If you’re thinking of getting rooftop solar panels and a home battery storage system at the same time, you’re thinking smart. By taking this approach, you can get the best combination of solar and storage technology on the market. Plus, you can maximise the value of government rebates that you may be eligible for, which reduces the payback on your investment.
You may be wondering whether it’s worth spending money on battery storage now, or whether it’s better to wait until prices fall. But with electricity predicted to become more expensive, reducing your exposure to escalating power bills could be a wise move.
On this blog, we explain the five main reasons why it makes sense to install a solar battery at the same time as solar panels.
- More cost-effective to install both systems at once
- Maximise the value of rebates available to you
- Avoid limitations set by your network distributor
- Get a more powerful system
- Reduce your electricity bills to near-zero
More cost-effective to install both systems at once
By installing solar panels and a battery at the same time, you cut out extra installation costs and combine the two payback periods into one. You can also save money by selecting a solar battery system that has an all-in-one inverter. This saves you from having to buy two separate inverters (one for the solar panels, the other for the battery).
Maximise the value of rebates available to you
If you live in Victoria, you may be eligible for a state government solar panels rebate (worth $1,400) or a battery rebate (worth up to $3,500 as of June 2022). Unfortunately, you can’t get both rebates. However, if you install solar panels at the same time as a battery, you are allowed to apply for the higher value battery rebate. By taking this approach, you could get the maximum rebate of $3,500 off the total cost of your system. That’s a lot better than $1,400!
Other states and territories also have generous battery rebate programs which are in addition to the federal government solar panels rebate. Combined, these rebates can reduce the total cost of your solar battery storage system by thousands of dollars.
Avoid limitations set by your network distributor
A network distributor is the company that owns and manages the poles and electricity wires in your region. Each network distributor sets its own rules regarding the size of solar battery storage system you can install on your home. Before your system is installed, you must obtain permission from the network distributor for the size system you want. (This is handled by your solar retailer on your behalf).
Some network distributors calculate the allowable system size based on total inverter capacity. This means they add together the capacity of the solar inverter to that of the battery inverter. So, if your solar inverter is 6kW and your battery inverter is 5kW, the total inverter capacity is 11kW.
The problem arises when a network distributor sets a cap on total inverter capacity – which is typically 10kW for a single-phase property (most homes are single-phase). If you go ahead and install solar panels now and try to add battery storage later (with a battery that has its own inverter) you could end up over the limit set by your network distributor.
To avoid this situation, it’s best to check with us what the rules regarding inverter capacity are for your property and network distribution area.
If there is a strict inverter capacity limit in your region, there is a way around it. And that’s to install an all-in-one inverter that combines the functionality of a solar inverter and a battery inverter.
By taking this approach, you can install the maximum size inverter allowed (for example a 10kW all-in-one inverter) which will work with your solar panels and charge your battery. This would keep you within the capacity limits of most network distributors and provide you with a system that’s large enough for most family homes.
Get a more powerful system
If you install a solar panel system at the same time as battery storage, you can potentially go a whole lot bigger with your solar. By choosing the right solar and battery technology, you should be able to install up to 200 per cent more solar panels compared to your inverter capacity. (If you just installed a solar panel system you would only be allowed to oversize the solar panels by up to 133 per cent.)
The benefit of installing up to 200 per cent more solar panels is the extra generation capacity you gain which can be used to simultaneously power your home and charge your battery. And if you decide to purchase an electric car, you should have the solar energy to charge it day and night.
Reduce your electricity bills to near-zero
Getting your electricity bills down to almost zero is realistic with the right solar battery storage system. However, the system needs to be carefully designed to maximise the power generation potential for your property and comply with any constraints set by your network distributor.
As mentioned, there are solar technologies that provide extra power generation capacity and plenty of battery storage – the leading example being the solar battery system from SolarEdge. However, to maximise the capacity of your rooftop solar system, you need to get the battery installed at the same time as the panels.
When you factor in the additional bill savings you can achieve by installing a battery at the same time as solar panels – as well as the fact that it can be more cost-effective – it’s easy to see why all-in-one solar battery storage systems like SolarEdge are taking the market by storm.
Find out more
If energy independence and lower electricity bills are on your wish list, get in touch.
We can check the requirements set by the network distributor for your property, assess your electricity usage, advise on applicable rebates, and recommend the best solar battery storage system for your home and budget.
SolarRun is a Clean Energy Council Accredited Solar Retailer and Installer, with expertise in all leading brands of solar panel systems and battery storage.
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