Virtual Power Plants (VPPs)

There are numerous Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) available in Australia. Some are much more compelling and consumer-focused than others. If you’re considering installing a battery and you like the idea of joining a VPP, we usually suggest clients choose Amber Electric as their energy provider and running their solar and battery storage system in conjunction with their specialised software, called SmartShift™.

What is SmartShift™?

SmartShift™ is software that creates a personalised plan for your battery that’s unique to your home. It updates every 5 minutes, based on:

  • your energy usage profile
  • your solar generation
  • forecast wholesale energy prices

A simple app allows you to monitor and manage your home’s energy usage. You can check this 24/7.

How SmartShift™ saves you money

SmartShift™ ensures your battery charges and discharges at optimal times, maximising the value you get from your system and drastically reducing the payback period of your battery.

When the grid is under stress and a premium is being paid for energy exported back to the grid, your battery can be discharged to earn you extra non-taxable income. At other times, your battery can be charged with cheap or even free energy.

Using SmartShift™, you can get paid as much as $15/kWh* (yes, fifteen dollars – that’s not a typo!) for any surplus solar energy you export to the grid.

You can either choose to go fully automated (where Amber makes smart decisions on your behalf) or you can take control of your battery charging, discharging or preserving energy for a certain period. The choice is yours.

See what it’s like to be a SmartShift™ user here.

What does it cost?

To access SmartShift™, you pay Amber a $19/month subscription fee. In return, you get 100% of the benefits of exporting your stored energy to the grid at optimal times.

There are no application fees, lock-in contracts, or exit fees.

In the event of a negative feed-in tariff (where you’d otherwise get charged for sending solar back to the grid), Amber has clever software that blocks exports at these times**, so you’re never penalised.

If you’d like to join Amber Electric, you can do it via this page. Once you sign up to Amber, you’ll then be offered the chance to join SmartShift™ ***.

* $15/kWh is the most you can be paid for your surplus solar energy when the grid is under stress. It’s usually less than this, but the standard rate is still considerably more than what standard energy retailers offer.

** This is available with selected inverters and batteries. If you already have solar, let us know the make and model of your existing inverter and we can let you know if export blocking is possible. With all the new systems that we recommend to clients, export blocking is possible.

*** Not all inverters and batteries are compatible with SmartShift™. You might want to check out this guide to get a better understanding of the technologies that work seamlessly with the SmartShift™ software.