What to do if you're in a virtual power plant (VPP) before you join Amber (+ clues to tell if you're part of a VPP if you're unsure)

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A virtual power plant (VPP) is an aggregation of individual home batteries that allows renewable energy to be injected into the grid to address frequency and voltage imbalances, local disruptions or disturbances and keep the network stable.

If you're in a virtual power plant (VPP) when joining Amber, this can delay your battery onboarding and how long it takes for you to start seeing the benefits of being a part of Amber for Batteries. 

This is because your battery is already being directed by another provider.

For this reason, we suggest that if you intend to join Amber (and have a compatible battery), you should unenrol from your current VPP as soon as possible. 

To do this, you will need to make this request to your current VPP provider. When emailing your provider, you can ask to be "unenrolled" or "unbound" from their VPP's control.

Once requested, this unenrolment should take a few days to complete. 

Once you're unenrolled

If you have already completed the Amber sign up process, we will then automatically continue onboarding your battery once we detect that your battery is now free from the control of the other VPP provider.

If you complete this step before you start signing up to Amber, you can now initiate your sign up.

For a reminder about the differences between Amber and traditional VPPs, check out our explainer here.  

Unsure if you're in a VPP? Here are a few clues

It's possible you can be signed up for a VPP and not know. This relates to the lack of transparency that plagues traditional VPP programs, which take control of your battery and take a cut of your export earnings, to offset the VPP providers' costs. In return, the battery owner will generally receive an upfront discount on their battery, or fixed credits on their bill.

If you're unsure if you're in a VPP, one way to check is to look in your battery's app to see if you are currently exporting to the grid or charging from the grid. Only batteries that are a part of a VPP (or Amber) have this grid connectivity, so if you're already doing this prior to joining Amber, this is one way of knowing you're in a VPP.

If you discover this is the case and you'd like to join Amber - follow the steps described above to get unenrolled either before or immediately after sign up. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to our team on solarandbatteries@amber.com.au.

 

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