Why not all VPPs are created equal


June 30, 2023

It’s no doubt that in 2023 having the right VPP offer can make a real difference to your solar battery sales success, helping to create stand out solar and battery packages that save your customers more money than standard battery offers. that differentiates your solar business. 

But before choosing a VPP to sell be aware that offerings in Australia vary substantially in their structure, benefits, and potential drawbacks. Understanding the differences can help you avoid customer disappointment and complaints. The key is to choose one that is easy to sell with all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks. 

Retailer-independent vs. retailer VPPs 

The biggest drawbacks of the majority of the VPP offerings on the market is that they tie customers into a specific retailer or energy plan. All the major retailers – AGL, Energy Australia, Origin, Simply Energy have their own VPP offerings that are bundled into their solar and battery packages. To offer these retailers’ VPP (and solar and battery offers) to your customers you also have the added complication of having to cross sell their energy retail plans. 

Not only do you have to explain more to the customer and sell the value of the electricity provider, it also ties your customers into lengthy energy retail plan contracts for up to 5 years. In effect, they are held hostage by the retailer and will be at the mercy of any energy plan pricing changes during the contracted period.  

The Powow VPP is 100% retailer independent

Selling a retailer independent VPP means that you don’t have to sell an energy plan along with the VPP benefits. With the Powow VPP, your customers are free to stay with their current retailer, or move to a different one whenever they like while still getting the VPP earnings from Powow. This gives them the best of both worlds – extra savings on the VPP, and the freedom to switch electricity providers at any time. 

With an industry leading track record of selling batteries, and an all in one battery sales solution, Powow gives you what you need to dominate your local market. Enquire about a Powow partnership today and discover how our complete solar battery sales solution market can help you grow and future proof your business.

Making batteries more affordable

Get paid when power from your battery is used to support the grid

VPPs also pay you for energy that is used from your battery to support the grid in times of need. Some VPPs simply pay you a set amount every month. This can appear like a good deal at first, but you should be aware that this means that the VPP provider may be able to discharge the battery as much as they want because they have paid to access your battery up front. So even if they pay you $10 upfront every month, there is nothing stopping them discharging $15 worth of energy from your battery. 

To replace any power discharged from the battery by the retailer, the customers have to make up any shortfalls using grid energy that may be more expensive. And because these types of VPPs are directly tied to a retailer or plan, you can’t change or hunt for a better deal when grid energy prices go up.  

In comparison the Powow VPP is simple. There are no up-front set monthly payments – just a simple $0.45/kWh payment when energy is used from the battery. This means that the customer is always better off when we use power from their battery because we pay more for energy we discharge than it costs for them to use energy from the grid. It’s a win-win situation. 

Fees, charges and hidden costs? 

It is also important to be aware of charges and fees applicable to some VPP offers. For example, some retailers have a contract cancellation fee where the customer has to pay the remainder of the battery cost if they leave the VPP before the contract term expires. 

Don’t forget to keep an eye out on battery warranty

Solar batteries are designed to be discharged a set number of cycles. Be aware that some battery warranties are affected by joining VPPs, where the guaranteed number of discharges covered under warranty reduces due to VPP participation.  This renders the warranty of many batteries on the market to around 7 years, and it’s a legitimate concern the customers ask about. 

With Powow, the Alpha ESS battery warranty is unaffected by VPP participation and covers the same number of cycles irrespective of whether you are connected to the Powow VPP or not. This gives customers added confidence that their battery will keep working at the best possible efficiency for the life of the 10-year warranty. 


VPP offerings in Australia vary substantially in their structure, benefits, and potential drawbacks. It’s crucial for solar businesses wishing to integrate a VPP into their battery packages to understand these differences and make informed choices. Retailer-independent VPPs, such as Powow, provide flexibility and freedom that can be especially appealing in a rapidly changing energy market. With the right VPP partner, businesses can differentiate their offerings, enhance their customers’ savings, and contribute to Australia’s clean energy transition.

Rethink solar with Powow today.

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