Tesla Energy Plan: Frequently Asked Questions
The Tesla Energy Plan is purpose built for Powerwall. By connecting to the Tesla Energy Plan your Powerwall will also be participating in the Tesla Virtual Power Plant, which is a network of homes within the community working together to generate renewable energy and share value across those home’s connected to the Tesla Energy Plan.
Using Tesla’s world leading technology, the Tesla Energy Plan works seamlessly with your Powerwall, providing benefits not only to your home, but also to the grid when it is needed, and in return you receive competitive energy rates, Feed in Tariffs, Grid Support Credits and Powerwall Credits (Powerwall credits are available when you join the Tesla Energy Plan within 30 days of install of your new Powerwall ).
The Tesla Energy Plan is available to residential customers only.
The Tesla Virtual Power Plant connects a network of homes with Powerwall to work together in a co-ordinated manner to benefit your home while also supporting the grid. By using energy in your Powerwall and other homes who participate in the Tesla Virtual Power Plant, we can provide power to the grid when it is needed most while reducing the use of fossil fuels and lowering costs across the community.
By joining the Tesla Virtual Power Plant with the Tesla Energy Plan, you can take advantage of competitive Time of Use energy rates, Grid Support Credits, Feed-in Tariffs, Powerwall Credits (when you join the Tesla Energy Plan within 30 days of install of your new Powerwall) while also helping avoid blackouts with back-up protection. If you already own a Powerwall and switch to the Tesla Energy Plan, you will be eligible to receive a one-off Welcome Credit.
The Tesla Energy Plan is delivered to you by Tesla’s authorised retail energy partner, Energy Locals. Sharing in our mission towards a sustainable future, Energy Locals were selected as the energy retailer for our Virtual Power Plant. They have industry recognition towards this goal and have been awarded Green Energy Retailer of the year, two years running (2020 & 2021) by Finder. When you join the Tesla Energy Plan, you can be reassured that you are joining an energy plan that is 100% carbon neutral at no additional cost.
The team at Energy Locals will support you with account management, billing and energy plan support through their Australian based customer support team.
The Tesla Energy Plan offers customers access to competitive and flexible rates, Grid Support Credits and Feed-in Tariffs. In order to join the Tesla Energy Plan, you must own a Powerwall and consent to the Powerwall being a part of the Tesla Virtual Power Plant.
New Powerwall owners: Bundle your Powerwall with the Tesla Energy Plan to be eligible to earn $1,000 (incl GST) in Powerwall Credits, when you join within 30 days of installation. You may also be eligible to access government rebates in your state or territory.
Existing Powerwall owners: By connecting your Powerwall to the Tesla Energy Plan, you are eligible to receive a one off Welcome Credit, you will also enjoy an energy plan that is purpose built for Powerwall while experiencing benefits such as Feed-in Tariffs, flexible Time of Use energy rates and Grid Support Credits.
New Powerwall Owners:
As a new Powerwall owner, when you join within 30 days of installation and remain connected to the Tesla Energy Plan, you will receive an additional 5 years extended warranty, with 60% energy retention at the end of year 15 (in addition to the 10-year manufacturer's warranty and 70% energy retention at the end of year 10). You will also enjoy coverage for unlimited Powerwall cycles for as long as the Extended Warranty applies.
To be eligible for the extended warranty you must:
- Purchase and install a new Powerwall through a Certified Installer, and
- Remain connected to the Tesla Energy Plan for the entire warranty period, including the extended warranty period.
Extended Warranty offer is only available to new Powerwall owners who purchase with the Tesla Energy Plan.
Yes, if your house has Powerwall installed you will be eligible to join the Tesla Energy Plan. When you switch to the Tesla Energy Plan, you consent to your Powerwall being part of the Tesla Virtual Power Plant.
Once you’ve completed your sign up, your electricity will be transferred across to the Tesla Energy Plan within 2 business days, this may be an estimated read if you currently have a basic meter. You will still receive your 10 business day cooling off period.
As much as we’re confident you will be satisfied with the benefits you receive as part of the Tesla Energy Plan and the Tesla Virtual Power Plant, we understand that circumstances can change.
If you have joined the Tesla Energy Plan in South Australia before 31 March 2022.
You may be required to refund to Tesla a portion of the special price Powerwall we paid to you if:
- you took up our offer of a Tesla Energy Plan (special price) when purchasing a new Tesla Powerwall (previously available in South Australia); and
- we provided the discount to you via a Certified Installer; and
- you cancel your subscription to the Tesla Energy Plan and withdraw from the Virtual Power Plant prior to the expiration of the 24 months minimum hardware commitment from first signing up.
If Tesla requires you to refund a portion of the fee then the repayment fee will be calculated as follows:
Recoup of Tesla Energy Plan special price offer (hardware discount fee) $ (Powerwall discount or sign-on bonus)/24 x the number of months remaining in the Minimum Term. Minimum Term is 24 months, so maximum reimbursement is $1,000.
Joining the Tesla Energy Plan from 27 April 2022 across all participating states.
If you bundle your new Powerwall with the Tesla Energy Plan from 27 April 2022 (and join the Tesla Energy Plan within 30 days of install) you can be eligible to earn $1,000 (incl GST) in Powerwall credits. Powerwall credits are applied onto your electricity account in two allocations of $500 in months 3 and 13 from transfer date and your credits will be applied directly to your Tesla Energy Plan account. Powerwall credits are only available to new Powerwall owners, additional Powerwalls do not create eligibility for further Powerwall Credits. See full terms and conditions.
Joining the Tesla Energy Plan as an existing Powerwall owner.
If you’re an existing Powerwall owner who signs up to the Tesla Energy Plan, you will be eligible to receive a one-off Welcome Credit applied to your Tesla Energy Plan account at month 3. The Tesla Energy Plan is a no lock in contract energy plan and there are no exit fees to leave. See full terms and conditions.
Should you have any concerns or queries on the operation of your Powerwall or the Tesla Energy Plan, our local Australian based team will be more than happy to assist with any questions on 1800 686 705, option 2 then select option 1.
If you live in South Australia and already have a smart meter provided by Vector Metering (or have had a smart meter installed as part of joining the Tesla Energy Plan), your controlled load will be reconfigured to run at the times of day where we offer the lowest rates, during both off-peak period (1am – 6am) and solar sponge periods (10am – 3pm) to maximise your savings.
If you live in South Australia and have a smart meter installed from a different meter provider, you can contact Energy Locals to discuss controlled load options available to you. If you require controlled load to run outside of the Tesla Energy Plan off-peak and solar sponge times, please contact Energy Locals to find out what other controlled load times are available to you - note that peak time rates will apply if you opt to operate your controlled load between 6am – 10am or 3pm to 1am.
If you live in Victoria and are located in either the Ausnet or Jemena distribution regions, adding solar will result in a loss of controlled load.
If you you live in Victoria’s Jemena Distribution network and you have existing solar, adding Powerwall will also result in loss of controlled load. If you live in a distribution network other than Ausnet or Jemena, your controlled loads will be charged at the single rate.
New South Wales, Queensland and Australian Capital Territory:
If you live in any of these states, your controlled loads will be charged at a single rate.
The Tesla Energy Plan and participation in the Tesla Virtual Power Plant is available to residential customers with a Powerwall and solar PV system of less than 15kW and no zero export restrictions in place across participating states.
The Tesla Virtual Power Plant supports current model Powerwall 2. Powerwall 1 is not eligible to join.
To sign up to the Tesla Energy Plan, you should have an existing Powerwall or have recently installed one at your home through a Certified Installer. If you join within 30 days of installation of your new Powerwall, you will be eligible to receive Powerwall Credits.
To complete your sign up, visit the Tesla Energy Plan online sign up page. Alternatively call our Australian based contact centre on 1800 686 705, option 2, then select option 1.
- Speak to a participating Tesla Certified Installer. You can use our helpful tool.
- Your Tesla Certified Installer will explain the installation process and the benefits of the Tesla Energy Plan.
- When you’ve decided to proceed, you’ll receive a contract to sign for the purchase of your Powerwall along with information about the Tesla Energy Plan and the sign up process. Once you have signed the contract you will need to send the signed contract back to your Tesla Certified Installer.
- Once your Powerwall has been installed, you will need to sign up to the Tesla Energy Plan within 30 days to be eligible to earn Powerwall Credits applied to your bill. You must use the same email address as used for your Tesla app to ensure your enrollment into the program is seamless.
- At completion of sign up with Energy Locals, you will begin your cooling off period. We’ll keep you posted on what to expect throughout this journey. We’ve listed the steps below:
- Immediately after sign up:
- Customers with a smart meter: Energy Locals will transfer your service within 2 business day.
- Customers without a smart meter: Energy Locals will switch your account within 2 business days. If you’re not due for a meter read, your transfer will occur using an estimated meter read.
- Your cooling off period will end.
- Your transfer to Energy Locals and the Tesla Energy Plan is complete.
- All customers who need a smart meter will have their upgrade completed by Energy Locals’ metering partner within 20-25 business days of transfer (assuming no additional works are required, this will be at no additional cost). Customers in Victoria must have a smart meter on signing up.
- Powerwall is enrolled into the Tesla Energy Plan and is able to provide grid services and generate ongoing benefits for you and your community.
- Immediately after sign up:
Moving your Powerwall and Gateway will require a removal and installation fee. If you are unable to move your Powerwall and Gateway with you, contact Energy Locals to hear about their energy plans for your new home.
To arrange a change of address for your Tesla Energy Plan or for any other queries, please contact us on 1300 693 637 where the team at Energy Locals will be able to help you through this process.
The Tesla Energy Plan doesn’t allow you to live off grid as it is connected to the Tesla Virtual Power Plant. We aim to prioritise your home’s energy usage when connected to the Tesla Energy Plan.
The purpose of the Tesla Virtual Power Plant is to not only benefit your home, but others within the community in the event of grid outages, ensuring the lights remain on and energy prices don’t spike drastically, making energy more affordable for everyone in the community.
Explaining Load Shifting (Time-Based Control) and how it can benefit you
The aim of the Tesla Energy Plan is to create value by assisting you to shift your home’s energy grid usage from Peak periods to the Off-peak or Shoulder periods (or in South Australia, the Solar Sponge Period and NSW Ausgrid network, the Solar Soak Period) by taking advantage of the cheapest Time of Use rates.
By shifting your home’s energy usage, you can minimise your bill by scheduling your high energy consuming appliances to run when your solar would otherwise be exporting to the grid or during the lower energy tariff periods. These high energy consuming appliances may include pool pumps or washing machines, allowing you to take advantage of competitive Time of Use energy rates.
Tesla’s world leading technology constantly forecasts your solar production and usage based on historical patterns by using Time-Based Control functionality built into your Powerwall settings. By using Time-Based Control otherwise known as load shifting, Powerwall learns and prioritises charging from your solar production when it exceeds your usage (for example during summer months). Alternatively, when there is not enough solar energy generated to offset your peak usage, your Powerwall aims to charge from the grid during lower energy tariff periods (for example during winter months).
In higher-cost peak periods your home will typically draw from energy stored in your Powerwall that was either charged during lower-cost energy tariff periods such as Off-peak periods (or Solar Sponge in South Australia and NSW Ausgrid network, the Solar Soak Period) and/or from your own excess solar generation, which will help reduce your electricity bills.
Forecasts may not provide an accurate picture due to circumstances that are out of our control. You will notice at times that Powerwall may not operate in a way that is expected, however you can rest assured that Powerwall will try to minimise your bill by taking advantage of Time of Use rates based on your expected solar production and your home’s usage. Learn more about Time-Based Control (load shifting).
Time-Based Control (Load Shifting) can make a substantial difference to your energy bill. All Powerwall’s enrolled onto the Tesla Energy Plan mostly operate in Time-Based Control mode, except when the Virtual Power Plant mode is in operation. Time-Based Control operations are different to Virtual Power Plant operations, you may notice different behaviours between the two modes.
Frequency support is a term used to describe electricity being sent into the grid or taken out of the grid so that the frequency remains close to 50 Hertz. If the frequency of the grid is too far from (higher or lower than 50 Hertz) for too long, it creates instability and this is when power outages can occur.
Powerwall is configured to engage in frequency support at all times – typical Powerwall activity includes charging from the grid and discharging to the grid. Frequency support is rarely called upon and uses very little energy – on average, your Powerwall may be needed once a month for up to a few minutes, although these events are unpredictable. Powerwalls connected to the Tesla Energy Plan all provide frequency support simultaneously and, together, can help maintain the grid at a stable frequency. This is not only critical for keeping the lights on across the community, but it also generates value which is shared with you through Grid Support Credits, competitive Time of Use energy rates and feed-in tariffs.
Frequency support is a feature of the Virtual Power Plant operation and differs in behaviour from Time-Based Control. Time-Based Control is the most common behaviour you will experience when viewing your Tesla app. Traditionally, fossil fuels have been used to perform these frequency control services, but Powerwall can react 100 x times faster with clean energy.
Energy arbitrage is the process of charging your Powerwall from the grid during periods where the wholesale cost of electricity is low and then discharging your Powerwall’s energy into the grid while wholesale electricity prices are high – although these events are unpredictable and usually seasonal.
Tesla’s world leading software will constantly assess opportunities to participate in the energy market, while helping reduce your energy bill by learning your consumption behaviour through Time Based Control operations and assessing opportunities to minimise grid fluctuations by typically:
- Charging your Powerwall from the grid with lower prices
- Exporting solar or stored energy from Powerwall to the grid when market conditions are optimal.
This may lead to instances where your Powerwall is kept idle, while waiting for an opportunity to discharge, meaning your home’s energy usage will come from solar or the grid. This method of operation allows us to keep energy prices down for you and the community.
For example: If wholesale market prices are low or negative, which is typically due to an oversupply of electricity in the grid (e.g. usually coinciding with solar sponge in South Australia or off- peak/shoulder times across other states) Tesla may charge your Powerwall or import energy from the grid to cover your home’s energy use. You may notice Powerwall occasionally charging from the grid during Peak periods.
If wholesale market prices are high, which is typically due to an undersupply of energy in the grid (e.g. usually coinciding with peak times) Tesla may export your solar system or Powerwall’s energy to help stabilise and support the grid.
While your Powerwall is being monitored and managed by Tesla, your system may draw from the grid more frequently depending on the season.
Your system is likely to produce more solar energy during summer which means you will notice that Powerwall will be charged more from solar than the grid.
There will be less solar energy generated by your system during winter which means you will notice Powerwall charging more from the grid.
The benefits you receive as part of the Tesla Energy Plan ensure you’re continuing to see value while also helping stabilise the grid and keep the lights on in your local community. We aim to ensure your home’s energy needs are met so you continue receiving benefits of the Tesla Energy Plan and your solar (you will receive Feed in Tariffs for all energy exported from both solar and Powerwall).
Energy Arbitrage is a feature of Virtual Power Plant operations and allows Tesla to support the grid when it is needed.
We have built a detailed explainer on how Tesla will manage your system and what you can expect to see in the Tesla app once your Powerwall is installed and you are connected to the Tesla Energy Plan.
You can view our customer user guide to help understand the different scenarios you may encounter.
As you are connected to the Tesla Virtual Power Plant, there will be some features that are not available within the app including the customisation menu, as Tesla will be managing your Powerwall.
Using Time Based Control mode, Powerwall typically learns your usage patterns and forecasts the amount of energy you need to offset your usage during evening peak and overnight periods. Powerwall may only charge to the amount you need in order to cover your home’s usage instead of charging to 100%. This helps to avoid storing excess energy that may not be used and leaves capacity in Powerwall to charge in case there is a grid event later in the day. Forecasts are not always accurate, however Time Based Control attempts to maximise the financial benefits you receive based on your usage behaviour.
Powerwall learns and adapts overtime from your usage behaviour in order take advantage of the off-peak periods by charging Powerwall from the grid at low costs periods, which helps to offset any peak time consumption. All energy exported will attract a Feed in Tariff regardless of whether it is exported from solar or Powerwall.
For customers in NSW’s Ausgrid Distribution Network, you will receive a Feed in Tariff for any energy exported from rooftop solar and Powerwall during the peak periods (2pm – 8pm) with the available peak Feed in Tariff rate.
Powerwall has back-up capability as a standard feature.
Your back up reserve is set to a minimum of 20% of the capacity in your Powerwall. This will provide a typical customer with an average of 2 hours of power, although some customers may experience longer durations depending on the appliances in use and the amount of solar produced throughout the outage.
If there is a grid outage, your system will disconnect from the grid and you will have your stored energy, and any solar energy generating to power your home when you need it. When connected to a Virtual Power Plant, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) requires Powerwall to remain connected to the grid for a minimum of 1 second to a maximum of 5 seconds in the event of an outage, to help stabalise or reduce the impact to the community. After this time, Powerwall will automatically operate in backup mode.
We have built a guide on the best appliances to use when you experience a grid outage so you don’t drain your back up reserve.
Contact Tesla or your Certified Installer if you are unsure whether your Powerwall system is configured to provide back-up capability for your home.
Tesla will manage your Powerwall for energy arbitrage and frequency support with a limit of up to 50 discharge cycles a year. Each cycle corresponds to 13.5kWh discharged from each Powerwall you own to the grid directly.
Your total discharge cap is calculated as 50 x 13.5kWh for a total of 675kWh per Powerwall per year. Each discharge activity may range from a very small amount (e.g less than 1kWh), up to the full capacity of your Powerwall, excluding the back-up reserve. Existing customers on the Tesla Virtual Power Plant on average have noticed approx. 3-4 kWh per an event called upon when these services are required.
The charging and discharging of your battery won’t impact your warranty as Powerwall is built for these operations and managed by Tesla to provide you with peace of mind throughout your warranty and extended warranty term (if applicable).
Tesla’s goal is to manage your Powerwall to maximise benefits available from energy arbitrage and frequency support. In doing so, Tesla usually seeks to limit your Powerwall to 50 discharge cycles per year. Customers with homes in the NSW Ausgrid Distribution Network may experience higher battery cycling in order to take advantage of the higher Feed in Tariffs offered between the hours of 2pm and 8pm each day.
Higher battery cycling for Tesla Energy Plan customers across the Ausgrid network allows Tesla to support the community and maintain stability of the local grid during periods of peak demand, unlocking additional value for you through higher Feed in Tariff’s along with the Grid Support Credits. This applies to energy exported to the grid during these peak periods.
While your Powerwall may be more depleted after 8pm, any energy consumed or used to charge your Powerwall after 8pm is charged at the less expensive off-peak rates. The financial benefits of this energy arbitrage (exporting your solar and stored energy in Powerwall to the grid during peak periods while consuming or using grid energy to charge your Powerwall during off-peak periods) is one of the benefits of your Powerwall and the Tesla Energy Plan.
The charging and discharging of your battery will not adversely impact your warranty as Powerwall is built for these operations and managed by Tesla to provide you with peace of mind throughout your warranty and extended warranty term (if applicable).
This kind of operation is considered normal load shifting (Time Based Control) operation on the Ausgrid Distribution Network.
As your Powerwall is connected to the Tesla Energy Plan, as part of normal Virtual Power Plant operation, your system may be called upon at times to assist and stabilise the grid. You may receive a notification from Tesla or Energy Locals when this occurs to let you know how you have helped keep the lights on in your local community while continuing to keep energy prices down for everyone.
During these emergency event periods you may notice your Powerwall performing slightly differently than usual with any energy dispatched from your system continuing to attract a Feed in Tariff according to your Tesla Energy Plan rates. From time to time, you may also receive additional one-off credits for your support and participation during emergency grid events.
For more information you can contact Tesla on 1300 693 637.
Energy bills can often be complicated. To help you make sense of your Tesla Energy Plan bill we’ve built a simple guide so you know what to look out for.