A new and exciting network tariff is being trialled by distributor Essential Energy which is looking beneficial for many of our battery customers.
Bonus feed-in tariff
The Sun Soaker trial tariff rewards you with a bonus 13.5c/kWh FiT (incl. GST) on top of Amber’s wholesale feed-in rate for exporting during peak times (Essential Energy defines peak time as between 5-8 PM).
So for example, if you were to export when wholesale rates are sitting at 13c/kWh, you’d instead get 26.5c/kWh.
There’s also a charge for exports to the grid between 10am-3pm. The first 1.5kW of power exported in this window is free. The next 1.5kW is charged at 0.65$/kW and the exports above 3kW are charged at 1.45$/kW. You can minimise the effects of this penalty by self consuming your solar in this time. Hot water systems, Pool pumps and EV charging are great options to achieve this.
Any consistent load run every sunny day 10-3 will help you avoid the worst of this penalty and bring you under the higher 3kW @ $1.45/kW charge.
The tariff trial is a research cooperation between Essential Energy and University of NSW and aims to help understand how households can be supported to use electricity at the times of day when it is more abundant and affordable, which can also help to make the electricity grid more efficient and renewable overall. This directly aligns with Ambers mission to shift Australia to 100% renewables, so we are super stoked to be part of this innovative tariff trial.
Ready to try out the new tariff?
If you're an Amber customer, we'll reach out to you via email with more information on how to join this tariff trial once we've finalised the process with the Essential Energy network.
Making this tariff work for you
- Shift your energy use (washing, drying, cooking, pool pump, electric hot water system, air-conditioning/heating, EV/bike/tool charging) to consume more between 10-3PM to limit exports during this period.
- Minimise energy use after 5PM in order to allow more exports in the afternoon.
Considerations before joining
There are a few aspects of this new trial tariff that you should be aware of when comparing it to the Time of Use tariff most of you are currently on.
There is an export charge based on the maximum ½ hourly export (kW) between 10am and 3pm in the month.
- Load-shifting is key to minimising exports during this period, as with any other period with low feed-in tariffs. You’re allowed to export at 1.5kW free of charge.
- What this means is that at the end of the month, Essential Energy will look at all your exports (in kW) for the month and determine your highest export window. You will then pay a stepped export charge based on this window. As an example, if your highest export during 10am and 3pm was at 7kW, you will be charged a total of $6.77 for exports that month. Most of your sites will be capped at a 5-15 kW export limit depending on your specific set-up. Please feel free to get in touch if you’d like to find out more.
- There is no seasonality to this tariff. The same tariff charges apply on all days.
- This tariff has no shoulder periods - only peak and off-peak.
- Additional peak usage period from 7am to 10am (14.1 c/kWh)
- The cost of consuming energy from the grid on the new trial tariff is still very similar to the ToU tariff as shown in below table
|Energy Peak c/kWh
|Energy Shoulder c/kWh
|Energy Off-Peak c/kWh
Be part of research for cash rewards
Over the course of the trial, the UNSW will invite you to complete surveys and participate in interviews. Each time you take part, you will be rewarded with gift cards and/or entries into cash prize draws. The surveys will capture your household or business demographics and help understand how you use energy and your trial experience. The researchers will also analyse your smart meter data. Any information collected about you will be anonymised and securely stored in Australia. No identifying information will be included in any reports. You don’t have to participate in this research but, if you choose not to, you may be moved off your trial tariff back to your current tariff.
Billing may be delayed
Please note that due to the innovative nature of this trial, we are currently working on finalising the billing for the new tariff. You might therefore have a delayed billing cycle.
This trial tariff ends on 30 June 2024, so get in while you can!
Not in Essential? Ausgrid is also operating an innovative tariff that is proving very beneficial for battery owners.