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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions2022-10-04T06:33:06+00:00
Do I need to generate electricity to join Localvolts?2022-08-25T09:23:19+00:00

No, anyone who consumes electricity can join. As a consumer you can choose who you buy electricity from and at what price. You might support your local community, or choose suppliers based on the environmental impact of the generators. Localvolts is just as much about providing you choice and control over your electricity consumption, as well as over your electricity production.

Do you sell the panels or is it my responsibility to purchase and then set up with your company to sell power?2022-08-25T09:21:59+00:00

We do not sell solar panels. You will need to set up your own generator before selling electricity via the Localvolts marketplace.

Is Localvolts available in Western Australia?2022-10-04T06:34:00+00:00

No. The Western Australian electricity law does not allow small customers to choose their electricity supplier, hence you cannot buy and sell electricity on Localvolts marketplace until there is a change in the law.

Do I need to be connected to the grid to sign up with Localvolts?2022-10-04T06:35:03+00:00

Yes. You must be connected to the grid in the National Electricity Market of Australia to buy and sell electricity.

If Localvolts is successful, and consumer start to buy energy from household generators rather than large companies, who will pay for the grid and infrastructure?2022-08-25T09:19:48+00:00

The existing power grid and industry structure is organised for large generators to make energy and have it delivered via high and low voltage networks to consumers – it is a unidirectional model where the industry makes all the decisions.

With consumers becoming active participants, the power networks will have to adjust to bi-directional energy flows – this is more a mindset issue for the networks in our opinion; the engineering is not that hard. The power networks’ role is essential in the new energy world; they just have to adapt a bit.

Our view is that anyone who uses the grid must pay for it, and our business model ensures that this happens. The debate will be around for what services, and how much? We will help in this by providing full transparency – no more bundled prices allowing some people to make up their own facts.

As for the large generators, well, they’ve had the market to themselves for long enough; they’ll have to learn to share.

Which states does Localvolts operate in?2022-10-04T06:37:04+00:00

Grid connected customers in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania can join Localvolts. Victorian residents have to wait until we receive our electricity licence from the Essential Services Commission.

What are the expected returns or savings for a Localvolts Customer?2022-10-04T21:30:31+00:00

The concept behind Localvolts is to create a fair and transparent marketplace for electricity. We strongly believe that the current prices of electricity are higher than they should be, especially for customers who are producing electricity for themselves. You will be making your own decisions regarding prices and energy sources. The actual outcomes will depend on the marketplace. This should deliver a better outcome for you.

What are the costs involved to get started with Localvolts.2022-10-04T21:30:42+00:00

The Localvolts bill will identify all of the costs involved in consuming electricity which include grid charges, metering fees, renewable certificates, energy cost, etc.

You will know exactly what all of the charges are, and to whom you are paying them.

For more information, visit our How it Works page.

I have a PV system, and am planning to add more panels, a battery, or both. Do you have any specific technical requirements that I should be aware of?2022-08-25T09:14:08+00:00

No, you do not need any special setup to become a participant in the Localvolts marketplace.

I have rooftop solar, and produce excess energy during the day. Can you help me to get a better price for my excess energy?2022-10-04T21:30:55+00:00

Yes. You are in total control of your energy sales with Localvolts: you will set your own sale price(s), and decide who receives your offer(s) – meaning you will be able to do a direct deal with your own customers. This should naturally give you a better price for your excess energy.

What happens if I consume more energy than I originally bought in my matched purchase? Or consume less than originally purchased?2022-10-04T21:31:10+00:00

All imported energy in excess of your original matched quantity is bought from the wholesale spot energy market operated by the Australian Energy Market Operator.

If you imported less energy than originally agreed, then you will pay for the actual (reduced) quantify of energy at the agreed matched price.

Your physical electricity supply will not be affected in either case.

What happens if I deliver more energy than I originally sold in my matched sale? Or deliver less than originally sold?2022-08-25T09:12:44+00:00

All exported energy in excess of your original matched quantity is sold into the wholesale spot energy market operated by the Australian Energy Market Operator.

If you exported less energy than originally agreed, then you will receive payment for the actual (reduced) quantity of energy at the agreed matched price.

How do I share my energy with my family and friends?2022-10-04T06:39:01+00:00

First, you and your family members and friends must be registered with Localvolts. Then you create special targeted offers for them.

I have multiple properties located in different states. Can I sell energy from one to the other?2022-08-25T09:11:51+00:00

Yes, you can make targeted offers to buy and sell energy across state boundaries. The relevant properties must be registered with Localvolts.

If you sell your energy at a positive price, cash will flow from the consuming site to the producing property.

If you sell your energy at zero price, no cash will flow between the consuming and producing properties.

If you sell your energy at negative price, cash will flow from the producing site to the consuming property.

How do you treat negative prices?2022-10-04T21:31:20+00:00

Negative prices for energy are normal and we pass them through the same way as positive energy prices. With negative energy prices, the effect on the producers and consumers of energy are reversed: generators pay out cash for their exported energy, while consumers receive cash for their imported energy.

In the wholesale spot energy market, prices become negative when there is excess generation in the system.

Persons with generators in the Localvolts market can also offer their energy at negative prices to transfer cash to the targeted consumer(s).

Are the sources I would be buying from residential producers, or do they include large generators as well?2022-06-22T11:29:44+00:00

Our market is built for everyone and we are working to bring on a diverse group of buyers and sellers. Currently, all sellers are households.

How often must I make buy/sell decisions? Is it something I can set up once and leave alone?2022-10-04T21:31:38+00:00

We encourage you to go through the buy (or sell) process at least once to set up your preferences with auto-renewals. With auto-renewals enabled, the system will continue to buy (or sell) on your behalf without any further action required from you. Naturally, you can stop or modify your preference set up at any time.

Can I buy clean energy?2022-06-22T11:27:48+00:00

Yes, all sellers in our marketplace provide energy from zero greenhouse gas emissions sources. Only energy bought from the wholesale spot energy market operated by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is sourced from a mix of generators producing varying levels of emissions.

Do I have to transfer to Localvolts as my electricity retailer in order to benefit from the Localvolts marketplace?2022-06-22T11:27:04+00:00

Yes

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