Is my household a good fit for wholesale pricing?

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Even though we believe wholesale pricing is a cheaper and greener way to buy power, this doesn’t mean wholesale is right for everyone. To be totally transparent, we've included some more info on the pros and cons of wholesale here.

The wholesale price of energy varies throughout the day (a bit like the weather)
 
The weather in Sydney is known to be generally brilliant - a lot like wholesale prices.

On most days the weather in the Harbour City doesn’t change too much. But sometimes it changes a lot. A Summer scorcher could hit 42°C late in the arvo. In Winter, the temperature might drop to near freezing overnight.

You should expect to see the same kind of daily and hourly variation with the wholesale price of energy. Sometimes the wholesale price hits rock bottom - and can even go negative, meaning we’ll pay you to use power. Sometimes the wholesale price is expensive. But most of the time it’s cheaper than what you’d pay with a normal fixed-rate tariff.

Though the real-time wholesale price changes every 30 minutes, there’s one thing that’s always the same: over the year, the varying wholesale price works out to be a ripper of a deal on electricity for most people.

Is wholesale right for you?

You’re almost certain to be better off with Amber’s wholesale prices than under the traditional retail model if you answer YES to any of the following questions:

1. Are you willing to shift some of your usage away from the handful of hours each year when the wholesale price is much higher than usual?

A handful of times each year, mostly because of excessive demand on the grid during heatwaves, the wholesale price can rise to up to $16.50/kWh (yep, that's dollars, not cents!). These “price spikes” don’t usually last more than a couple of hours, and occur less than 0.1% of the time. If you can find clever ways to reduce your energy usage during these times, you can save even more with Amber.

We'll give you as much notice as possible about forecast price spikes (with a notification on your phone, a text, or an email), so you can skip these brief higher priced periods by shifting some of your usage slightly earlier or later in the day.

If you have solar, your exports are as good as gold during these periods: you can briefly earn a real-time FiT above $1/kWh (up to a maximum of ~$14/kWh) by exporting at times when the grid needs it most.

2. Can you cope with some variability in your bills?

For most people, wholesale prices are cheaper in total over the year, but they’re not necessarily cheaper in every month of the year. Over the last twelve months Amber customers with average usage saw bills $30-50 cheaper than a traditional plan most in months of the year, but then $80-100 more expensive in Australia’s hottest month, January. If you’re on a fixed income and rely on stable and predictable electricity bills every month, then a traditional flat rate plan might be better for you.
 
3. Do you own a household battery or electric vehicle (EV)?

(Totally not required, but they’re a great fit for wholesale).

If you're like most household battery owners, you tend to only use power from the grid late at night or early in the morning. These are the times when the wholesale price of energy tends to be cheapest. Meanwhile, you'll be able to use your battery power during peak times when demand on the grid is higher and the wholesale price tends to be more expensive. This increases the return you get on your battery in ways that wouldn’t be possible under a traditional retail model.

If you have an EV you can substantially reduce charging costs by charging in the middle of the day or the middle of the night when wholesale prices are usually much cheaper than you could buy elsewhere.   

4. Are you passionate about helping Australia transition to 100% renewables?

Amber’s power is 100% carbon offset, but that’s not the only way that we’re tackling climate change. With Amber, you pay less for power when cheap renewables are generating. By using more power at times when there’s renewable energy in the grid, you’re able to save money and drive demand for renewable generation in Australia. And by scaling back your energy usage at times when power is expensive and dirty, you can save even more and help reduce Australia’s reliance on fossil fuel power.
 
A final word before you join the Smart Energy Revolution

We’re doing things differently. And for us, that means being totally transparent in an industry that too often profits when customers are kept in the dark.

If you're still ready to try wholesale pricing with Amber, then make sure you've joined on our waitlist.

Though we're live throughout most of Australia, we're inviting customers to join in small batches so as not to overwhelm our operation team. We'll invite you to join as soon as possible.
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