Development of eco-tracker started in 2004, informed by Geoff Andrews and Rob Alexander’s experience in accounting for energy, fluids and carbon in the field. The idea of eco-tracker started from a need to automate a largely manual process of data acquisition and manipulation on spreadsheets - a local, non-collaborative medium.
To this day, eco-tracker is a continuously improving product, informed evolving based on client requirements and internal use in our projects. We have two IT staff supporting the programming side of eco-tracker and can make changes/fixes with little delay.
Sustainability Victoria is a Victorian Government agency that contributes to a liveable and prosperous Victoria by delivering integrated waste management and resource efficiency programs.
Sustainability Victoria required to upgrade its electricity and water sub-metering installation and engaged Genesis Now to restore its sub-metering capability. Genesis Now conducted an in depth investigation into the options for restoring the sub-metering data service, reusing the existing 6 electricity and 4 water sub-meters, and to report on the options and costs. As the original sub-metering equipment and software was proprietary and no longer supported, Sustainability Victoria decided to use eco-tracker to display data from the installed sub-meters.
Genesis Now downloaded existing data stored in the sub-meters at the time of the investigation to provide historical consumption visibility on eco-tracker and imported existing billing meter data into eco-tracker so that the future data can be easily compared with historic data.
Ongoing data was provided via ongoing eco-tracker service, including: receiving the data into the remote database, manipulating the data, providing web access to graphical and tabular data, and automatic weekly emails.
Manningham City Council
Manningham is located 12 km from Melbourne at the gateway to the Yarra Valley, bringing a combination of both cosmopolitan city and country lifestyles together over a total land area of 114 square kilometres.
Manningham City Council (MCC) is a long term Genesis Now client for engineering consulting services and one of the first eco-tracker subscribers. MCC uses eco-tracker to monitor two buildings, the Civic Offices and Warrandyte Depot.
In 2003, the MCC Civic Offices had a functional Building Automation System (BAS) which sole purpose was to control building operation, e.g. air conditioning timers, temperature setpoints, etc. MCC wanted to have a greater visibility of their electricity and natural gas consumption of the building beyond the single electricity and natural gas supply authority meter for the whole site.
The project involved:
installation of 12 sub-meters (11 electricity and 1 natural gas) and connection to the BAS, data connection of the natural gas supply authority meter to the BAS, a heavily regulated procedure for safety reasons,
working with the BAS company and MCC IT to secure an automatic data feed of all BAS connected metering points to eco-tracker, securing a direct data feed from the electricity supply authority meter to eco-tracker, creating virtual meters to group meters by function or space, and training and supporting MCC staff in the effective use of eco-tracker to inform energy efficiency and preventative maintenance.
Continuous monitoring on eco-tracker recently identified that HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) was ON during after hours. When rectified, this not only saved energy costs but assisted in preventative maintenance by reducing run times of the HVAC plant.
The Warrandyte Depot (prior to redevelopment) contained three buildings, each with a separate electricity feed. MCC wanted to know the electricity consumption of each building.
The scope at the Warrandyte Depot included:
installing 3 electricity sub-meters on the electricity feed for each building and necessary telemetry equipment to secure a data feed to eco-tracker, securing a direct data feed from the electricity supply authority meter to eco-tracker to assist in verification of the accuracy of the sub-meter measurements.
Monitoring the Depot on eco-tracker on various occasions showed that there were loads above the baseline occurring during the after hours, which prompted corrective action.
“Genesis Now has been very helpful in all aspects of the project. We have enjoyed a good quality of service with proactive support and quick, professional responses to any queries we have had. Overall, we have been impressed with the quality of service we have received from Genesis Now through the EcoTracker software. ”
Baiada Poultry Pty Limited is a privately owned Australian company which provides premium quality poultry products throughout Australia. Their business operations include Broiler & Breeder Farms, Hatcheries, Processing Plants, Feedmilling and Protein Recovery. The Baiada Poultry employs approximately 2,200 people.
The Baiada Group has engaged Genesis Now for engineering and sustainability consulting services to improve their their energy and resource efficiency and also for assistance with reporting for Energy Efficiency Opportunities and (the now defunct) Environment and Resource Efficiency Plans government programs.
So far, one processing plant in Victoria has fully implemented eco-tracker to assist in their internal and regulatory environmental reporting. We designed a simple and timely solution making use of existing meter capability, requiring little capital investment. The deliverables for this project included:
- securing a direct data feed from 2 electricity and 1 natural gas supply authority meters to eco-tracker,
- installing data logging hardware on 2 water and 2 trade waste supply authority meters and secured a data feed to eco-tracker,
- facilitating the site's local water authority with trade waste volumes compliance via eco-tracker,
- conducting an eco-tracker workshop to train staff on using eco-tracker for environmental reporting and spotting energy/resource efficiency opportunities.
This is an ongoing process with future tasks including:
- investigative work to upgrade and increase the frequency of data transfer on the natural gas supply authority meter,
- automation of facility performance metrics (e.g. throughput) data feed to eco-tracker, via direct communication with equipment/BAS or manual entry,
- a possible rollout of eco-tracker to all Baiada Poultry sites across Australia to automate and reduce staff manual handling of environmental reporting.
Tri-Tech Chemical Company is an Australian based chemical company servicing clients globally in the mining, agriculture, lubricant and other industries.
The implementation of eco-tracker at Tri-Tech Chemical Company involved:
- securing a direct data feed from 1 electricity and 1 natural gas supply authority meters to eco-tracker,
- securing a data feed from the solar PV inverters to eco-tracker,
- creating virtual meters as necessary to distinguish parameters like actual consumption on site, electricity export to grid and gross PV generation
“Tri-Tech Chemical decided to purchase Eco-Tracker after attending a demonstration by one of their staff. Initially we had it set up to read two meters – the main electricity meter and our gas meter.
I have to admit to being skeptical when I purchased it because I honestly did not believe that we were operating our plant inefficiently. Anyway it didn’t take too long to discover some significant savings. Firstly, we found that a very small steam trap on our site was faulty. Despite its’ size it was costing us around 30% of our gas consumption! In another example we discovered that our air compressor was using a lot of power when on idle. This helped us come to the conclusion that, a. it is worth turning if off at night, and b. a new variable speed compressor would pay for itself in a few years.
The use of Eco-Tracker has helped me realise that investments in energy saving plant and work practices can save money. We used it extensively when applying for a Clean Technology Investment Grant (and also used the services of Genesis Now to assist with the application).
I am still using Eco-Tracker regularly. More recently it was modified to read solar power generated, solar power exported and total vs. grid power used. At the moment it is proving to be a great tool to monitor the performance of the Clean Tech investments we have made this year, and it will be instrumental providing data for a detailed report that I will prepare about the performance of the clean tech investments. I have found that there is enough flexibility built into the program for me to gather detailed numbers, and it was a relatively simple exercise to make a pretty accurate estimate of the savings we are making with our solar photovoltaic system.
Overall, Eco-Tracker is proving to be a very useful tool, one which has paid for itself many times over.”
PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand produces some of Australia’s most recognised beverages and snacks. PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand employs 2,500+ Australians & New Zealanders and encompasses four business units – The Smith’s Snackfood Company, The Quaker Oats Company, PepsiCo Beverages and Bluebird Foods New Zealand.
Pepsico approached Genesis Now to provide an environmental reporting platform for one of its sites in Victoria. The project involved:
- securing a direct data feed from 3 electricity and 1 natural gas supply authority meters to eco-tracker, and
- installing data logging hardware on 1 water supply authority meter and securing a data feed to eco-tracker
- designing a unique eco-tracker interface for Pepsico to align with their production timeline and monthly reporting requirements
“The Genesis Now platform has been an excellent tool, providing clarity on our daily usage of the main services”
City of Stonnington
Located in Melbourne's inner east, Stonnington covers an area of 25.62 square kilometres and has an economically and culturally diverse population of 90,000.
Stonnington boasts world class shopping precincts such as Chapel Street, Toorak Road, High Street and Glenferrie Road and is also home to Chadstone Shopping Centre, Victoria's premier shopping centre. The City has a variety of parks, gardens and open space including Victoria Gardens, Central Park, the Glen Iris Wetlands and the Urban Forest. The range of recreation facilities on offer includes the Malvern Valley Golf Club, two aquatic centres, numerous tennis centres and a myriad of bicycle paths.
Genesis Now’s offices are located within the City of Stonnington (CoS) boundary and we have provided consultancy services in energy efficiency, environmental reporting and general engineering since 2007. We have used eco-tracker extensively in our work with the City of Stonnington.
At present, the City of Stonnington is using eco-tracker to monitor electricity consumption at 10 of their largest sites and natural gas consumption at one of those sites. This project was implemented at no capital cost as we leveraged the capabilities of the existing supply authority meters on site. So far, this project has assisted in identifying energy efficiency opportunities, verifying the results of energy reduction projects and assisted in environmental reporting to meet Council targets.
Genesis Now is currently working with the City of Stonnington to secure sub-hourly data from solar photovoltaic systems at four council buildings to eco-tracker, to enable monitoring of system performance at each site, by analysing the following parameters:
- Electricity import from grid
- Electricity export to grid
- Electricity generated by PV
- Electricity generated by PV that is used on site
- Total electricity consumption on site (PV and import from grid)
The Backwell IXL company was formed in 1858 in Geelong with the early days being associated with wood stoves then gas stoves and then electrical cooking and heating appliances (including the bathroom “Tastic”). The company is still involved in this area of business today and for further information please refer to the company website link.
The foundry was first established in 1902, primarily casting stove components, and has developed to where it is today servicing a range of clients in a number of business sectors including aluminium smelting, automotive, mineral processing and engineering.
Genesis Now was engaged for an energy efficiency project at Backwell IXL as part of the Automotive Supplier Excellence Australia initiative. This project included a free 3 month trial of eco-tracker, which made energy data visible in a meaningful form to staff. Backwell IXL is now an ongoing eco-tracker subscriber. As with the majority of sites, we leveraged existing capabilities of the supply authority meters to get a data feed to eco-tracker and this eco-tracker project was conducted at no capital cost and completed in a matter of days.
“Through the use of the eco-tracker system IXL became aware of hidden energy usage and was able to then trace and eliminate the wasted consumption. The ongoing, real time monitoring has become an integral part of our business and cost management process.”
Genesis Now Offices
Genesis Now also use eco-tracker to monitor the performance of our office building. We are located in a shop on 271 Burke Road, Glen Iris VIC. There are two electricity smart meters on our building and we have a 5 kW solar photovoltaic system on our roof.
This is an ongoing project and progress will be documented on this page. We are pleased to share our progress via a demo account on eco-tracker.
So far, we have:
- secured a data feed from the two electricity smart meters on our premises.
- secured a data feed from the the inverter that will assist in monitoring PV system performance.
- create virtual meters to display actual consumption on site, electricity export to grid and gross PV generation.
We are planning to install data logging hardware to our natural gas meter and water meter to secure a feed to eco-tracker. At present, we are taking manual readings of the meter and making use of eco-tracker’s manual entry function for accumulating registers.
Genesis Now Consulting Projects
Analysis of energy data and environmental indicators forms an integral part of Genesis Now’s core services. Before eco-tracker, this was a manual process with spreadsheets, requiring large amounts of time, computing power and storage space. It was also very repetitive and we found the introduction of errors very common.
Our productivity has increased post eco-tracker and we found that eco-tracker also had other uses besides replacing our spreadsheets and removing our error induced worries. Among Genesis Now’s projects in which eco-tracker was used extensively was:
Barrett Burston Malting
Barrett Burston Malting was established in 1860 and is now part of GrainCorp Malt, an international malt supplier. With 255,000 tonnes of annual malt production capacity, Barrett Burston Malting (BBM) is a major supplier to the domestic brewing industry and has been one of the leading providers to key Asian export markets for many years. BBM operates two malting plants in Victoria, and one each in Western Australia and Queensland, the latter being a state of the art, new 86,000-metric-tonne per year facility, In addition to BBM’s pale malts, the company also operates a roasting plant that produces a wide range of roasted malts.
Genesis Now has been working with BBM since 2002 in a broad capacity including providing engineering services in:
- Energy and water efficiency activities,
- Process optimisation for energy efficiency,
- Odour management,
- Evaluation assistance in cogeneration plant studies
- Regulatory reporting
- Grant application technical studies
eco-tracker was used extensively to quantify and report energy (electricity and natural gas) consumption in all projects. eco-tracker allows grouping of energy meters by site and department, allowing us to create an organised and automatically updating repository of electricity and natural gas consumption at each site. This data was then used to assist in our engineering analysis.
Automotive Supplier Excellence Australia
Automotive Supplier Excellence Australia (ASEA) is the business excellence division of AutoCRC, the Automotive Cooperative Research Centre.
ASEA conducted the Automotive Supply Chain Development Program, which ran from March 2010 to June 2013. This program included funding assistance and access to ASEA products targeting various aspects of the business including an Excellence in Energy Efficiency Program’. Genesis Now was selected as the preferred supplier for Energy Use Reduction from a competitive tender process and started working with ASEA clients in early 2011.
In that 2 ½ years, we have worked with more than 30 Australian automotive suppliers across Australia in consulting services improving their energy productivity and implementing renewable energy systems on site. Initially, in 27 of these organisations, the visibility of energy consumption was limited to a number on the energy bill.
Our general approach is to partner with our clients in these project with the aim to leave them well versed with actively monitoring and independently reacting to their energy consumption by the time the engagement is over. We found that eco-tracker served as a great educational and empowering tool. It not only providing the staff with greater visibility of their energy consumption but also the means to access and analyse that data themselves, leading to identification of energy efficiency opportunities, preventative maintenance and informing existing lean / 5S programs for resources. Different levels of user access and email updates also allowed communication of energy consumption to staff at all levels of the organisation. There was an uptake of eco-tracker subscriptions by some organisations after the ASEA funded engagements with Genesis Now ended.
eco-tracker also served to improve our productivity in conducting our consulting and engineering work, with up to date energy data for the project site on our fingertips in most cases. The existing charts made our reporting and coaching work less time consuming, freeing up time to focus on other deliverables like engineering analysis and project implementation.
“Feedback from clients Genesis Now has worked with on behalf of ASEA has been very positive.”
Hume City Council
Hume is located on the urban-rural fringe, just 20 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. It's vast 504 square kilometres comprise approximately 65 percent rural land, 25 percent urban land and 10 percent occupied by the Melbourne Airport. Hume City Council is a hive of activity with a rapidly expanding population of approximately 182,345 people and 2036 the population is projected to be over 314,000. It has a rich cultural diversity, with a vibrant mix of approximately 140 nationalities and 125 languages other than English spoken in the home.
Business Efficiency Network
Genesis Now has been a long time partner of Hume City Council, mostly in the delivery of engineering and energy productivity services under the Business Efficiency Network program. In that program, we reached out to many manufacturing organisations located within the Hume City Council. As before, eco-tracker was used extensively as an automated reporting and graphing tool, minimising the use of spreadsheets to handle energy consumption data. Some clients under the Business Efficiency Network eventually subscribed to eco-tracker after the initial engagements ended, demonstrating the value of eco-tracker to their organisation.
Lighting the Way
Hume City Council also engaged Genesis Now directly to conduct energy assessments on 13 Council facilities including libraries, admin centres and recreation centres. The project resulted in a package of costed energy efficiency opportunities included in a funding application under the Federal Government’s Community Energy Efficiency Program. Savings from our opportunities alone were modelled at 4.4 terrajoules of energy, avoided emissions of 800 tonnes of CO2 equivalent gases (equivalent to 68 houses), and $110,000 of financial savings to ratepayers every year after implementation.
This project was conducted under a tight timeframe, 2 months, including the December holiday period. eco-tracker was used extensively to manage energy data for suitable sites (with suitable metering hardware). eco-tracker reduced the time in data acquisition and collating, so we could focus what little time we had on data analysis and opportunity development. Without eco-tracker, we would not have been able to deliver the intended outcomes by the required deadlines.
The final application included the package of building energy efficiency opportunities identified by Genesis Now, a Council wide street light retrofit and an outreach program to educate residents to improve energy efficiency in their homes. Nearly $2 million in funding was approved in July 2013, and all activities will be rolled out under Hume City Council’s Lighting the Way program.
“Genesis Now’s assistance with our successful Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP) application was appreciated – their work to identify and cost various energy efficiency opportunities at our leisure centres, sports stadiums and community centres was to a high quality, timely and professional. I’m looking forward to realising the results of their work by progressively implementing the recommended actions!”
Uniting Church in Australia
Genesis Now has consulted with Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) at their main office building at 130 Little Collins Street for more than 12 years. We have provided advice and assistance in energy efficiency aspects including several major upgrades such as a BAS, chiller retrofit with Turbocor compressor (like a Powerpax) and HVAC retrofit with induction box diffusers and floor by floor trim reheat. We have also assisted with HVAC maintenance, troubleshooting, sub-tenant billing and energy purchasing.
Since Aug 2003, we have been using eco-tracker as a platform to monitoring UCA’s energy consumption automatically, without any additional manual handling. It has proven to be a useful tool to spot energy consumption anomalies. We have identified several instances of HVAC operation on after hours periods like holidays and overnight which was traced to lack of BAS programming.