I’ve hyped up Amber here in the past, but with recent changes regarding how they reimburse Victorians for solar exports, I will not be sticking around after my next bill.
In October 2020 Amber changed how they pay Victorians the solar FIT mandated to them by the Victorian government. Instead of adding 10.2c/kWh credit every bill, they paid the wholesale rate instead and promised to top up the difference between the wholesale price and government mandated price in July 2021. It’s annoying having to wait a year to be topped up, but they’re paying that out on my next bill and that’s fine.
As of July 1st however, Amber will instead only top up the difference in your overall bill between what you paid and what’s listed in their Energy Plan Fact Sheet for your distributor once a year - they call it an “annual bill guarantee”. This support document explains it in detail. To add further salt into the wound, Amber’s wholesale costs are going up as of August 1st:
All these changes mean I’m probably not getting the best deal I can for electricity under Amber’s pricing structures. I tried to work it out as best as I can using last year’s pricing with next year’s pricing added on. There’s a chance the next 12 months of wholesale power pricing could be cheaper than this, but nobody knows for sure. I’ll try anyways:
My consumption last year was 6,954kwh and my exports were 10,290kwh.
Amber Wholesale Predicted 2021/2022
Usage Average: 19.17c/kwh - $1333.08/yr
Supply (inc Amber sub): 93.50c/day - $341.28/yr
Wholesale Solar Export Average: 3.23c/kWh - $332.37/yr
Total bill: $1341.99
Amber Offer ID: AMB327801MR
Usage: 25.59c/kwh - $1,779.53
Supply: 60.61c/day - $221.23
Amber subscription: $10/m - $120/yr
Solar Exports: 6.7c/kWh - $689.43
Total bill: $1451.33
With this estimation, I would not be eligible for the pricing guarantee as the Amber wholesale pricing is ~$100 cheaper than their maximum pricing as outlined in the energy fact sheet. My likely yearly spend (because I can’t predict with proper accuracy due to the market changes) with Amber will be in the $1200-$1400/yr range
Applying the same consumption and exports to another offer from a traditional retailer offering a high FIT:
Dodo Plan E3PCR-MAT1GF2-a
Usage: 20.58c/kWh - $1,431.13/yr
Supply: 94.14c/day - $343.61/yr
Solar Export - 12c/kWh - $1,234.80/yr
Total bill - $530.94/yr
As you can see, that’s a massive difference - over $800/yr cheaper, all due to the twice as high FIT than Amber. I don’t know how long Dodo would keep offering that high FIT, but as long as they’re giving it out, I will take it. Sorry Amber - maybe when batteries are affordable and I can do some sweet arbitrage I’ll come back!
P.S: I know I could save even more if I went with Elysian or EVO Energy (I’d be in credit every month!), but they don’t allow properties with more than 5kw of export capability to sign up. I have 12kw!