What you need to know in your first weeks with Amber for Batteries' SmartShift™ automation

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Top things you need to know in your first weeks after you've been successfully enrolled with Amber for Batteries' SmartShift™ program.

1. Now's the time to disable any previous battery control settings

First, the boring (but important) stuff: please remove any type of pre-programmed scheduling you may have enabled for your battery via its device app and/or disable any external devices that may be controlling your battery as these will conflict with the SmartShift™ automation. For Tesla batteries for example, your battery must be set to the “Self Powered” mode in the Tesla app. For AlphaESS you will need to remove the time-based control settings. Unless you ensure these settings are adjusted, Amber for Batteries will not be able to fully-optimise your battery and you will not be able to make the most of the manual control functions.

2. Amber for Batteries gets smarter in 30 days

As a machine learning model that learns from each new piece of data it gains, Amber for Batteries gets better with age. After 30 days, the system will generally have enough data to get significantly smarter at predicting what’s likely to happen in your home and so too will SmartShift’s decisions on how your battery should respond.

While we learn more about your solar and household load and collect enough data to train the machine-learning based model, SmartShift will use a naive forecasting approach to generate the plan for your battery. This naive forecasting approach assumes energy consumption over the next 24 hours will follow the same pattern as the last 24 hours.

We retrain the household usage forecast model after 30 days of enrolment and once per week after that. So for example, if you were enrolled on the 15th of May, your forecast should be quite accurate in the week of 15 June when we retrain the usage forecast model. Until then the forecast is based on the previous days usage leading to a good approximation but some forecasting uncertainties. 

In the meantime, if you're unhappy with a battery plan or would like to counteract a SmartShift™ action, you can either disable SmartShift™ completely via the SmartShift™ settings or make use of the manual controls to override the SmartShift™ action.

3. Wholesale is variable

Access to wholesale energy prices means that for the first time you’re able to see the true price of energy - what energy really costs and what your energy is worth in the market at any given time.

At times, wholesale FiT can peak at $19/kWh. At others, the price the market is willing to pay for renewable energy can turn negative. This happens when there’s loads of renewable energy flooding into the market and not enough demand.

When it comes to negative FiT, it can be unnerving for new customers. The important thing to note is that, like a lot of investments, Amber for Batteries pays off over time. That said, there are some steps you can take to minimise your exposure to negative feed-in tariffs. Check out this FAQ on Managing times when wholesale FiT turns negative

4. What to expect in the app

To get a better idea of how to make the most out of Amber and the app, we recommend checking out our Amber app walkthrough video, hosted by our Partnerships Manager and Amber customer, Tim. As a solar, battery and EV owner, he knows better than most how to make the most out of Amber for Batteries and the app.

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