Why does my bill show $0 for solar exports?


You may have noticed in the app or your bill that your feed-in tariff is lower than expected, or even $0. To explain what is happening here, it may help to understand how Amber's model works.

Our product manager, Angus, has just written an awesome blog post on the recent low FiTs we have seen in the market.

How does Amber’s FiT work?

  • We pay you wholesale prices for the electricity you feed into the grid, just like a big generator would be paid. The average feed-in tariff (FiT) you receive depends on the amount and timing of your electricity exports. If you export during expensive times, you'll receive more. If you export during cheap times, you'll receive less. 
  • The wholesale rate is determined by supply and demand in the energy market, and can even be negative when there is excess renewable energy. When there is a significant number of households exporting solar at the same time, it means that supply is occasionally overwhelming the grid, which unfortunately drags the value of solar exports down.
  • Alternatively, there are times when you may receive a higher than average FiT if there is excess demand on the grid and not enough supply. However, these higher FiT periods tend to arise primarily during periods when there is a lot of demand in the evening, which generally do not overlap with the solar generation window. This is why having a battery can be helpful. 
  • Check out our FAQs on how it works here and here.

Why does my bill have low / no solar credits?

  • If your FiT is lower than expected, or zero, it indicates that the wholesale FiT was relatively low during the billing period, and in some instances, even went into negative territory. In this case, your FiT reflects that a majority of your exports occurred during these periods.
  • Currently, we do not charge you if your FiT was negative across the billing period. Instead, we have implemented a floor pricing of $0 if your average FiT is less than 0c/kWh (please note that this policy may change in the future).

The app is showing a negative FiT?

  • In the Amber app, we show you the live price of electricity for your general usage, solar exports, and controlled load (if you have one). When the FiT is negative in the app, this means that there is a surplus of supply in the grid and lack of demand, so exporting is disincentivised through negative prices.

What can I do about negative FiT?

  1. Electrify everything
  2. Shift your usage to peak solar times, so you use more of your solar yourself rather than exporting it 
  3. Buy a home battery (check out this ABC podcast which features Amber customer Mark Purcell on the benefits of adding a battery to your solar with Amber)
  4. Consider disabling production completely - but only if you have an Enphase or SolarEdge system
  5. Take advantage of innovative network tariffs

Am I a good fit for Amber’s FiT?

  • Find our more info on this here - as a general rule of thumb, if you are a net exporter of solar then Amber may not be the best model for you.

What about the Victorian minimum FiT?

  • Check out our quick FAQ on this here, or the detailed guide here!

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