As today’s extreme events in QLD continue to unfold, tweets and Facebook posts from spot-exposed residential customers in QLD have begun to emerge with some of them increasingly worried about the effect that tonight’s predicted extreme prices will have on their bill.
Amber Electric is one of the very few electricity retailers in the nation to offer wholesale spot price exposure to residential customers. As part of their business model, their customers pay a $15/month subscription fee along with some other costs (e.g. network charges, metering costs, carbon offset costs, etc.) to give their customers exposure to spot prices usually reserved for wholesale market participants. The general idea of their offering is that as price spikes occur relatively rarely, their customers can take advantage of typically lower spot prices during less volatile periods, and then have the option to reduce their own demand during times of high prices. Along with other possible environmental benefits, customers of theirs would hope to receive a net-saving on what they would have paid compared to a traditional retail electricity arrangement.
A screenshot of Amber Electric’s app during a time of more typical spot prices
Earlier this afternoon I came across some posts on social media from some of their customers slightly worried about high forecasted prices for this evening. Amber’s app was quick to alert it’s customers of the potential for price spikes that have been forecasted for this afternoon so that they had enough time to plan their power usage accordingly.
With some customers in QLD seeing their kWh cost of electricity move from $0.54/kWh at around 2pm to a forecast of $17.88/kWh later in the day.