South Australia Tesla Energy Plan FAQs

1. Overview

With the Tesla Energy Plan, your solar and Powerwall will support an innovative energy plan linking a network of homes connected to the Tesla Virtual Power Plant.

The Tesla Energy Plan uses Tesla’s world leading technology to optimise the use of your Powerwall, to provide benefits not only to your home, but also to the grid when it is needed and in return we are able to provide you with lower energy rates and monthly credits.

The Tesla Energy Plan is delivered to you by Tesla’s authorised retail energy partner, Energy Locals. The team at Energy Locals will support you with energy retail services, including account management, billing and energy plan support through their Australian based customer support team.

The Tesla Energy Plan is available to residential customers only.

2. Plan & Pricing

The Tesla Energy Plan offers you access to competitive and flexible rates with Time of Use tariffs, grid support credits and competitive feed-in tariffs.

Savings:

New Powerwall Owners: When you connect to the Tesla Energy Plan with a new Powerwall, you’ll benefit from upfront savings and access to government rebates available to South Australian residents. Learn more about South Australia’s Home Battery Scheme and your eligibility.

Existing Powerwall Owners: who make the switch to the Tesla Energy Plan can expect to receive competitive Time of Use rates to help reduce their overall energy bills and competitive feed in tariffs.

Key Benefits of the Tesla Energy Plan:

  • $220 (incl GST) in grid support credits every year, applied to your bill monthly, for each Powerwall you own. The grid support bill credits will be applied to your Tesla Energy Plan using a daily rate of 54.8c/day.
  • Up to 7.5c/kWh solar feed-in tariff for any exports sent to the grid. You will receive the 7.5c/kwh for the first 1,500kWh/month you export to the grid. For any grid exports over 1,500kWh/month you will receive 2.5c/kWh feed-in tariff.
  • Introducing competitive Time of Use tariffs, where you can take advantage of peak, off-peak and solar sponge rates, helping you schedule high power consuming appliances when energy is at its cheapest.
  • Certainty of knowing that your Powerwall will only be cycled up to 50 discharge cycles per a year.
  • Generate and store clean solar energy, to reduce your reliance on the grid.
  • Support SA’s electricity network, while helping to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable energy future while driving electricity costs down for you and those in your community.
  • Back-up reserve of up to 20% should you experience a blackout.

Explaining Time of Use Rates:

Time of Use energy rates are now a key feature of the Tesla Energy Plan.

Time of Use rates make sense when you have solar and a Powerwall as it helps shift your grid usage from the peak period to the cheaper off-peak and solar sponge periods. Tesla’s world leading software is continually monitoring your energy usage so it knows when to make these actions. Our customer user guide explains how Powerwall will work with Time of Use rates to help you maximise value from the Tesla Energy Plan.

Time of Use rates are available for customers who have a smart meter installed (a smart meter is required for the Tesla Energy Plan). For new customers who have recently joined the Tesla Energy Plan, Energy Locals will contact you to arrange the installation of a smart meter at your property if you do not have a smart meter.

Understanding each Time of Use tariff and how it can help you save:

Peak (6am-10am and 3pm-1am): These are some of the most expensive electricity rates which coincide with peak demand periods (usually when most people are at home consuming energy). Avoid using high power-consuming appliances during peak times to reduce the impact on your energy bill.

Off-Peak (1am-6am): These rates are cheaper than peak rates, although they’re usually overnight when you’re likely to be sleeping. Schedule appliances to run during these times to take advantage of the lower rates.

Solar Sponge (10am-3pm): This is a new Time of Use tariff which provides the lowest energy rates that coincide with the excess solar generation during the daytime that is not absorbed by homes or businesses. Schedule appliances to run during these times to take advantage of the lowest rates, and if your Powerwall needs to be charged, Tesla’s world leading software will prioritise charging from the grid during the solar sponge period.

Each of these Time of Use times are consistent across all days of the week.

Time of Use Rates for the Tesla Energy Plan:

Tesla Energy Plan Pricing Details

Tariff Structure

TOU – Peak, Off-Peak & Solar Sponge

Feed in Tariff

Up to 7.5c/kWh​ for the first 1,500kWh/month, then 2.5c/kWh for anything over 1,501kWh/month.

Energy Tariff (incl GST)

31.13c/kWh peak​ (incl GST)

​(6am – 10am &
3pm – 1am)

21.99c/kWh off-peak (incl GST)

(1am – 6am)

16.5c/kWh solar sponge (incl GST)

(10am – 3pm)

Annual grid support credit (incl GST)

$220 (incl GST) per year, per Powerwall

(calculated daily, applied monthly)  

Daily Supply Charge (incl GST)

99c/day (incl GST)

If you’ve recently joined the Tesla Energy Plan and don’t have a smart meter installed, you’ll be charged at the peak rate for all usage you consume until your smart meter has been fully installed at your property (this will be at no additional cost, assuming no additional work is required).

We’ve setup a helpful guide to help explain the benefits of Time of Use and how you can take advantage of cheaper rates here.

How is the Government subsidy administered?

The South Australian Government is working with Australian peer-to-peer lender, Plenti, to administer the Home Battery Scheme rebate.

Should you decide to proceed with your quote, Tesla or your Tesla Certified Installer will provide you with a link to the Plenti website where the subsidy will be applied and you can submit an application for finance, if required. The Government subsidy reduces your upfront cost of Powerwall and is given to Tesla once the system has been installed.

You can apply online or over the phone on 1800 686 705, select option 2 and then option 1.

I’ve recently signed up to a different retailer, can I switch to the Tesla Energy Plan?

Yes, if your house has solar PV and Powerwall 2 installed, or if you purchase one through Tesla or a Certified Installer, you are eligible for the Tesla Energy Plan.

The standard 10 business days cooling off period applies when making the switch between energy retailers. Energy Locals will help manage the switch for you.

Explaining the Feed In Tariff Structure
The Tesla Energy Plan provides a competitive solar feed-in-tariff of up to 7.5c/kWh in South Australia. You will receive the 7.5c/kwh for the first 1,500kWh/month you export to the grid. For any grid exports over 1,500kWh/month you will receive 2.5c/kWh feed-in tariff.

The tiered feed in tariff structure encourages you to consume as much energy directly from your solar as possible. Most customers will not exceed 1,500kWh/month solar exports and for those who will, this should only occur a few months per year. All customers have the opportunity to change their usage pattern to never exceed this limit in any month.

Will I lose my feed-in tariff on my existing solar system?

When you switch to the Tesla Energy Plan, you will transition away from the plan you receive from your current retailer.

Your eligibility to receive existing feed-in credits will cease from the date of your application for approval to connect the home battery system and submitted to SA Power Networks.

Does this offer allow me to live off the grid?

No. A requirement of the South Australian Government subsidy rebate is that all batteries, including Tesla Powerwall, are capable of being part of a Virtual Power Plant. Your home needs to be connected to the SA Power Network’s electricity network.

What happens if I sign up now but then want to leave later?

If you are purchasing a special price Powerwall from 22nd March 2021 as part of signing up to the Tesla Energy Plan, Tesla may choose to apply a hardware discount fee (up to $2,000) should you wish to leave the Tesla Energy Plan within 24 months.

As long as you stay on the Tesla Energy Plan for 24 months, you will not incur any charges. The hardware discount fee is calculated in accordance with the following formula:

Hardware discount fee payable 

$83.33x the number of months remaining in the Minimum Term

(Minimum Term is 24 months; so maximum hardware discount fee payable is $2,000)

If you decide to leave the Tesla Energy Plan after the minimum 24-month contract term, there will be no exit fees.

I’m an existing Powerwall owner, am I able to leave the plan whenever I like?

There are no exit fees or lock-in contracts that will apply to Tesla Energy Plan for customers that have an existing Powerwall at sign-up.

3. Eligibility & Sign-up

Am I eligible for this new offer?

If you are a resident of South Australia, you are eligible for this offer.

What is the sign-up process?

  1. Sign and complete your Powerwall purchase agreement and send back to Tesla or your Tesla Certified Installer.
  2. Sign up to the Tesla Energy Plan, using the same email address used to log into your Tesla app
  3. Once you’ve successfully signed up to Energy Locals, your 10-business day cooling off period starts – we’ll keep you posted on what to expect throughout this journey.
  4. Once your cooling off period ends;
    1. Customers with a smart meter: Energy Locals will transfer your service within 1 Business Day.
    2. Customers without a smart meter: A special meter read will be requested and will occur within 3-5 Business Days by an external provider.
  5. Your transfer to Energy Locals is complete.
  6. All customers who need a smart meter will have their upgrade completed by Energy Locals within 15-20 business days of transfer (at no additional cost, assuming no additional works required).
  7. Powerwall installation is complete (4-6 weeks from sign up)
  8. Powerwall is enrolled into the Tesla Energy Plan and is able to provide grid services and generate ongoing benefits to you and the community.

I already have solar and Powerwall. What’s next?

If you own a Powerwall 2 you can transfer to the Tesla Energy Plan with Energy Locals as long as your system is properly functioning, maintained and connected to the internet (through Wi-Fi or an ethernet connection). Unfortunately, Powerwall 1 is not compatible with the Tesla Energy Plan.

You can make the simple switch by signing up to the Tesla Energy Plan, online or over the phone on 1800 686 705, select option 2 and then option 1.

If you do not have a smart meter, this will be managed during the transfer process with Energy Locals. We will take you through the details when you join the Tesla Energy Plan.

What if I don’t have solar panels or want to purchase more?

To be eligible for the Tesla Energy Plan, you must have both solar PV and Powerwall system installed. If you have an existing solar system, you have the option to purchase new or additional solar panels when purchasing Powerwall.

Our team are happy to provide you with a quote for both solar and Powerwall.

Do I have to own a Powerwall to join the energy plan?

Yes, to take full advantage of the Tesla Energy Plan, you must have purchased a Powerwall and a solar PV.

For customers who are waiting for the installation of their system, in the meantime you’ll need to sign up to the Tesla Energy Plan, online or over the phone on 1800 686 705, select option 2 and then option 1.

4. Installation Process

Installation Labour:
This encompasses not only on-site works, but also system design and behind the scenes administration work to be carried out, by the Tesla Installation Team or a Tesla Certified Installer.

This includes drawing up and invoicing any sales agreements, fully tailored system design by our in-house Clean Energy Council accredited designer, submitting an application to your electricity network on your behalf, and coordinating our contracted Tesla Certified Installers for both the site inspection and installation (which is usually 2 electricians for 1-2 days at your premises).

Our Tesla Certified Installers have had to undertake specialised training and are required to continually perform updated training for not only this work, but for all electrical work. Included within their training is all of the legal regulatory testing and compliance in accordance with Australian Standards.

Installation Hardware:
This is for the additional hardware, circuitry and switchgear associated with Powerwall and its associated equipment (Backup Gateway 2 and Tesla Metering). This is not limited to conduit, CT clamps, metering equipment and internet networking, which is essential to a Powerwall installation. This does not include any necessary electrical upgrades, permit fees, logistics/travel costs, or any retailer/connection charges that may be applicable.

Permitting and/or Inspection:
This is the cost incurred in applying to your Distribution Network Service Provider for installation approval.

What happens if Powerwall can't be installed, or I choose not to go ahead with the Powerwall installation?

If you find out that your Powerwall installation cannot proceed for any reason, your Powerwall and Tesla Energy Plan contracts will be cancelled as per the Terms and Conditions and you will remain with your existing retailer.

If you decide to not go ahead with the Powerwall installation and you’ve already transferred across to the Tesla Energy Plan, Tesla reserves the right to cancel your Tesla Energy Plan customer contract.

What if I rent my home? Can I still access this offer?

Yes. You don’t have to own the home to access the Tesla Energy Plan. However, you will need approval from the property owner to have a Powerwall and solar system installed and be able to demonstrate the property owner’s consent to Tesla prior to installation. You will not be able to remove the Powerwall should you move out of the property.

5. VPP System Operation

How will Tesla manage my Powerwall and solar system?

Load Shifting:
The aim of the Tesla Energy Plan and the Tesla Virtual Power Plant is to create value by assisting you to shift your home’s energy grid usage from peak periods to the solar sponge and off-peak periods (by taking advantage of the cheapest time of use rates).

By shifting your homes energy usage, you can minimise your bill by scheduling your high energy consuming appliances to run during off-peak and solar sponge periods, such as pool pumps, allowing you to take advantage of competitively low Time of Use energy rates.

Tesla’s world leading technology constantly forecasts your solar consumption and usage based on historical patterns. It uses these learnings to prioritise Powerwall charging from your solar production when it exceeds your usage (for example during summer months). Alternatively, when there is not sufficient solar energy generated to offset your peak usage, your Powerwall will charge from the grid during solar sponge or off-peak periods (for example during winter months).

In higher-cost peak periods your home can then draw from energy stored in Powerwall that was either charged during lower-cost solar sponge or off-peak periods and/or from your own excess solar generation, which will help reduce your electricity bills.

Load shifting can make a substantial difference to your energy bill.

Frequency Support:
Powerwall is configured to engage in frequency support at all times. Frequency support is rarely called upon and consumes very little energy – on average, your system may be called upon once a month, although these contingency events are often unpredictable. Frequency support is a service that all Powerwall’s enrolled on the Tesla Energy Plan provide simultaneously as a fleet. This is not only critical for keeping the lights on in South Australia, but it also helps to generate value that is shared with you under the form of grid support bill credits and competitively low energy rates that benefits everyone.

Traditionally, fossil fuels have been used to perform these services, but Powerwall can react 100 x times faster with clean energy.

Energy Arbitrage:
At times, Tesla may charge your Powerwall from the grid and discharge it to the grid for energy arbitrage, taking advantage of low rates to store energy in Powerwall, and then selling it back to the grid when energy costs are higher. Tesla shares this value with customers through grid support bill credits applied monthly and competitive Time of Use rates. This allows you to take full advantage of lower off-peak and solar sponge times to power your home when your Powerwall or solar is being managed, helping to offset any consumption from the grid during peak times when you typically use electricity.

The benefits you receive as part of the Tesla Energy Plan are to ensure you’re continuing to see value while also helping stabilise the grid and keep the lights on in South Australia.

Customer User Guide
For a detailed explainer on how Tesla will manage your system, you can view our customer user guide to help understand the different scenarios you may encounter.

What happens during times of grid outage?

Powerwall has back-up capability as a standard feature to ensure a seamless transition to keep your lights on and appliances running when there is a grid outage, for those systems that are configured to provide back-up capability.

As part of the Tesla Energy Plan, we will set your back up reserve up to 20% of the energy capacity in your Powerwall. This level of energy reserve provides the typical customer with 2 hours of power. You can contact Tesla and request this value be set lower to get the maximum value from your solar system.

Your Powerwall, as part of the Tesla Energy Plan will occasionally provide frequency support to the grid, a service that consumes very little energy, but is critical in keeping the lights on across South Australia. This generates value that is shared with you in the form of grid support bill credits and competitively low time of use energy rates.

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.

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.

What will I see in my Tesla App?

As part of the Tesla Energy Plan your Powerwall will be in a special operating mode that allows it to support the grid as well as your property. Energy from the solar and battery system needs to be available in order for Tesla to operate your solar and battery in the most efficient way. You will be able to track your energy usage and monitor power flows within the Tesla app in real-time.

The User Guide demonstrates typical power flow scenarios you might see in the Tesla app.

Battery Cycling

Tesla will manage your battery for wholesale market arbitrage and grid support services with a limit of up to 50 discharge cycles a year. Each cycle corresponds to 13.5kWh discharged from each of your Powerwall 2’s 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.

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 term.

What is the data policy for this offer?

As your retailer, Energy Locals takes your privacy seriously and has published a Privacy Policy that outlines exactly how they will collect, store, use and disclose personal information

6. Contact Us

If you have more questions about the Tesla Energy Plan, request a call back from a Tesla Energy expert.