Making the Switch: From Amber to LocalVolts – A Story of Enhanced Appreciation and Efficiency

Feb 08, 2024

In the world of energy management, particularly within the realms of IoT and AI-driven systems, the significance of real-time data and responsiveness cannot be overstated. As someone deeply entrenched in optimizing energy solutions through innovative AI battery management and IoT controls, my journey from Amber Electric to LocalVolts has been nothing short of revelatory.

Amber Electric, with its half-hour averaging, represented a legacy approach that, while innovative at its inception, increasingly felt misaligned with the capabilities and aspirations of my energy management solutions. The averaging method, rooted in the industry's batch processing mentality, significantly limited the potential of my systems. It was akin to having a high-performance vehicle but being restricted to the slow lane.

Enter LocalVolts. The transition to a provider that not only follows wholesale spot prices but does so with a granularity that matches the responsiveness of my system, has been a game-changer. LocalVolts’ real-time billing, aligned with the actual five-minute energy market intervals, allows for a battery ROI that Amber could not offer. This change isn't merely administrative; it's transformative.

Why Averaging Doesn't Cut It for Battery Systems

The crux of the matter lies in the inherent nature of battery energy storage systems. Batteries, with their ability to rapidly respond to changes in energy demand and pricing, are ill-served by averaging methods. Averaging dilutes the very advantage batteries bring to the table – their agility. It's akin to measuring the performance of a sprinter by their day-long average speed; it misses the point of their burst capability.

Graph showing 5 min energy trades
Exported close to 0.5kWh at $4.48/kWh at 18:45, next window was only 48c/kWh
Start of WindowPrice ($/kWh)Export (kWh)Earnings
Price averaging$2.480.49$1.22

LocalVolts, by facilitating a move to true five-minute billing, mirrors the operational efficiency of my battery systems. This alignment means that decisions to charge or discharge are made with the most current price signals in mind, ensuring that energy is stored or used at the most financially optimal times. It’s a level of precision that half-hour averaging cannot hope to match.

Faster Switching, Better ROI

The core of my work revolves around making AI-informed decisions reach inverters with minimal delay, ideally within seconds of a new five-minute window commencing. This rapid response capability is critical for leveraging fluctuations in energy prices, and here, LocalVolts shines. The provider’s infrastructure and approach to real-time pricing have significantly enhanced the return on investment (ROI) for the battery systems I manage.

This efficiency is not just about economic gains. It’s about promoting a more sustainable and resilient energy ecosystem. By optimizing the use of stored energy and reducing reliance on the grid during peak periods, we're contributing to a more balanced and less carbon-intensive energy landscape.

Early Days, But Promising Horizons

It's still early in my transition to LocalVolts, and the full extent of the benefits will become clearer with the first set of bills for the batteries under my control. However, the initial data and operational improvements are promising. The move has underscored a critical lesson: in the rapidly evolving energy sector, the appreciation of one’s skills and solutions is as important as their effectiveness.

Stay tuned for updates on this exciting journey. The shift to LocalVolts is more than a change of providers; it's a step towards realizing the full potential of AI and IoT in energy management, where every second counts, and every watt matters.


The transition from Amber Electric to LocalVolts has been a revelation, underscoring the importance of alignment between energy providers and the advanced capabilities of modern energy management systems. As I await the first set of bills with anticipation, one thing is clear: the future of energy management is real-time, responsive, and, most importantly, appreciative of the innovations that drive it forward.