Winter tends to have a bad reputation for solar homeowners. For individual households, the additional consumption of electricity from heating combines with the reduced generation of rooftop PV systems due to our shorter days, a situation that can lead to a big bill scare.

True as that may be for most, you are not alone. As one of our members, the Intelligent Control in your battery storage is constantly monitoring usage patterns and external conditions to deliver the greatest possible savings to your energy bill: maximising your energy self-consumption, predicting future solar generation in all kinds of weather, and trading your excess energy in the spot market.

This article will delve deeper into the trading component of our Solar + Battery Members Plan, showing some promising results as the weather cools down. Let’s begin with a crash course of what the electricity spot market is, and how Members Energy enables you to trade where other solar households cannot.

 

What is the ‘spot market’?

The National Electricity Market (NEM) is where generators and retailers sell and buy electricity in all Australian states and territories, except NT and WA. Because of the grid’s characteristics, the electricity supplied via the NEM must exactly match the demand at all times.

In a nutshell, the spot market is the mechanism used to match supply and demand with real-time consumption by households and businesses. It is important to understand its prices are set to reflect how much electricity is being used “right now” – pricing is updated every 5 minutes and each state has its own. Therefore, there are 5 different spot prices at any given 5-minute period of the day, one for each of the five regions.

When the grid experiences too much sudden demand and not enough supply, the cost of energy in the market can spike within a 5-minute window to a premium price. This spot price is the potential revenue you can make from trading your excess solar through Members Energy – recent maximum spot prices have shown a steady recovery through April and May, with some regions exceeding $7/kWh!

Needless to say, these peak trade events are the perfect opportunity to sell your excess stored power with unlimited upside!

Australia Map

RECENT SPOT PRICING (APR-MAY)
NEM Region Max. spot price Time of max
ACT/NSW $7.49/kWh 18/05/2021, 18:30 hrs
QLD $2.54/kWh 10/05/2021, 16:30 hrs
SA $7.04/kWh 18/05/2021, 18:30 hrs
TAS $2.17/kWh 05/05/2021, 07:30 hrs
VIC $7.44/kWh 18/05/2021, 18:30 hrs

 

Wait, colder weather is driving electricity market prices up?

Spot pricing varies with demand; as demand in the day rises to its peak, so do spot prices.

Prices are usually low in the early hours of the morning, before people wake up. On the contrary, prices are usually higher in the mid afternoon or evenings when people and businesses are generally using the most power.

Winter’s lower temperatures increase demand from heating. Furthermore, our shorter winter days in the southern hemisphere reduce the readily available supply from solar, which also drives spot prices up. We expect this trend to continue, as we reach even lower temperatures.

By joining Members Energy, you have taken a proactive step and invested in the future of energy. Currently, our fleet of over 2,000 customers has the capability to deliver over 6MWh (Megawatt-hour) into the grid, doing so at optimal times to generate the most amount of revenue for you through spot pricing.

As our Virtual Power Plant (VPP) grows, so does our ability to raise other revenue streams through Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) trials, grid stabilisation, peer-to-peer trading and other similar projects that will be available through distributors.

No matter what lies ahead, you can be assured that your PV and battery system is continuously learning, and that Members Energy will continue to return the power back to you.

 

Where can I read more about the spot market?

If you would like to read more on how spot and contract markets work together to keep the lights on and the prices stable, we suggest this read from the Australian Energy Market Commission.

 

Infographic