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Expert Guide: Amber Review and Ratings

Fact Checked Fact Checked

Amber is a newer provider in market that offers customers a unique wholesale energy model.

Amber’s mission is to “accelerate Australia’s energy transition to 100% renewable energy”, which it does by giving households access to the wholesale price of energy and the tools and incentives to use power at times when more renewable energy is powering the grid.

Amber draws on public distrust of energy providers and prides itself on transparency. In addition to its commitment to being environmentally conscious, the provider is promising ‘cheaper power’, but is that really the case? For the moment, Amber provides electricity to customers in New South Wales, Victoria, south-east Queensland, South Australia and the ACT. Canstar Blue takes a look into how its plans work, and if Amber is the right energy provider for you.

Amber Prices


We outline Amber’s electricity deals in detail below, but what about the prices you can actually expect to pay? Here’s a quick overview of the estimated costs for New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

Here are Amber’s plans on our database for NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3911kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are Amber’s plans on our database for VIC. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower energy network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Amber’s plans on our database for SE QLD. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4613kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Amber’s plans on our database for SA. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4011kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

An Expert’s Guide to Amber


If you’re wondering what services Amber is offering in your state, look no further than the table below. We summarise what you can expect to find from Amber in New South Wales, Victoria, South East Queensland, South Australia, ACT, Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia.

State Electricity? Gas?
NSW
VIC
QLD
SA
ACT
WA
TAS

Amber Plans

Amber’s pricing model is quite different to what you may be accustomed to. What’s different is that instead of setting base rates and discounts like most retailers do, the provider is using published wholesale energy costs as a basis for its own pricing, which are updated every 30 minutes. What this means is that when there’s lots of electricity needed (high-demand times), electricity rates will be higher, and in off-peak times, prices will drop.

In order to give its customers access to these wholesale rates, Amber charges a monthly subscription fee – currently worth $19 a month – which it says is absorbed into the daily supply charge (eg. an extra 30c approximately a day). A positive however, is that Amber is transparent about this, and also encourages its customers to stay aware of their energy usage and, if possible, use electricity at off-peak hours of the day in order to save money. You can monitor this through its online app.

The downside, obviously, is that with the added monthly cost, you’re not actually paying wholesale energy prices. And given the volatile nature of the wholesale energy market, it stands to reason that customers could see dramatic changes in their energy rates, up or down. Usually, it’s the power companies risking the impact of fluctuating wholesale costs, not customers. To reduce this risk, Amber has a price protection guarantee in place which means customers won’t pay more than this stated usage amount during any quarter.

Amber’s market offer doesn’t come on any lock-in contracts, meaning there aren’t any exit fees to pay. Generally speaking, the only fees you can really expect with the provider is a reasonable late payment fee, or payment dishonour fee.

And naturally, as rates change and are applied in half-hourly increments, customers will have to have a smart meter installed in order to track their real-time energy usage. You’ll still have to pay a static supply charge, but your usage rates might look a little bit different. Billing happens monthly and through direct debit.

Amber also offers a fixed rate option to customers in New South Wales, South East Queensland and South Australia. This is the retailer’s Standing Offer and comes with pricing in line with the relevant Reference Price in each state. If customers choose to lock in rates with this plan however, they won’t have access to wholesale rates for the duration of the contract. Customers will also have to pay a monthly membership fee on this offer.

Amber and CommBank Australia Partnership

Since mid-2021, Amber and CommBank Australia have worked in partnership to provide wider access to greener energy. Through the venture, CommBank customers who sign up to Amber will receive a welcome credit of up to $180, applied over their first six months. The offer applies to the following plans for CommBank customers in New South Wales, Victoria, South East Queensland and South Australia:

  • CommBank Homeowner – Variable Prices: $180 credit over six months
  • CommBank Everyday Plus – Variable Prices: $150 credit over six months
  • CommBank Everyday – Variable Prices: $120 credit over six months
  • CommBank – Variable Prices: $100 credit over six months

To access the above offers, you’ll need to link your CBA credit card, debit card or bank account as your Amber payment method. For the full terms and conditions, it is best to visit CommBank Australia’s partnerships page on its website. Please note, customers will need a smart meter to access this deal.

For an idea on pricing for this offer, click on your state in the table below.

Here are the Amber and CBA plans on our database for NSW. This is a product from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3911kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Amber and CBA plans on our database for VIC. This is a product from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower energy network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Amber and CBA plans on our database for SEQ. This is a product from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4613kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Amber and CBA plans on our database for SA. This is a product from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4011kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Other Expert Guides on Australian energy providers worth checking out:

 

Amber Solar


As with its standard rates, Amber’s solar feed-in tariffs are based on wholesale prices, too. How this works is that Amber will pay out wholesale prices for electricity you export, which the provider claims can be as the amount big fossil fuel generators earn. So much like its rates, your feed-in tariff will change depending on when you export power.

To give you an idea of what feed-in tariff you can expect however, Amber provides an estimate on its energy fact sheets for each distribution network based on the last 12 months of wholesale feed-in prices. These have been listed below. Please note, Victorians are offered the minimum feed-in tariff of 4.9c/kWh as mandated by the state’s energy regulator.

NSW ACT SA QLD
4.97c/kWh 4.90c/kWh 3.04c/kWh 0.78c/kWh

Compare Solar Providers

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Contact Information & Billing Details


If you ever need to contact Amber about a product or service, you’ll find all the details below.

Amber Contact Information

Depending on the service you are after, Amber has multiple points of contact. Details are listed below:

  • General enquiries: 1800 531 907
  • Email: info@amber.com.au
  • SmartShift Customers: smartshift@amber.com.au
  • Postal address: Level 35/360 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Amber Billing

Some of the ways Amber customers can pay for their bills include:

  • BPay: Simply log on to your online bank account, choose BPay, and type in the biller code and reference number on your bill.
  • Direct Debit: You can set up Direct Debit with Amber through either your bank account or credit card. There is, however, a small transaction fee for those that pay via credit card.
  • Centrepay: Customers can nominate part of their Centrelink payment to go towards their Amber bill through their online Centrelink account.

Amber App

For electricity only households, the Amber app allows customers to track and monitor wholesale prices in real-time and see a 12-hour forecast. It also displays the live percentage of renewables in the grid to help customers shift their energy usage to cheaper, greener periods and reduce usage during expensive times.

For solar and battery households, the Amber app provides a highly detailed view of everything that matters, including what your battery plans to do next, activity history, usage, costs and impact. According to Amber, customers can also manually override setting easily through the app, giving customers full control of their usage and exports.

Please note, customers cannot currently update personal details or make payments through the Amber app. However, they can access their full billing history and past usage breakdown.

The Amber app is also free to download.


About the author

As Canstar Blue’s Utilities Editor, Tara Donnelly loves to highlight the next best deal for consumers, while also flagging new initiatives in the electricity, solar, gas, phone and internet space. She’s spent a decade writing and editing for comparison websites and has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Canberra.

 

 


Image credits: Steve Lovegrove/shutterstock.com, Amberelectric.com.au, somchaij/shutterstock.com, foxie/shutterstock.com

Amber FAQs


 

Is Amber any good?

While Amber is certainly introducing a different way to pay for your electricity, there’s no hard and fast answer as to whether this pricing structure is right for you. The way it charges for power also makes it hard to compare to other providers.

Much like customers who opt for time-of-use tariffs, consumers who sign up for Amber should be aware of when they’re using their power in order to access the cheapest rates. If your work-life schedule is different to most and you use the bulk of your power at off-peak times, then perhaps it’s a retailer worth considering.

However, you will need to take into account the monthly subscription fee, and decide for yourself whether you’re ready to commit to monitoring your usage to make back what you’re paying for. And if you know you’ll be primarily using power in peak demand times, it might actually be cheaper for you to find a plan with a reasonable single-rate tariff, so you’ll have a far better idea of what you’ll be paying at the end of the billing period.

Who owns Amber?

According to its website, Amber is owned by Co-CEOs Chris Thompson and Dan Adams as well as Amber employees and investors. Some of the companies that back the retailer include, Square Peg Capital, Main Sequence Ventures and most recently CommBank.

What services does Amber offer?

Service Does Amber offer it?
Online chat functionality
24 hour call centre
Energy saving tips on website
Green energy options
Notifications when bill is available
Multiple billing options

Does Amber offer GreenPower?

Amber is offering 100% GreenPower for those environmentally-conscious customers who want to go the extra mile. What this means is that you will be committing to pay a slightly higher rate for your power to support renewable energy generation under the Government’s accredited GreenPower program.