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At Rexel we strive to achieve the most market competitive industry prices at all times and aim to communicate any reviews in a timely manner.

We wish to advise of recent and upcoming trade price reviews from several key suppliers.

For more information please click on the supplier names below:

  • Eaton (effective from 1st August 2019)
  • Gerard (effective from 1st August 2019)
  • Unistrut (effective from 1st August 2019)
  • Key Plastics (effective from 1st August 2019)
  • PipeMakers (effective from 1st August 2019)
  • Vinidex (effective from 1st August 2019)
  • Burndy (effective from 1st August 2019)
  • NHP (effective from 2nd September 2019)
  • Schneider Electric (effective from 2nd September 2019)

 

We need to consider the developing ‘solar system’ that allows us to increasingly rely on this source of energy; the ecosystem that generates, stores, manages and controls energy in both domestic and commercial applications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia has the highest average solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world. Large-scale solar electricity is rapidly becoming the norm and more than two million Australian households currently have a solar system on their rooftop. Sunbelt states of South Australia and Queensland are nearing rates of one-third of total homes, or about twice that of NSW – where state support has largely been removed – and Victoria. Commercial applications are now offering a reasonable payback time, and for many organisations the social responsibility impact is becoming more important to their philosophy.

We understand solar PV panels and how to sell them, the next area for developing opportunities is Storage, Management and Control. Only about 12% of the Australian solar installations have batteries and as energy costs increase so will the demand for storage of the power generated on our rooves.

Adding storage to an existing solar array is not always an easy, plug-and-play process. It could be if the solar array was installed storage-ready, but with the rapid advancements of solar-plus-storage in the last few years, it’s unlikely many legacy solar systems can easily adapt to battery connection. Make sure you understand what you are working with before you quote the job:

    • The inverter used on an existing solar array will dictate how you add batteries. AC-coupled systems require an additional, separate inverter to charge the batteries. DC-coupled systems use a charge controller or other DC-DC converter to feed PV power to the batteries and then through one inverter for grid use.
    • To accommodate energy storage, inverters must have frequency control capability—no matter if the system is AC- or DC-coupled. If older inverters can-not frequency shift, they should be replaced to add batteries.
    • If the inverter is approaching its warrantied lifespan, it’s a good idea to upgrade because of optimal ambient temperature ranges, some battery chemistries are required to be installed indoors to control their temperatures. Battery warranties could be quickly voided if the storage system exceeds the recommended temperature range.
    • The most important area of focus is the motivation behind why a customer is exploring storage. Is storage a solution for emergency power? Or to store excess energy produced by solar during the day, so that it can be used in the evening when the sun goes down? Make sure you understand what they really want to achieve.
    • The existing solar system’s ownership is important. If the customer has full ownership of the system updates are easy, while leased systems may have restrictions on adding certain equipment.

Managing loads to deliver power where and when required can make a significant difference to the benefits of the solar system, especially in commer-cial environments. Inverters are becoming smarter as the technology develops so they can help man-age load and usage. They will read what is going on inside the house or building and apply battery loads and circuits depending on requirements. Some battery solutions are also smart enough to do some of this analysis work, and appliances are becoming better engineered so may also require different power levels for peak loads or usage.

Control is about what the user, building manager or homeowner does internally to manage power usage. There are many apps that can turn lights and air-conditioning on or off as you approach the house. Room settings for lighting and music all affect power usage. It’s getting more available and affordable so more of your customers will be asking about the alternatives and the requirements to create a full solution with flexibility for innovation as these tools continue to develop. In the commercial environment, more control brings cost and time reductions with the convenience of remote control and increased analysis tools for a real understanding of how energy efficiency can be increased.

Key differences between domestic and commercial solar projects
C&I solar projects take longer, partially because of permitting complexity and a lot more review involved from the local councils.

The commercial solar sales process is longer as more people are involved with more approvals and compliance hurdles to get to an agreed project for execution.

Commercial projects are more technical. It’s very important to have a really good engineering firm or in-house designer that’s very familiar with commercial projects to help streamline the pro-cess and help speed up the permitting process by reducing the need for revisions. This includes a very good site survey and making sure you’ve accurately answered every question.
Communication with customers differs from residential solar projects. Because commercial projects span over a much longer time, it’s important to establish clear expectations at the outset for the length of time the project will take, document conversations and provide regular updates agreements throughout the project.

Thank you to Solar Power World

Look out for our NEW 24/7 lockers just installed at the following branches with more to come!

Welcome to the convenience of being able to pick up your order after hours. As we continue to develop our promise of Shop Anywhere Buy Anytime, you can now place your order with us any way you like – by phone, in branch or online – and we can either deliver to you, or you can pick up anytime that suits you.

The strong metal lockers will fit products up to 500mm wide, 800mm deep and up to 1500mm high and have a phone based security system so your orders are secure and are easy to access.

The first branches to have the lockers are:

  • Rexel Hindmarsh – SA
  • John R Turk Penrith – NSW
  • John R Turk Artarmon – NSW
  • Rexel Wangara – WA
  • Rexel Richmond – VIC

Stay tuned for more information on our upcoming lockers!

We now have 29 Clipsal Schneider Select & Config tools available on our WebStores!

These product selector tools are designed to assist you through the product selection process, making your next job even easier. The Click-to-Answer questions will guide you to selecting the right product for your application. You can then check out directly to your WebStore account or use your credit card.

Product selectors include:

  • Acti 9 Residual Current Devices – RCDs
  • Altistart Soft Starters
  • Altivar Drives
  • Harmony Push Buttons
  • Tesys Contactors
  • Zelio Relays

Give it a try today! Just go to one of our WebStores and click on the Select & Config tools banner to take you there.

If a property was built or renovated before 1990 it is likely to contain some form of asbestos material. Due to its prevalence in Australian homes, it is important to know whether the property you are working on contains asbestos and how to avoid disturbing it.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and inhaling asbestos fibres is associated with diseases including pleural disease, asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Even limited or short-term exposure to asbestos fibres can be dangerous. Asbestos in good condition that is unlikely to be disturbed poses minimal health risk, however airborne fibres are easily generated either through weathering or from building related activity such as drilling, cutting or sanding. It is important to know whether asbestos is present before you begin work to ensure that it remains undisturbed.

Electricians can be exposed to asbestos in a wide range of field specialties; from power stations to fixing up a cable in a street pit or conduit to a suburban home. These areas are all on top of regular types of asbestos- containing materials encountered in a residence such as roofs, walls, ceilings, soffits or eaves linings. Main electrical meters, fuse boxes and boards hold a number of asbestos-containing materials like resin board; generally black in colour with brand names such as “Ausbestos” or “Zelemite” stamped on them. Behind these boards can be insulating asbestos side, back and top panels of asbestos cement sheet, asbestos insulation board, asbestos millboard or even a combination of them. Asbestos millboard is like a paper or cardboard form of asbestos.

Drilling and cutting asbestos-containing materials is one of the biggest risks to electricians; whether it is friable or non-friable. Friable means you can break it up with just your fingers. For example, millboard or asbestos insula-tion board is friable, asbestos cement pipe or asbestos based resin board is generally non-friable. If you can crush it up with your fingers, it means it’s easy to breathe in and you risk getting an asbestos-related disease.

SAFETY TIPS

  • Keep a cartridge half face mask (P2) and some additional paper (P2) disposable masks on hand in your toolbox as backups which you can dispose of appropriately later.
  • Keep some important equipment in your work vehicle like a water spray bottle, disposable overalls, gloves, a 200 micron thick plastic bag to seal the waste material properly and duct tape. That way you are not leaving the asbestos lying around.
  • Try not to give in to the “she’ll be right this time” mindset in order to get a job done faster. Even though the asbestos fibres that can harm you are invisible to the human eye, they are there and you can easily take them home with you to your family!
  • Asbestos fibres the size of 3-5 microns long and 1-2 microns wide can easily get stuck in your lungs. The easiest way to control exposure to asbestos is to not make dust and don’t put your unprotected face near it if you do!
  • Electricians are one of the fastest growing job categories with increasing cases of asbestos-related disease in Australia, so don’t risk it. A simple P2 paper mask, properly fitted and worn every time you drill into something could save your life.

Excerpts from Asbestos awareness information for electricians by the Asbestos-Safety-and-Eradication-Agency. Go to www.asbestossafety.gov.au.

For more information contact the work health and safety regulator in your state or territory.

The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) has launched the ‘Women in Electrical Trades Roadmap’, a national initiative supported by the Australian Federal Government aimed at increasing recruitment and retention of women in the electrical trades. This initiative was developed in consultation with employers, apprentices, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and Government Training Organisation (GTOs).

“Increasing the number of women in the trades is a complex issue, but not resolvable,” said Suresh Manickam, CEO of NECA.

“Unfortunately, parents and young women do not have a good understanding of the electrical trades. This leads to a poor perception of the electrical trades among parents – this is something that we all need to change. We need to get into schools much earlier. We need to inform young women and their parents that an electrical trade is just as rewarding as going to university and with no HECS debt. What was once considered a dirty trade is now a clean trade and well-paid.”

“This national map will play a critical role in addressing the shortage of women in trade. However, this Roadmap in itself will not solve the lack of women in trade in Australia, we seek partnerships with governments so we can tap into 50% of the population. After all, it is governments that have the access to courses, education and schools. NECA can then provide the subject matter expertise and industry pathways,” said Manickam.

Women are taking over the levers of power – at least in one company, quite literally – with 21 of the 28 new electrical apprentices and trainees at Ausgrid being female.

It is the first time the number of females has overtaken males in the apprenticeship intake. Among them is Annika Van Lierop, 25, from Kariong, who left a science job to work for the electricity distribution company

“I looked at the career prospects in the electrical field and read in the next five years they expect five percent job growth and obviously everyone needs electricity. So that’s why I thought I want a good career opportunity.”

NSW government figures show the gap between women’s and men’s apprenticeship and traineeship completions has nar-rowed significantly in 20 years.

Tahlia Keen, 18, from Mortdale, left a customer service role at Sydney Airport to become an electrical apprentice with Ausgrid.

“What drew me to [the industry] were the practical and-mathematical aspects, I love problem solving and the future is where I think electricity is at especially with renewable energy,” she said.

Ausgrid Executive General Manager of People and Transformation Hannah McCaughey said the quality of the company’s apprentices and trainees was “outstanding” this year.

“As a woman in a senior leadership role I’m delighted to see that 21 of this class of 28 are women; they will be trailblazers across our business,” she said.

Ausgrid first-year apprentices Carlin Morton, Lauren Walsh, Tahlia Keen and Annika Van Lierop. CREDIT: STEVEN SIEWERT

Excerpts from article by Anna Patty, Sydney Morning Herald

At Rexel we strive to achieve the most market competitive industry prices at all times and aim to communicate any reviews in a timely manner.

We wish to advise of recent and upcoming trade price reviews from several key suppliers.

For more information please click on the supplier names below:

  • Hager (effective from 1st February 2019)
  • Electra Cables (effective from 1st March 2019)
  • BizLine (effective from 1st March 2019)
  • Nexans Olex (effective from 1st March 2019)
  • ABB (effective from 1st March 2019)
  • Prysmian (effective 1st March 2019)
  • Legrand (effective from 4th March 2019)
  • Schneider (effective from 2nd April 2019)

 

Your Everyday Essentials are in stock Everyday

Our key promise to you is to provide Service and Brands you can Trust, so our easy reference catalogue lists our most commonly used products from key suppliers of leading national brands that you can trust for quality and performance.

The BIG news is that we now have over 1000 products ranged across our branches everyday to give you confidence we can support you to get the job done.

The Everyday Essentials range of products covers the major categories you need every day, and is available in every branch across the network. They have a blue shelf tickets so you can easily see them in the branch.

You can order them from anywhere in our national network and through our Webstores, so you can Shop Anywhere, Buy Anytime. Your account pricing is all there when you log in, you can see what’s in stock and can click and collect from the branch of your choice or we will deliver – whatever suits you best.

So put us to the test and order any products highlighted with the Everyday Essentials logo, we are ready to serve you!

Do you have the license?

It is important to properly assess the risks involved for each job and ensure that you have implemented the highest level of control that is reasonably practicable in the circumstances. Below is some guidance around working at heights, which is considered high risk so is likely to require a worker with the appropriate license.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Eliminate the need to work from heights where possible
  • Use a suitable working platform such as scaffolding, boom lifts or scissor lift
  • Provide adequate edge protection by using jump screens, scaffolding or guardrails – ensuring ALL components are in place
  • Ensure scaffolds are installed and inspected by
    a competent person, and that a handover certificate is provided prior to use, and every 30 days thereafter
  • Securely cover and visibly mark, or edge protect, all open penetrations in formwork or concrete slabs
  • Provide workers with safe means of access and egress to work areas
  • Only use fall restraint or fall arrest systems when edge protection or work platforms are not reasonably practicable
  • Many falls take place when people are using ladders. You should consider whether an elevating work platform or scaffolding would be safer and more efficient.
  • Make sure you have the appropriate license

Licences are required for certain types of work that are considered high risk.
In most cases, workers must be trained and assessed as competent before they are issued with a license to undertake that work.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Check your workers licenses and never let an unlicensed worker do work requiring a license
  • Keep a register of when licenses are due to expire, and make sure they are renewed
  • Undertake refresher training regularly
  • Ensure you hold the appropriate license to do the work you are doing
  • Talk to your workers about how to work safely when undertaking any type of high risk or licensed work.

Scaffolding licenses

Scaffolding work includes putting up, changing or taking down of a temporary structure that is used to support a work platform, where a person or object could fall more than four metres. They are commonly used by electrical contractors so lets have a look at what is required to work safely around scaffolding.

BASIC SCAFFOLDING – SB
To perform basic scaffolding duties you need to have a Basic Scaffolding – SB high risk work license.
Basic scaffolding work includes:

  • modular or prefabricated scaffolds
  • cantilevered hoist with a maximum working load of 500 kg (materials only)
  • ropes
  • gin wheels
  • safety nets and static lines
  • bracket scaffolds (tank and form work).

INTERMEDIATE SCAFFOLDING – SI
To perform intermediate scaffolding duties you need to have an Intermediate Scaffolding – SI high risk work license. To apply for an intermediate scaffolding license you must hold, or have passed assessment for, a basic scaffolding license.
Intermediate scaffolding work includes:

  • scaffolding work included in the class of Basic Scaffolding
  • tube and coupler scaffolds including tube and coupler covered ways and gantries
  • cantilever crane loading platforms
  • cantilever and spurred scaffolds
  • barrow ramps and sloping platforms
  • scaffolding associated with perimeter safety screens & shutters
  • mast climbers.
  • safety nets and static lines
  • bracket scaffolds (tank and form work).

ADVANCED SCAFFOLDING – SA
To perform advanced scaffolding duties you need to have an Advanced Scaffolding – SA high risk work license. To apply for an advanced scaffolding license you must hold, or have previously passed assessment for, a basic scaffolding license and an intermediate scaffolding license.
Advanced scaffolding work includes:

  • scaffolding work included in the Intermediate scaffolding class
  • cantilevered hoists
  • hung scaffolds, including scaffolds hanging from tubes, wire ropes or chains
  • suspended scaffolds.

For more information about how to work safely at heights, or how to obtain a license, visit the SafeWork website in your state.

Time to get smart about smart home technology

Never before has smart home technology been more available and affordable to the everyday Australian. The technology is driving the future home and provides consumers a stylish, connected and sustainable lifestyle, so it’s no wonder its uptake in homes continues to rise. With television programs such as The Block showcasing a range of the technology, the excitement for a connected and functional home is just beginning.

Connected home technology is available for both new builds and renovations, so there’s a huge opportunity for electricians to capitalise. Just like any business however, it’s absolutely vital to understand what the end user wants to stay ahead of the game.

Recent research from Telsyte found that the number of connected devices in Australian households are estimated to more than double by 2022, skyrocketing from 17 connected devices in our homes in 2018, to 37 by 2022. So what are some key factors in driving consumer demand and what is  important to be aware of when we’re out in the field speaking with homeowners?

Automated Lighting
According to the Telsyte study, 42% of Aussies say that when visiting a friend’s place, automated lighting is the most envied piece of smart home technology being used in their home. This is followed by automated blinds (39%), voice controlled music (33%) and keyless entry with facial recognition (28%). Lighting is a great first step into
automation, with many Australians using it as a springboard into a range of other areas or devices such as preventing energy wastage and assisting with household chores.

DIY security systems
Safety is another key driver for the everyday Australian looking to invest in smart home technology, as 83% of homeowners think smart home technology will be able to help detect intruders and capture data and video.

Energy management
The cost of living continues to rise, so homeowners are willing to approach technology in order to help manage this. Smart home technology is a key tool for users to monitor their energy, where it’s being used and how, in order to make informed decisions that ultimately save money.

What does this mean for electricians? It’s opening up some great opportunities with clients – here are my top three tips for electricians to capitalise on the growing trend.

1. Be prepared
There is a strong appetite for shaking up how to build an electrical system into homes so homeowners can better manage their devices, electricity, lighting, air-conditioning, and entertainment. Homeowners turn to electricians for their recommendations and advice, so how prepared are you if your next client asked you about the technology? Could you give advice that’s specific for the case at hand?

2. Think about the bigger picture
We’re in the midst of a phase at the moment where smartspeakers such as Google Homes and Amazon Alexas are becoming stocking fillers at Christmas time. Whilst this is a great entry point, we’re finding once consumers set up the smart speaker, they’re confused as to why it won’t connect to the smart TV or why it won’t automate their blinds, for example. There is a huge opportunity for electricians to educate the homeowner on the bigger picture story. A fully integrated and connected home is wired by a back-end system. Helping the homeowner understand this opens up opportunities beyond the smart speaker and into a range of other applications like smart lighting, energy management and security.

3. Industry-collaboration
Smart home technology has not just opened up the door for electricians, but also plumbers and locksmiths as well. Between connected plumbing, keyless entry and automated lighting, the opportunity to work together on projects or new builds offers itself to some great networking and beneficial relationships across industry. If you’re part of a small community in particular, these methods of integrating across industry not only provides business opportunities, but also provides a way for you to learn from a different perspective.

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