What are price spikes?

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Price spikes are rare events that occur when the wholesale price temporarily climbs up to a maximum of ~$19/kWh (inc. GST) in most states, and up to $21/kWh in SA (inc. GST).

They normally last from 30 minutes to two hours, and happen just a few times a year. With the help of our app and text message notifications, most Amber customers are able to shift their usage away from price spikes and avoid paying these higher prices. Customers who can avoid price spikes are often able to save beyond our quoted rates (which include some usage during price spikes).

Price spikes are typically caused by the following:

  • Extreme demand on the grid coupled with low availability of renewables - during these times the coal and gas-fired companies charge the highest possible price for the energy they produce, driving up the price of energy
  • Damage to the grid (for example, bushfires taking down major power lines that allow the transfer of power across state lines)
  • Disruption to the service provided by a major power station, such as maintenance or an unexpected breakdown
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