March 26, 2014
March 25, 2014
Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has supported the State Government’s decision to abandon the 8 cent solar feed-in tariff, saying it gives homeowners the opportunity to shop around for the best deal with retailers.
MEA Queensland State Manager Stephen King said new scheme meant most solar users would be able to start to play retailers off against each other to get a better deal.
“It makes sense for energy retailers to be paying a tariff for power put back into the grid by homeowners, rather than the government,” Mr King said.
“Removal of the tariff will foster competition and enable homeowners to shop around and the feed-in tariff may well increase with the added completion.
“Consumers should take this as an opportunity to not only ensure they are getting a fair deal but to do a full check of their home’s energy efficiency to see where else they can make savings.
“Homeowners can get a Master Electrician to come into their home and identify the most energy efficiency investments for their household.”
February 28, 2014
Clipsal Pop-Up Power Outlets are ideal for any home or office applications where safe and convenient access to power is required. Neat and innovative, Clipsal Pop-Up Power Outlets provide a discreet and tidy appearance when not in use and their pop-up action is sure to impress. They accommodate a twin auto switched socket, which makes them ideal for almost any application.
This power solution offers greater safety and peace of mind around the home, particularly in areas like the kitchen and work top benches. Risk is minimised with this power solution as it helps prevent cable plugged into the side of bench tops being pulled off and also keeps cables away from the hands of small children.
Stylish Colours. Sleek Design.
Clipsal have extended their range of pop-up power outlets to include a selection of colours to complement any interior décor, and when you combine this with the sleek design, you have a power solution that’s bound to turn heads.
Features & Benefits
- Easy access to power where you needs it
- Twin power outlets
- Wide Colour selection
- Pre-wired for easy installation
- Safe Power solution
- Splash and dust proof (IP44 rated)
February 26, 2014
Master Electricians Australia have endorsed changes introduced to Parliament by the Queensland Government aimed at ensuring worksites are safer and better protected from union abuse.
Master Electricians Australia’s General Manager-Workforce Policy, Jason O’Dwyer, said the tougher penalties for electrical safety breaches were a welcome step in protecting workers and keeping them safe on the job. Employers would also welcome additional protection against union bullying and disruption on building sites.
“We’ve seen building unions cause significant delays to major projects by exploiting obscure loopholes or simply thumbing their noses at the law,” Mr O’Dwyer said.
“We’ve seen regular use of safety issues as the basis for spurious right of entry claims. “Everybody wants safe and secure workplaces, where everyone who goes to work at the start of the day goes home safely again at the end of it.
“However, this mutual concern for safety should not be abused for industrial purposes. It not only cripples productivity and puts jobs at risk, but in the end it weakens the awareness of genuine safety issues on sites.
“Fictitious claims ultimately lead to complacency, and in the building industry employers cannot afford complacency.
“For the safety of workers, for the productivity of work sites and for everyone’s job security, it is good to see a government taking action in this important area.”
Mr O’Dwyer praised the Attorney-General for his efforts in bringing the new laws before the Parliament, and said major contractors and employers would be keen to assist the government with their implementation.
Following the launch of WebMobile & the successful iOS App for smart phone devices, Rexel Australia are proud to provide 2 valuable mobile resources for iPhone and Android users!
These resources are an iPhone & Android mobile App that aims to provide useful features & functions to benefit our valued customers including:
- Quick Access to meaningful industry news
- A comprehensive Store Finder, so you can quickly find you’re closest Rexel branch where ever your work takes you in Australia.
- Reference material to assist you with quick calculations, fact checking or conversions.
- Feedback & Social Media – this will let our customers have their say, start community discussions on Twitter or Facebook and tell us what’s important to them.
- Access to all things Rexel including an active link to your account information via our online WebMobile store.
- Promotions and detailed Product information are also at customers fingertips.
- There is much more to come as the Apps grow & evolve based on customer feedback.
February 25, 2014
High-speed broadband is critical to determining the future competitiveness and productivity of Australian businesses. The current transitions underway in our economy highlight the urgency of that investment task,”Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) Chief Executive Innes Willox said.
“According to ABS data, only 3% of business and government users have high-speed broadband connections, and the figure is lower for small and medium businesses. Most businesses – over 70% – still access the internet via lower-speed ADSL.
“Australian businesses recognise that access to high-speed broadband is increasingly important to their business. 75% of the businesses we surveyed late last year rated access to high-speed broadband as important to their business over the next two to three years.
“We therefore welcome today’s announcement that the currently planned rollout will continue until the end of 2014 and that work is underway for a smooth transition to the multitechnology model from 2015.
“Suppliers, service providers, shareholders and business customers need certainty about the roll out so they can plan and invest with confidence.
“Of course, there are inherent challenges in revising the model. Meeting a 2020 roll out timetable depends on a series of chips falling into place and minimal disruption to the current roll out.
“NBN Co’s transparency is welcomed in setting out the process they and the government will follow, but these issues must be managed closely to avoid delays. We are looking for more detail about the quality and type of services that will be available to business users under the multitechnology model ahead of the release of the new Corporate Plan later this year.
“We will also examine the findings of the full Broadband Availability and Quality Report, released on 20 February.
“Telecommunications infrastructure remains a concern for business. Ai Group’s latest broadband survey found nearly 40% of businesses rated their existing infrastructure as inadequate. The problem is particularly acute for businesses in outer metropolitan and regional areas.
“Changes to the model or roll out timetable to address under served areas need to encourage cost-effective and high-quality services for businesses as well as residential users.”
February 11, 2014
According to the latest Dun & Bradstreet’s Business Expectations Survey, 68% of Australian businesses are more optimistic about growth this year compared to 2013, with the positive mood lifting first quarter expectations for sales, profits, selling prices, investment and employment to their highest levels in 12 months.
With greater activity expected, the survey revealed that 18% of businesses are planning to access new finance during Q1 to grow their operations; the survey’s highest response since Q4 2011.
The pick-up in borrowing plans is reflected in stronger capital investment and employment intentions, which have recovered from negative territory during the previous quarter and moved above their respective 10-year averages.
Some 13% of businesses plan to increase capital spending in Q1 2014, compared to the 5% which will decrease, lifting the investment index from -0.4 points last quarter to 7.2 points.
Meanwhile, hiring plans have also strengthened, with 15% of businesses intending to take on more staff while 7% plan to reduce their employment levels. The response has taken D&B’s employment index to a three-year high of 8.8 points.
In addition to a turnaround in business spending intentions, D&B’s sales index has jumped to 27.5 points, its highest point in 12 months, while the profits index has reached 25 points, its highest level since Q1 2011.|
24% of businesses are planning to raise the prices of their products and services during the first quarter of the year. While supporting healthier profit margins, the increase presents a potential inflation concern to economy.
“These latest findings further support the picture of an economy that has found its feet, following a 2013 of weak and irregular business conditions,” said Danielle Woods, Director of Corporate Affairs at Dun & Bradstreet. “With companies looking ahead with optimism, forecasting strong sales and profits, and most recently showing a willingness and capacity to borrow money to grow their operations, the signs are positive for the New Year.
“In particular, the increases in hiring and capital investment intentions indicate that businesses are preparing for a year of stronger growth and business activity.”
Corresponding to the more positive outlook, the survey found that fewer companies see obstacles to growth in 2014. When asked to identify the biggest barrier to growth in the year ahead, the most common response (35%) was ‘no major barrier’.
“The new year is starting with business expectations at very optimistic levels,” said Stephen Koukoulas, Economic Adviser to Dun & Bradstreet. “Both sales and profit expectations continue to lift, signalling stronger economic growth in the early months of 2014. The employment outlook has also improved markedly, suggesting that the unemployment rate may soon start to fall as job creation picks up.
“One cloud on the horizon is the expected lift in selling prices. A stronger economy is no doubt allowing firms to move their prices higher, but we are also seeing the impact on inflation from the recent weakness of the Australian dollar.
“This is likely to cause the Reserve Bank some concern, and is a fundamental factor why we are likely to see a series of interest rate rises during 2014.
February 6, 2014
New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has emerged which illustrate that South Australia is leading the way when it comes to Renewable Energy!
The percentage of SA residences with renewable electricity systems such as solar panels has increased by 352% between 2010 and 2012.
“South Australia leads the other states with 16% (120,477) of residences having renewable electricity systems in 2012,” said Peter Williams, director of the ABS’s Centre of Environment Statistics.
“This was followed by Queensland on 14% (260,307) and Western Australia on 11% (102,142).”
Across all Australian states, the average amount of renewable energy generated by residences has increased in all states from 2010 to 2012.
“Queensland leads the other states in renewable electricity generated (and exported from the residence) with an average of 1513 kWh per residence in 2012, which is a 213% increase from 2010,” said Williams.
Even households without renewable energy systems are reducing their energy use, the ABS said. Tasmania experienced the largest decrease (17%) between 2010 and 2012. However, Tasmanian residences without renewable electricity systems were on average the largest electricity consumers of all states in 2012 (7324 kWh), while Victoria consumed the least amount of electricity in 2012 (4793 kWh).
Following on from the recent storms in Queensland, it is important to be cautious around electrical products! It is important to be prepared before, during and after any storms!
Before a storm or wet season, check the following:
- Install a safety switch and test it regularly.
- Know where to turn off your power, gas and water supply in an emergency.
- Pack up electrical equipment that’s not in use and store in a safe place.
- Unplug outside TVs and non-fixed aerials and store in a dry area.
- When a storm approaches switch off and unplug electrical equipment
- Shut down your solar PV system using the safe isolation procedure.
If your property or connection is damaged
If your property or connecting line has been damaged by a storm or flood, you may need verification tests on your switchboard, wiring, equipment and appliances to be carried out prior to reconnection to ensure the electrical circuits are still sound.
An electrical contractor will need to perform this task and a certificate of test will ensure your local electricity distribution entity can reconnect your service.
Emergency Management Queensland has more information about storm safety and actions to take before, during and after a storm.
Electrical appliances and equipment
Using water-damaged equipment can result in electric shocks and fires. Review the following risks before using any water-damaged electrical items.
- Dispose of or have a licensed electrical contractor repair water-affected household electrical items, such as kettles, toasters and televisions.
- Have a licensed electrical contractor to check all hard-wired electrical appliances, such as air-conditioning units or stoves, intended for re-use. This safety check may be required before the power supply can be reconnected.
Power from generators can be dangerous if incorrectly managed.
- Connect your generator to your house electrical wiring using a generator change-over switch and appropriate socket. These switches must be installed by a licensed electrical contractor.
- Do not connect your generator to your house using a power point on a power circuit or any other connection point. This can cause dangerous ‘back-feeding’.
- Ensure all leads used to connect your generator are in good working order.
- Use power boards with an overload cut-out switch.
- Run the generator outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
- Do not exceed the generator’s load rating, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
January 29, 2014
Since the devastating recent bush fires, Master Electricians have warned Perth Hills homeowners of the dangers of sub-standard customer’s poles, aerials and meter boxes at their homes which are the customer’s responsibility!
Trees over internal power lines, wooden poles and sub-standard meter boxes, such as those with missing lids or loose on poles, can all be another potential fire source.
Master Electricians Australia Western Australia state manager Tony Mancini said it was the responsibility of homeowners to look around their properties and ensure their meter boxes and poles were in good order and kept clear of grass or debris.
“Branches over power lines and sub-standard meter boxes can easily spark another fire,” Mr Mancini said. “It would be devastating if after these traumatic bush fires, other homes suffer the same fate due to sub-standard power poles or meter boxes.
“If you’re concerned about the state of your meter box or have any doubts at all about your poles or power lines then it’s always best to contact a Master Electrician who can safely perform an internal installation check.
“Taking these few precautions and where in doubt, leaving the tricky stuff to the experts may not only save your home but more importantly it can save lives.”