Amber shifts balance of power back to homeowners

Suburban brick home with Tesla battery on outside wall (northern territory batteries)
Tesla Powerwall battery (Image: Shutterstock)

Electricity retailer Amber has launched its updated Smartshift, which allows battery owners the power to charge and discharge their battery when they want and the ability to automate their home batteries in line with wholesale pricing.

Because Amber provides customers access to wholesale electricity prices, it means those with batteries who want to discharge to the grid can now decide when to do so—and directly compete with coal and gas generators when prices are peaking. 

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Prior to Amber and Smartshift, the majority of batteries would not let customers control when they charged and discharged. With Amber and Smartshift, battery owners can finally capture the full value of their battery, ensuring that they—and not their retailer—are in control.  

Smartshift ensures batteries are automated to charge when energy is the cheapest (through renewables) and then discharged when energy is most expensive, meaning customers are directly benefiting by competing with big coal and gas generators.

“By discharging to the grid when power prices are highest, customers will compete with large coal and gas generators who have been charging 100 times the normal price at some points during the recent energy crisis. And they’ll be substituting that dirty power for renewable power,” Amber co-founder and co-CEO Dan Adams said. 

“With Amber and SmartShift, customers capture the full value of their battery in the energy market, rather than letting a retailer or Virtual Power Plant (VPP) take a cut.

“Amber customers with batteries on the  Smartshift Beta program have been earning $40-$100 in an evening by exporting to the grid during price spikes. Many customers have been getting negative bills because the value of their exports is more than their energy bill. 

“Over the last quarter, our beta SmartShift customers have earned a total of $60,000—simply from exporting their energy.

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“By intelligently coordinating home batteries and EVs, this will be the cheapest and fastest way to get Australia to 100% renewable energy. It would also shift billions from fossil fuels to the pockets of Aussies in the process. Smartshift is the first step in allowing this to happen—and to make the experience delightful for the owners of batteries and EVs in the process,” Adams said. 

“No one has ever achieved this at scale. It’s a challenge that the entire world is facing and we’re tackling it head on, here in Australia, with the help of Australian energy users.”

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