While Australia is leading the way in the installation of rooftop solar systems, there are many people who can’t put panels on their roof. This could be because they are renting, living in an apartment or a home without a suitable roof, or there may be financial constraints preventing the investment.

Providing greater access to the benefits of solar

In our pursuit of innovative solutions to help Australians manage their energy, with control and flexibility, we’ve been working on the trial and development of a new energy trading platform for customers.

AGL Solar Exchange is an online marketplace enabling households with a solar system installed to trade their excess solar power, allowing customers to save money on their electricity bill or help others to save on theirs. Customers without solar can participate in this marketplace without installing a single panel by purchasing solar tokens on the exchange.

AGL Solar Exchange is the largest consumer energy trading trial in Australia, with more than 250 Victorian customers participating since the pilot launched in August this year.

How does AGL Solar Exchange work?

For customers producing more solar than they need, the platform allows them to trade this excess solar in the form of solar tokens. These tokens can be sold to family, friends, or even other AGL customers who are part of the trading community but don’t have solar panels.

The participants without solar panels buy tokens, proportional to how much electricity they use. The platform then matches buyers with sellers to complete compatible trades.

Nick Ruddock, General Manager Energy Management said creating the online marketplace was part of AGL’s commitment to making energy more affordable, giving customers more control and flexibility, and developing energy solutions for the smart home of the future including maximising the value of rooftop solar and battery systems.

“Under the right conditions, a buyer could buy tokens at a lower price than buying energy from the grid, while a household with solar could sell excess solar tokens at a higher price than the solar feed-in tariff and these trades would ultimately be reflected in the customer’s electricity bill,” he said.

"The marketplace allows households to actively participate in buying and selling, engage with each other and their community, and get more value from their solar systems and batteries."

Providing added benefits for our customers

The trial has received a positive response from customers, including Anirudh Baddam, who commented on the positive experience of having the flexibility to decide who benefits from the excess solar produced from his solar power system:

“AGL Solar Exchange means anybody can benefit from the goodness of solar without actually owning it,” he said. “My attraction is to get more of a discount on my bills. But we also can help families and friends 'doing it tough' by reducing their bills,” he said.