Get more from your solar and battery
Want to ‘power up’ the value of your solar system? As a Simply Energy customer, you can join our Virtual Power Plant (VPP) program, which could help maximise the benefits of your solar and battery system
Earn up to $580 in bill credits over two years
Join our VPP to maximise your solar and battery system with a $20 credit per month over two years and a one-off sign-up bonus credit of $100. Plus, a guaranteed discount each month off your electricity and gas usage and supply charges.
What is a Virtual Power Plant?
A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) is a network of connected home solar and battery systems that together support the electricity grid.
View our video to discover more on how our VPP can work for you.
Store excess energy
During times when your solar system generates more than you can use, the VPP stores this excess energy in your battery, for you to use in the evening when the sun goes down.
Share excess energy
Our priority is always to ensure you have enough stored energy in your battery to meet your needs. When the grid is under stress, the VPP will share the stored excess energy with your local community and you benefit from monthly VPP community credits to your account.
Read our FAQs below for more information on how we use and share your excess energy.
Support the grid
Battery storage and VPPs don't simply enable you to save money on your energy usage and earn bill credits. These smarter, more sustainable energy solutions mean you'll also be helping take care of your community and environment by supporting the grid.
Join with confidence
We had an unbelievable response to our first VPP in South Australia, which won two prestigious awards and created value for more than 1,300 customers. We’re now ready to deliver this innovative energy program to customers in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
How do I get involved?
To join our program, you’ll need to have solar and a Tesla Powerwall battery installed. The good news is, we can help you get started. Simply choose below which stage of the VPP journey you are at, or call 1800 290 773 to speak with one of our experts.
Am I eligible?
Credits are only made available if – at all times during the Access Benefit Period – you:
- are a resident in NSW, VIC, QLD or SA
- have a Tesla Powerwall 2 installed at your premises
- have a smart meter installed at your premises or agree to have one installed
- have an available, continuous and reliable internet connection
You can view the full eligibility criteria within our terms and conditions.
Looking to install solar PV or battery for your home?
We have a network of professional and reputable installers that can help make the transition as smooth as possible. All our preferred installers are Clean Energy Council Accredited.
Our solar and battery experts will be able to provide recommendations based around your unique requirements.
Getting started is simple
Register your details below.
We’ll match you with one of our preferred and trusted installers.
They’ll be in touch to discuss your requirements and answer any questions you may have.
After installation, we'll send you the link to join our Simply Energy VPP offer.
Looking to get solar or a battery installed?
Register your details below and we’ll match you with one of our preferred and trusted installers.
They’ll be in touch to talk about the right solar power and battery storage options for you.
Can I use another home battery in the VPP?
Currently we support the Tesla Powerwall 2 on the VPP, if you have a different battery it may be supported in the future.
Register your details below and we will let you know when your battery is supported.
Want to find out when your battery is supported?
Register your details below and we’ll let you know when your battery has been added to the VPP.
Frequently asked questions
How will Simply Energy access my battery?
We will manage your battery through a software platform. We may at any time charge, discharge or maintain energy in your battery including to support the grid. When we need to do this, we will always retain your back-up storage capacity in the battery (for Tesla Powerwall 2’s this is usually set to 20%). You can use this capacity to provide backup power in case of a local blackout. For any energy that is discharged from your battery, you will still get paid a Feed in Tariff, like your normal solar exports, as well as any applicable VPP Community Credits.
How much energy will you use?
Our priority is to ensure that customers benefit from joining our VPP community. For our existing VPP customers, last year we utilised less than 100kWh of energy per customer, over the full 12 months. This usage was spread over more than 60 different events, with most only using a very small amount of energy, ensuring that customers have sufficient power for their homes.
We have illustrated an example of what this could look like for VPP customers. It’s important to note that energy prices and FiT values will differ across each customer, so please do contact our VPP team 1800 290 773 for further information.
Using an example of a South Australian customer who is on a flat rate of 38c/kWh and a Feed In Tariff (FiT) for the energy exported, of 10c/kWh, this would have had an impact of approximately $28 per year in additional energy costs for customers (100kWh x 38c/kWh = $38 - $10 (FiT) = $28 in cost). This cost can be offset against a portion of your bill credits that are provided ($580 over two years).
Why do you use my battery?
We use your battery in two ways to support the grid in times of need. You will receive VPP Community Credits in consideration for the payments we receive for this support. After 2 years we will review these payment amounts based on the performance of the VPP in the markets and may change them (up or down) accordingly.
The 2 ways we support the grid are:
Wholesale Energy Market Support: In Australia, wholesale energy prices are set every 30 minutes depending on the amount of energy that is being generated and used across the grid. In some rare cases, when there is particularly high energy demand (for example during a summer heat wave) or if there is a sudden reduction in supply (for example if a power station breaks down) then wholesale energy prices can spike to very high levels. By exporting the energy stored in your battery, in times where energy prices are very high, we can help the grid to retain its supply and demand balance and create extra value from the wholesale energy market.
Ancillary Services Support: A side effect of an imbalance between the energy supply and energy demand on the grid is a change in the frequency of the electricity on the grid. Significant frequency variations from the normal 50Hz can lead to issues across the grid. The grid operator has established markets to provide ancillary services to stabilise the frequency of the gird in times of need – these markets are called Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) markets. Your battery can provide these ancillary services via brief periods of automatic charging or discharging in response to grid frequency deviations, and in doing so it generates payments from these FCAS markets.
What will happen during a blackout?
With minimal disruption, the battery will automatically back-up either your whole home or selected essential loads (depending on which circuits you have selected to be supplied and how many power phases are in your home). Some key features of battery during a blackout include:
- The ability for your solar PV system to continue generating energy to power your home and/or charge your battery (only applicable for single phase solar PV inverters)
- In most cases you won’t notice the switch to using the backup power in the battery
As part of our VPP you will have access to a minimum storage capacity in the battery. For customers with Tesla Powerwall 2, the manufacturers recommended minimum capacity is 20%. For other battery types, this functionality may be optional, so please check with your manufacturer or installer to confirm whether this is available.
What happens if you don’t use my battery?
Our VPP Community Credits are not contingent on whether we use your battery. If we don’t use your battery, this will not impact the value of credits that you will receive over this period.
How often will you use my battery?
The frequency of us using your battery depends on how much the grid needs the support. Over the past year we have used an average of less than 100kWh per customer through our VPP program, spread over 62 events. To put this into perspective, that’s less energy than is required to power your clothes dryer once a week for a year.
We have illustrated what this could look like for our VPP customers. It’s important to note that energy prices and FiT values will differ across each customer, so please do contact our VPP team 1800 290 773 for further information.
Using an example of a South Australian customer who is on a flat rate of 38c/kWh and a Feed In Tariff (FiT) for the energy exported, of 10c/kWh, this would have had an impact of approximately $28 per year in additional energy costs for customers (100kWh x 38c/kWh = $38- $10 (FiT) = $28 in cost). This cost can be offset against a portion of your bill credits that are provided ($580 over two years).
Do I still receive my Feed in Tariff whilst on a VPP?
Yes. Customers that join our VPP community still benefit from the standard Feed in Tariff as part of their energy plan.
I have a reliable internet connection with good speeds on 3G/4G, why do I need to have a fixed internet connection?
Currently the response times for 3G and 4G are not fast enough for the VPP.
What happens at the end of my energy plan?
For the first two years of your energy plan, we will provide you with your credits of up to $580 in value. After this period, we will review the revenues we have generated from the VPP in wholesale and FCAS markets and update the benefit amount. It may increase or decrease depending on the market conditions, but we will contact you at least 30 days prior to anything changing.
Are there any fees if I decide to leave the VPP?
No. Customers have the freedom to leave our VPP community whenever they choose, with no fees or lock in period.
Do you need to install anything on my battery?
No. We connect customers to the VPP community via a cloud-based platform, so no installation is required. To connect our platform to your battery, we will contact you after you sign up to the Simply VPP offer to obtain your Tesla Powerwall Gateway ID. Your Gateway ID is a code that can be found on your gateway system. See here for more information.
Does joining a VPP affect the warranty of my battery?
Typically, solar battery and inverters that are purchased in Australia come with a manufacturer’s express warranty that participating in our VPP won’t void. Each manufacturer warranty deals with VPP participation differently, so we encourage you to read the warranty for your solar battery for guidance.
Can I get a government grant for a new battery?
There are government grants available for eligible customers in South Australia and Victoria. These grants are:
South Australia: up to $3,000
Victoria: up to $4,174
For more information, please complete our ‘I’m interested in solar or a battery’ form above and one of our installation partners will be in touch.
Can I join if I have received a government grant for my battery?
Yes. Customers are still eligible to join if they have received a grant for their battery purchase.
How do I receive my credits?
By joining our VPP community you receive up to $580 in credits over a two-year period. Even if we don’t use your battery, every month you will receive a monthly credit, in addition to the $100 sign up bonus. These credits are applied to your energy bill, to offset any energy charges that accrue. If you don’t have any, these credits can also be cashed out.
By ensuring you continue to meet our eligibility criteria we will pay you a maximum of $580 over the two years. Your monthly credits are calculated at a daily rate of $0.657534, so depending on the number of days in the month this will impact the value that appears, but it will be approximately $20 each month.
What happens if my battery isn’t eligible for your VPP?
We are always interested in hearing from you and if you do have a battery that isn’t on our eligible list now, it may be something we can put in place for the future. Please fill out the form above and we will get in touch if this changes.