We all know renewable energy is the way forward. And if you want to do your bit for the environment as well as your wallet, talking to AGL about installing solar could be the answer, because of many benefits.
How does solar energy work?
Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic panels (PV panels), convert sunlight into energy. This energy is then converted into electricity using an inverter. The electricity either powers your home energy needs or can be fed back into the grid.
How solar can reduce your energy bills
Installing solar energy can help reduce your energy bills in two key ways:
You’re generating power yourself, therefore you’re reducing the amount of power you need to buy off the grid.
You could be entitled to a tariff for any excess power you sell back to the grid.
The key environmental benefits of solar
AGL uses solar panels which are high quality, efficient and long lasting.
Any energy used to manufacture or install the system is typically paid back many times over with the energy it produces over its lifetime.
And, once installed, solar energy does not produce any greenhouse gas emissions.
The costs of solar energy
There is an initial outlay to install solar energy (either electricity or hot water). However, you may find these establishment costs are covered by the savings you make over time in energy costs.<
If you pay for the solar system upfront, you can start saving immediately. If you don’t have the finances to pay upfront, AGL offers flexible finance to make it easier to enjoy solar.
And, depending on where you live, if you feed excess electricity back into the grid you could be entitled to a credit.
There are also government incentives available for installing renewable energy like solar, including the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).
AGL is Australia’s largest non-government owner and operator of renewable energy assets. And when it comes to solar energy we don’t believe one size fits all. We provide expert advice and tailor solar solutions specifically for you that take into account your particular property, energy consumption and your budget.
Visit our solar energy page to find out how we can tailor a solar solution for your property or to enquire about a free quote. Or, you can always call us on 1300 377 118.
A virtual power plant put simply is a collection of individual batteries that are managed in unison to help power customers’ homes and support the grid.
The battery installed in your home stores excess solar energy produced by your system. This can help you to use more of your own solar energy and less from the grid. Any energy discharged from the battery will be used by the home first, with any additional energy then exported to the grid, allowing you to receive your standard Retail Feed-in Tariff (RFiT).
In some instances, AGL’s Virtual Power Plant uses the solar energy stored in individual home batteries to help support the electricity grid during peak usage times, helping you to use solar energy within your home while helping to increase grid stability for the community.
AGL’s Virtual Power Plant is open to eligible metropolitan Adelaide homeowners who meet the following criteria:
Own an appropriately sized solar system or want to go solar.
Own your own home.
Currently generate more solar energy than you’re using in your home.
Are an existing AGL electricity customer or want to make the switch.
Live in an eligible suburb of metropolitan Adelaide.
Are not currently on a government solar bonus scheme feed-in tariff.
If your home generates sufficient excess solar energy you could benefit from participating in AGL’s Virtual Power Plant, by using more of the solar energy you produce.
If you are currently on a government solar bonus scheme feed-in tariff, installing a battery will affect your eligibility to access that scheme. You should consider your own personal circumstances when deciding whether to purchase a battery as part of this Virtual Power Plant offer.
You must be an existing AGL electricity customer or wanting to make the switch to participate in this offer and remain with AGL for your electricity for the term of the agreement. If you’re currently with another electricity retailer, one of our friendly AGL customer representatives can help you make the switch.
Register your interest in the next stage of the Virtual Power Plant demonstration project and an AGL solar and battery expert will be in touch to discuss the program and your eligibility to join.
AGL’s Virtual Power Plant makes battery technology more affordable than ever by providing leading energy storage systems at heavily subsidised prices.
The batteries being offered as part of the program are designed to store excess solar power that would otherwise be exported to the grid, and discharge it into your home at night, to avoid the need to buy electricity from the grid or to support the gird in times of grid instability or peak demand. By doing so, this can help to reduce customers electricity bills and assist the grid.
Individual electricity bill savings will vary, depending on energy usage, seasonality, solar system performance, and battery performance.
Speak to an AGL solar and battery expert to learn more about whether an AGL Virtual Power Plant battery could help you save.
Yes. AGL is pioneering virtual power plant technology as part of our demonstration project, with 1,000 battery installations being rolled out in metropolitan Adelaide.
This offer is currently only available in eligible suburbs in metropolitan Adelaide.
In the future, innovative ways of producing, storing and sharing energy via a virtual power plant model may become available to consumers in other states. If you don’t currently meet the geographic eligibility criteria for AGL’s virtual power plant but want to start enjoying the benefits of battery technology, speak to one of our energy storage experts to register your interest – call 1300 760 034.
You can also sign up to receive updates on solar energy storage offers and promotions. Simply visit our Energy Storage page, and register your interest to join the AGL Power Advantage Club by submitting your details at the bottom of the page.
The agreement to participate in the Virtual Power Plant is for a 5 year period. While participating in the Virtual Power Plant, you must remain an AGL electricity customer. At the end of the 5 year period the agreement automatically expires. For customers who have had a battery installed already and are taking advantage of our upgrade program, the 5 year term does not reset upon installation of the new battery.
Unlike some other virtual power plant programs, you own the battery and/or solar system installed in your home during and after your participation in the program.
By participating in the Virtual Power Plant demonstration project you will have a battery installed at a heavily subsidised price. If you choose to exit the agreement before the scheduled end date, you will be required to pay an early termination fee. The fee is capped at $5,000 and reduces over the 5 year term. This early termination fee is listed in the terms and conditions provided with your quote.
If you move to a new house, AGL may agree to transfer your contract to be part of the Virtual Power Plant program to the new owner.
If you get a message that says “your password is no longer secure” and we’re asking you to reset it, here’s why:
While your login details remain safe with us, we’ve been advised that your email may have been leaked by another website or service. We take your security very seriously, so you’ll need to reset your password before you log in again. We’re not sure which website or application is responsible for this leak, but we recommend checking out Stay Smart Online for some useful tips about online security.
Switch to the AGL Savers - Home Connect electricity plan and get a bonus Amazon Echo.
Why is this offer only available online?
By making the AGL Savers - Home Connect plan available online only, we can give you a competitive offer, as well as make it easy for you to set-up. Just follow the instructions provided. And if you have any questions, simply get in touch via AGL Webchat and we’ll be happy to help.
Can I get this offer by calling AGL?
So we can also offer you a competitive energy plan, this offer is only available online.
When can I expect to receive my Amazon Echo?
If you’re an existing AGL customer or have moved into a new home, your Amazon Echo device will be shipped to this mailing address approximately 7 business days after your 10-business day cooling off period or your supply commencement date, whichever is later. If you’re switching to AGL from another retailer, your Amazon Echo device will be shipped approximately 7 business days after AGL becomes your retailer, which could take up to 3 months*. We’ll send you an email when your Amazon Echo is ready to be dispatched, and a tracking number when it is shipped. Plus you’ll receive delivery status updates up until it’s delivered. To make any changes relating to your account, log in to My Account. *Subject to market timeframes for basic meter transfer.
What address will my Amazon Echo be sent to?
We’ll send your new Amazon Echo to the mailing address you give us when switching to the AGL Home Connect Plan. To check or change your address, log into My Account, select the ‘Manage Account’ tab and select ‘Contact Details’.
What can the Amazon Echo do for me?
Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled speaker that connects to Alexa, a cloud-based service, to play music, control compatible smart home devices, set alarms and timers, check your calendar, weather, traffic, and sports scores, as well as get updates on your AGL energy account.
Use Amazon Echo to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn on the TV from your favourite chair or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie – all without lifting a finger.
When you want to use Echo, just say the wake word, “Alexa”, and Echo light ups and responds to your request. Learn more about Amazon Echo.
My Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived – what should I do?
If you’re an existing AGL customer or have moved into a new home, your Amazon Echo device will be shipped to this mailing address approximately 7 business days after your 10-business day cooling off period or your supply commencement date, whichever is later. If you’re switching to AGL from another retailer, your Amazon Echo device will be shipped approximately 7 business days after AGL becomes your retailer, which could take up to 3 months*.
We’ll send you an email when your Amazon Echo is ready to be dispatched, and a tracking number when it is shipped. Plus you’ll receive delivery status updates up until it’s delivered. To make any changes relating to your account, log in to My Account. *Subject to market timeframes for basic meter transfer.
How do I set up my Amazon Echo?
First, download the Alexa app and sign in. With the free Alexa app, you can set up your device, manage alarms, music, shopping lists, and more. The Alexa app is available on phones and tablets with:
Android 5.0 or higher
iOS 9.0 or higher
To download the Alexa app, go to the app store on your mobile device and search for "Alexa app." Then select and download the app. Next, sign into your Amazon account, or if you don’t have one, create an Amazon account.
You can also go to https://alexa.amazon.com.au/ from Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer (10 or higher) on your Wi-Fi enabled computer.
After that, continue your first time Amazon Echo device set up by following the prompts in the Alexa app or https://alexa.amazon.com.au/.
If you are having trouble setting up your Amazon Echo device, get help here.
How do I set up and use the AGL Skill?
It’s easy to get the AGL Skill on your Amazon Echo. Simply go to agl.com.au/alexaskill or the Alexa app once you’ve set up your device.
If I sign up to the AGL Savers - Home Connect energy plan, can I receive a new Amazon Echo?
Yes, eligible residential customers can take up the AGL Savers - Home Connect plan, and receive a new Amazon Echo after their 10-business day cooling off period has expired. You are only eligible to receive one Amazon Echo per supply address in any 12-month period.
What should I do if the Amazon Echo sent from AGL is faulty?
If you wish to return a faulty device to AGL, please complete our online form with your details and we’ll send a product return satchel to your mailing address, which you should receive within three to five business days. After it arrives, we’ll arrange for a replacement device to be shipped out to you. You can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
The Amazon Echo device is covered by a limited one-year manufacturer’s warranty, which you can view at https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201014520 . There will be instructions in that warranty on how to make a warranty claim directly with the manufacturer. You may also have additional rights and remedies under the Australian Consumer Law.
Does a termination fee apply if I no longer want to stay on the AGL Savers - Home Connect energy plan?
No termination fees will apply, but we may ask you to return your Amazon Echo and pay for the postage costs if you choose to cancel your energy plan within six (6) months of your supply commencement date.
To sign up or find out more, visit our website.
We understand that some of our customers have been impacted by the extreme weather events across south and eastern Australia.
Affected customers facing financial hardship following these events should call AGL on 131 245 to discuss support available.
If you have a remotely read smart electricity meter you may be able to view a projection of your next bill.
Your projected bill is calculated by using your historical data to estimate your average daily energy usage, until the end of your current billing period.
It is a projection only, and does not factor in any unbilled charges such as credits, pay on time discounts or other unbilled charges. Your actual bill may also be different from your projected bill if your usage patterns change during the billing period.
Download or view the projected bill details in My Account or the AGL Energy App.
The Australian Energy Regulator has published a factsheet to help consumers understand the new rules.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (Australia’s independent energy markets and power systems operator) and the Australian Energy Market Commission (which sets the rules that govern the electricity and natural gas markets) both offer information on the Power of Choice review and its resulting rule changes on their websites:
AEMC - http://www.aemc.gov.au/Major-Pages/Power-of-choice AEMO - https://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Power-of-Choice
Your meter type and configuration determines the electricity rates available to you.
Traditional electricity meters do not record when you use electricity, they only record how much you have used in total since the last time the meter was read. If you have a pool pump, or slab heating or storage hot water, then traditionally you might have a separate controlled load meter through which these facilities operate during Off-peak times, with Off-peak rates applying to their usage.
However, new digital meters record when electricity is used in half hourly intervals, and this is reported back to Energy Retailers on a daily basis. Because of this, digital meters also support a flexible pricing structure, in which different electricity rates can apply at different times of the day.
With a flexible pricing structure, higher amounts might apply during Peak hours, with lower rates applying during Off-peak and Shoulder times of the day. A digital meter and flexible pricing structure may enable you to lower your overall electricity usage costs by shifting some of your electricity usage outside the Peak times.
For example, running energy hungry appliances such as a dishwasher or clothes dryer during the Off-peak period will help you take advantage of lower Off-peak rates.
My Account is an online tool available to AGL customers to help them understand more about their own energy use. With a digital meter, customers can also learn when during the day their energy use takes place, and this is helpful to understanding what you can change.
It is possible that two similarly sized houses right next to each other, that are billed for the same time period and pay the same energy rates under identical energy plans, might have very different amounts on their energy bills.
This can be due to a number of physical factors about the property, the number of occupants or the way the occupants use energy.
For example, one home may have double glazed windows, or more insulation and weather proofing, making it more energy efficient. One house may have a solar power system that generates electricity.
One home may use energy efficient lighting, and the other may have a large number of inefficient down lights installed. A heated and filtered backyard pool can add significant cost to a household electricity bill.
One home may have more energy hungry appliances, such as plasma screen televisions, or mobile devices that require recharging every day. A second fridge can also add considerable cost to a household electricity bill.
The household occupants may use their appliances at different times of the day, which matters if different rates apply to usage that occurs during Peak, Off-peak or Shoulder times of the day.
One home may have more efficient heating, or cooling, or the heating or cooling might be set to different temperatures. One occupant might do more loads of washing. One occupant may line dry their clothes, while the other uses a tumble dryer.
All of these factors will combine uniquely for every household, which may result in quite different amounts when the energy bill arrives. That's why AGL developed My Account, an online tool available to AGL customers to help them understand more about the circumstances of their own energy use.
In supplying gas and electricity to you AGL incurs a range of different costs which can be broadly grouped into 4 categories. These categories are explained below:
Wholesale Energy Cost
Wholesale Energy Costs are the amount that we pay to purchase sufficient gas and electricity to supply our customers.
Electricity can be bought directly from a wholesale electricity market where all businesses that generate electricity sell their output, for example, coal or gas power stations, or wind farm and hydro scheme operators (Electricity Generators). The wholesale electricity market can be extremely volatile in times of short supply or high demand.
Gas can be bought directly from gas extraction and production plant operators (Gas Producers).
Gas and electricity can also be bought indirectly through energy trading markets. Participating in these trading markets helps retailers to manage the risks of high prices in the wholesale market.
Different companies are involved in the delivery of gas or electricity to homes and businesses. They are called Gas or Electricity Distributors, and Gas or Electricity Transmission businesses.
The activities performed by these businesses include building and maintaining the Transmission and Distribution networks of electricity poles and wires, or gas pipes and pipelines, to transport the energy from Electricity Generators and Gas Producers to end-users.
Electricity and Gas Distributors are also responsible, in many cases, for installing and maintaining electricity and gas meters at homes and businesses. They arrange for gas and electricity meters to be read, and for our customers’ meter readings to be supplied to us.
We have direct and indirect costs in arranging the supply of wholesale energy and network services used in supplying gas and electricity to our customers.
Government Green Scheme Costs
We have direct and indirect costs associated with a range of Federal and State Government green schemes that promote a sustainable energy industry. These schemes include renewable energy schemes and energy efficiency schemes.
Energy Retail Component
As an energy retailer, we are the face of the industry to our customers. We manage a lot behind the scenes to ensure that our customers’ homes and businesses have access to gas and electricity at competitive prices. The cost of doing so is recovered through our energy rates.
Our business activities include purchasing wholesale energy and network services, assisting customers with queries about their energy plans, usage or bills, requesting Distributor services on behalf of our customers such as connections and disconnections when moving house, and calculating and sending energy bills.
Other activities we perform include managing our compliance obligations, and sending our customers the details of their energy plans, and all of the other important information they need to know about us as their energy retailer, the industry and their supply of gas and electricity in general.
When setting our energy rates it is important for us to offer competitive gas and electricity plans, to be able to provide excellent service and value to our customers, and to ensure the continued support of our shareholder investors.
Importantly, we also reinvest in our business to ensure that we can continue to be innovative with initiatives such as developing My Account which enables our customers to see and understand the energy they use, and actions that they can take to reduce their energy usage.
The Network Costs associated with transporting electricity and gas from their generation or production source to homes and businesses make up the largest part of customers’ energy bills (see explanations of Network Costs, "Why electricity costs what it does" and "Why gas costs what it does" above).
Increased Network Costs have been a major factor increasing the costs to retail business in supplying gas and electricity to their customers.
In particular, the electricity Distribution infrastructure, including the poles and wires, sub-stations and meters has required investment for both maintenance and upgrading. The investment is necessary for a variety of reasons, including updating ageing infrastructure to maintain reliability and to keep pace with growing Peak time electricity demand.
Many of today’s appliances and lifestyle choices involve the use of large amounts of electricity. Widespread use of large flat-screen TVs, gaming consoles, personal computers, mobile devices, air conditioners, dish washers, clothes dryers, brilliant down lights and heated pools in modern homes in expanding cities has required this increased investment.
Installing a solar power system can result in a significant reduction of overall bill amounts.
A solar power system harnesses energy from sunlight via solar panels on the roof and converts it into electricity. Generating electricity in this way is considered environmentally friendly as it produces no direct greenhouse gas emissions.
With a net metered solar power system, the electricity that is generated is used by the home or business, and any excess electricity (where the solar power system is generating more than is being used in the home or business at any point in time) is fed back into the electricity grid.
With a gross metered solar power system, all the electricity that is generated is fed back into the electricity grid.
Customers with either a net or gross metered solar power system are paid for the excess electricity that is fed back into the grid in the form of Solar Feed-in credit on their electricity bills.
So a net metered solar power system reduces the amount of electricity that homes and businesses need to buy for use during the day. Plus, the Feed-in Credits for solar electricity not used by the home or business and fed into the grid helps off-set the cost of electricity that is purchased from the grid.
With a gross metered solar power system all the solar electricity generated is fed into the grid, for which the home or business will receive Feed-in Credits, but all the electricity used by the home or business is drawn from the grid and paid for under the customer’s energy plan.
Solar Feed-in tariffs, which are used to calculate Solar Feed-in bill credits, differ from State to State and may depend on when a Solar Feed-in agreement was entered into and the type of metering that is set up.
The amount of any solar Feed-in Credits received will depend on geographical location, the size of the solar power system installed and, in the case of net metered systems, the energy usage of the home or business at the time the solar power system is generating electricity.
Installing a solar power system reduces the size of electricity bills, and can significantly do so depending on size of the particular system installed. For more information about solar power systems, please visit AGL Solar or call the AGL Solar team on 1300 274 165.
There are two types of energy charges that appear on most customers’ energy bills:
Fixed charges (service or supply charges)
Service or supply charges are generally calculated as a fixed amount charged for each day of the time period covered by a bill. They are not related to the amount of energy used during the billing period.
Fixed charges cover some of the costs of maintaining and operating the Distribution and Transmission networks (see explanation of Network Costs), and some of the operational costs of supplying our customers.
Variable charges (usage charges)
Usage charges are calculated per kilowatt hour (kWh) for electricity, and per megajoule (MJ) for gas, for the amount of gas or electricity used at a home or business during the time period covered by a bill. Variables charges also cover some of the costs of maintaining and operating the Distribution and Transmission networks (see explanation of Network Costs), and some of the operational costs of supplying our customers.
The majority of costs associated with Government green schemes (see explanation of Government Green Scheme Costs) are generally recovered through the usage charges.
The actual amount of the variable usage charges that appear on an individual customer’s bill depends on how much energy they use, as measured by their meter and multiplied by the usage rates that apply under their energy contract.
In Victoria, energy rates generally change in January of each year. In New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and West Australia, energy rates generally change in July of each year.
This follows our annual review of our energy rates in each state.
There are different reasons why a transfer debit may appear on your invoice, some examples are:
1. A debt has been transferred from another contract (eg. an old address and you have just moved)
2. There has been a credit transferred between accounts and the debit is appearing on the original contract
3. A refund has been completed post transfer of credit
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