Energy retail upstart Amber Electric says customers using the company’s SmartShift home battery management platform have earned a combined total of $60,000 over the past quarter, simply from exporting their stored solar energy.
Amber rolled out the beta version of its SmartShift app to customers across the National Electricity Market in February, offering a service that automates batteries to charge when energy is cheapest, through renewables, and then discharge when energy is most expensive.
Customers using the app quickly discovered the software’s ability to earn between $40-$100 in a single evening by sending power to the grid during price spikes – of which there have been a great deal over the past year.
In a presentation at the All-Energy Australia conference and exhibition on Wednesday, Amber co-founder and co-CEO Dan Adams says that in the thick of the energy crisis, when large coal and gas generators were charging one-hundred times normal prices, Amber customers were along for the ride.
Adams says SmartShift customers were earning $16/kWh by exporting when prices were spiking and as a result, sometimes earning up to $100 in a day, all while displacing fossil fuels.
An updated SmartShift
At All-Energy, the Melbourne-based company will launch an updated version of SmartShift, and is talking up the much bigger earnings opportunity open to customers by optimising the battery storage in their electric vehicle.
“An EV battery is about 5X larger than a household battery,” Adams will tell the conference on Wednesday.
“And soon Vehicle to Grid technology could allow households to get paid ~$1000 a year for exporting power from their EV to the grid,” he said.
As Amber notes, the Australian Energy Market Operator forecasts 2.3 million EVs and 1.9 million household batteries by 2030.
Adams says that if we could use just half of this consumer battery capacity we could meet most of the energy storage requirements for the renewable transition by 2030 under AEMO’s most likely scenario.
Smart controls are key
The challenge to overcome is on the control side – developing software to automate and coordinate all those batteries to charge up when there’s renewables in the grid and discharge when the grid needs that power to displace coal and gas.
“By intelligently coordinating home batteries and EVs, this will be the cheapest and fastest way to get Australia to 100% renewable energy,” Adams says.
“It will also shift billions from fossil fuels to the pockets of Aussies in the process.
“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.”