We know that the energy landscape of Australia is evolving, and VPPs are expected to transform the traditional means of energy supply which are heavily fossil fuel based. So, by this time, you may have heard of VPPs, but is it right for you? Will it make savings for homeowners? Here’s everything you need to know about VPPs and the solar savings that comes with them.

What Are Virtual Power Plants?

VPP or a virtual power plant is a network of home solar battery systems that forms a large power source to provide on-demand power to electricity grids when in need. In simple words, you are making the grid more efficient and stable during peak periods by providing it with the excess energy that your solar battery has saved. And in return, you get credits.

It works on the concept of energy microgeneration, wherein a household or building can produce, store, and share the energy generated through renewable sources like solar power systems. Your energy retailer or VPP provider will control your VPP to draw energy from your battery.

How Much Savings Can You Make?

You know now when your solar battery provides power to the grid during peak demand periods, you will receive a premium rate payment in return. (Note that having a solar battery system connected to your solar panels itself gives you savings on your electricity bill).

By being part of the VPP, in addition to your regular feed-in tariff, you get an extra payment for the amount of power the retailer draws from your solar battery system. They pay you every time they access energy from your battery. Some retailers offer a fixed payment rate per month.

The payments can be anywhere between $0.37/kWh and $7.00/kWh. Therefore, you make two solar earnings: one from your regular feed-in tariff and another credit through VPP. However, how much you can make depends on your electricity retailer or VPP provider. Usually, VPP providers offer a base consumer savings of $100 to $200 per year. The rates also vary depending on the size of your solar battery system and the number of times they draw energy from it.

There are also other schemes that benefit homeowners. Some retailers offer discounted electricity rates for accessing your solar battery power system. These reduced rates, together with an efficient use of solar energy from your solar panel systems, can help you make significant savings on your electricity bills. You must choose a plan that is right for you, meaning the one that offers solar savings for you.

How To Apply for a VPP?

Before applying for a VPP, firstly, you must consider certain things:

  • Your location – you must check if VPP is available for your postcode
  • The solar battery system – you must have a compatible solar battery (typically, an AlphaESS battery)
  • Your electricity retailer- check with your electricity retailer

If all the above conditions tick right, you can easily apply for a VPP. By joining a VPP network, you are not only supporting the grid in achieving optimum efficiency but helping Australia build a modern electricity grid through renewable sources for a sustainable future.

Looking to go solar at your Port Macquarie home or business? The contact our team at Always Energy for an assessment and consultation.

A solar power system already offers more benefits like producing electricity during peak hours and helping you manage your electricity usage. But with new solar products and new technologies, you have more control and options on how you use and consume energy.

1. Energy Management Systems and Displays

Installing energy management systems at your home or business is an effective way to manage power consumption and reduce power bills.

Energy management systems (EMS), also called home energy management systems (HEMS), are smart systems that allow you to monitor and have complete control over your energy production and usage. It shows you how much solar energy your solar power system is generating and when you are using electricity. It also shows the details of the past electricity consumption on demand.

An EMS also provides remote operation features. It can set up your devices to operate at the scheduled time. Since the system allows you to control your electric appliances that are connected to it, you can efficiently manage your energy usage by turning them on during off-peak and shoulder periods.

The main benefit of energy management systems is they provide you with a customised plan to make the most of your solar power. There are two options when it comes to home solar energy management systems. They are battery-integrated and inverter-integrated systems. You can also install a display for your home energy management system to monitor your electricity generation and usage.

2. Battery Storage

Solar battery storage systems provide an innovative solution to use solar energy at its full potential. By installing a solar battery system, you can save the excess solar energy that your solar panel system generates during the day and use it any time during the day or night— and during power outages. In addition, it gives you the flexibility to avoid using grid electricity during peak periods when they are the most expensive. Solar battery storage increases your energy independence and helps manage your power consumption more conveniently and efficiently.

Modern solar battery systems are also highly efficient with a long-life span. They can store a large amount of solar energy in smaller volumes, allowing you to make maximum savings.

If you are considering a solar battery system, now is the best time as solar batteries are affordable now more than ever. All you need to do is just check if solar batteries are suitable for you to make savings and find the right battery size. Also, make sure to consult with your solar installer for the best battery system and deals that suit your needs.

3. Smart Metres

Smart metres also called advanced metres or type 4 metres are digital devices that measure the amount of electricity used at a given time. It essentially records the electricity usage at an interval of 30 minutes.

Installing a smart metre is highly beneficial if you are installing a solar panel and solar battery system. The readings are accurate and can be accessed from remote.

The main benefit of using a smart metre is it gives homeowners the flexibility to manage and control their electricity usage and save on their electricity bills. Since it allows you to read the amount of unused electricity fed back into the grid, it can help you manage your solar power usage more efficiently. It also provides information on your energy usage throughout the day in graphical representation for easy understanding.

Having smart metres connected to your solar power system also gives you the advantage of going for a flexible electricity pricing plan from your energy retailer. Just contact your electricity retailer to install a smart metre if you need it.

Contact us for more information on the latest solar technologies and solar panel installation in Port Macquarie and surrounding areas of NSW.