely been kept in mind when designing this interior of this vehicle." pulls hard and well up to about 4500 rpm. I think merging with traffic on those pesky, short freeway entrances will be a thing of the past in the iLoad. In the week I had the vehicle, it travelled a total of 400 kilometres in a mix of peak hour traffic and highway driving. Over this distance the iLoad used just over half of the 75L tank, so approximately 10.5L per 100KM. For a three tonne vehicle the fuel economy proved very impressive, considering I was not driving efficiently in the beginning due to my surprise at the power acceleration, smoothness of the overall package and how much like a car the iLoad drives. Road noise at higher speeds was surprisingly better than I expected also, even with no load. Hyundai have certainly got the right mix of build quality and tyre-matching for this vehicle. By the end of my test drive week, I must admit that my opinion of the iLoad was very different to the impressions I had when I first saw the vehicle. Overall, there were few and only minor drawbacks for me. Features such as cruise control, park assist and stability control are optional extras, but would certainly be a must for most buyers. Could I become Jeremy Clarkson and fang the iLoad around the Nurbürgring circuit in around 10 minutes? I wouldn’t mind giving it a try, but that would probably reflect my driving skill more than the actual vehicle’s capabilities. In conclusion I am impressed with the iLoad’s good handling, good fuel consumption and comfortable interior. With a five year/160,000 kilometre warranty, I think the vehicle certainly stacks up. The iLoad would definitely be worth looking at and having a test drive in, especially if your current vehicle is up for renewal or you are adding to your fleet. Full specs are available on the Hyundai Australia website Priced from $28,990 plus accessories for ABN holders. The Master Electrician

Spring 2012


events calendar

NOVEMBER 1 November 2012 Ergon RECESS – Toowoomba City Golf Club

20 – 22 November 2012 Smart Utilities Australia and New Zealand Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

IMPORTANT DATES THIS QUARTER 6 November 2012 Melbourne Cup Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne

7 November 2012 Ergon RECESS – Mackay Andergrove Tavern

26 – 28 November 2012 Bioenergy Australia 2012 Conference The Sebel & Citigate Albert Park Hotel, Melbourne

7 – 9 November 2012 Carbon Expo Australasia Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

30 November – 2 December 2012 Sydney Telstra 500 Sydney

31 December 2012 New Years Eve


26 January 2013 Australia Day

8 November 2012 Ergon RECESS – Brisbane Ergon Energy, Banyo 8 – 9 November 2012 Australian Sustainability Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre 9 November 2012 Ergon RECESS – Coolum Coolum RSL 9 – 11 November 2012 4WD and Adventure Show McCallum Park, Perth index.phtml 14 November 2012 Total Solar Eclipse Cairns region 5.45am – 7.40am

5 – 6 December 2012 Energy Efficiency Council National Conference Sydney Masonic Centre, New South Wales 26 – 30 December 2012 Vodafone Boxing Day Test Melbourne Cricket Ground

JANUARY 5 – 28 January 2013 Sydney Festival Sydney City

25 December 2012 Christmas Day

1 January 2013 New Years Day

28 January 2013 Allocated public holiday for Australia Day


shocking photo

LIKE TO WIN $50? Send us your favourite picture or story and if we publish it, we’ll send you $50!

Bare copper cables in a twist! Found behind an existing GPO in a house being renovated, this wiring consists of over 10mm of protruding bare copper! Thanks to Jason from Nambour, $50 is on its way. Send your entries to for your chance to win.

planning for our future energy needs

The future is changing, as are our needs. Electrogroup offers a wide range of courses designed to keep you at the forefront of the Electrotechnology Industry. CPR and Low Voltage Rescue initial and refresher training Solar Design and Install course Telecommunications Open Registration ( for ACMA registration) Structured and Coaxial Cabling Endorsement Course Optical Fibre Endorsement Course. Alarm Installers Course (planned for mid-2013)

CCTV installers Course (planned for mid-2013) Test and Tag course Electrical Contractors Course (planned for early 2013) Clipsal C-Bus training provider for Basic and Touch Screen Restricted Electrical (planned for early 2013) Skills maintenance course for renewal of electrical license

Including block or week release training for apprentices currently enrolled in the UEE30807 Cert III Electro-technology training package.

Contact us for more information, 1300 EGROUP (1300 347 687) by industry for industry /

The Master Electrician

Spring 2012


the last word What do your customers really think about your business? There is an old saying in marketing that goes ‘Perception is reality’. This means that the picture painted in the customer’s mind about the product or service is real to them regardless of how it is created. This picture often then controls their buying choice. The Master Electricians accreditation program is in its fourth year, and while any program like this will inevitably have critics and those who resist change, there is no doubt the brand awareness is continually growing in the public’s mind. Further, it’s influencing their choice in selecting contractors. One of the improvements to the program in recent times has been the automated customer feedback surveys. After a customer registers on our website to find a Master Electrician and you accept the connection with the customer, we email them one month later and ask about the total service experience. The feedback is essential, not only for improving our service but also for you to understand, and in some cases improve, your service to your customers. After all, are we being measured only on the finished electrical work or on the total service to the customer including the booking, turning up on time, presentation, customer relations and billing?

One of the most positive elements to come out of this process has been the very high level of very satisfied customers that have used our booking system and then received high quality service from our national network of Master Electricians. In what has been a tough financial year for many contractors, those who have built their business on quality and not price are doing well. Many Accredited Master Electricians have used the brand wisely to complement their total Brand Strategy to position their business for the long term. Have you ever looked at your business and asked how you are seen or perceived by your customers? Have you ever engaged a third party to ask your customers what they thought of you? What would they say?

not only in their own businesses, but right across the board in our industry. As I said on the night, the past 12 months have been difficult for all businesses. In that environment, it’s so encouraging to see entrepreneurs in electrical contracting who believe quality is the key to surviving and thriving.

On the subject of customer service and quality businesses, I want to congratulate all the recent winners announced at the Master Electricians/Electrical Contractors Association annual awards dinner. The winners included a wide variety of businesses from big to small, and a geographic spread from Melbourne to Darwin. The range of projects awarded was equally diverse.

We look forward to an even wider range of award entries next time. Now’s the time to start thinking about projects you are working on that deserve recognition from your peers.

What they all had in common was a commitment to lifting service standards,


QUALITY PRODUCTS TO SUIT ECONOMICAL SOLUTIONS Look no further than the new N-Line high quality enclosures range from NHP. Available in powder coated mild steel and insulated plastic. N-Line offers you quality, durability and cost effectiveness across the entire range.

Please scan the QR code for a full list of features and benefits.

Now available through your local wholesaler.


New N-Line Isolators coming soon.

A big difference This air-conditioner is unique. It has no outdoor unit. The Italians have done it again. The Unico from Olimpia Splendid represents the latest in air-conditioning technology. Instead of a big outer box, it’s got two small holes. The air-conditioner is installed from the inside, quickly and without any complex masonry. This means fast and low cost installation. Four models with Inverter technology to choose from. Four models with On/Off technology. With or without heat pump technology. Unico. It means “the only one”, in Italian. You’ll agree. It’s unique.

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