Australian homeowners’ enthusiasm for solar battery storage is resulting in double-digit growth in battery installations.
Last year saw a 20 per cent increase in residential solar battery uptake. The installation of 33,000 home batteries in Australia in 2020 was particularly impressive given that it was also the year when the Australian economy dipped into recession for the first time in three decades.
What’s causing the strong demand for battery storage with Aussie households?
This article provides an insight into the top reasons why Australians are investing in solar battery storage for their homes.
Protection from electricity price rises
Electricity bill shock is something that most Australians will do anything to avoid. With electricity prices skyrocketing – up 117 per cent in the 10 years to 2018 – Australian homeowners have become highly sensitive to rising power bills and want to do something about it.
In the last year alone, the average annual electricity bill has risen $100 to $1,776. The average cost of electricity in Australia per kilowatt hour is now an eye-watering 34.4 cents, up 4 cents on the previous year.
The attraction of a battery is easy to see. You store the free power your solar system generates in the day and use it – at zero cost – at night and when the sun’s not shining.
For homes where the busy times are after work and during the evening, you no longer need to buy expensive grid electricity – you use the free power in your battery to charge your home right through the night.
To give an example of the savings, a Powerwall battery could save you around $1,600 a year assuming you are paying 34 cents per kilowatt hour.
Of course, if electricity prices continue to increase – and past performance indicates that this is more than likely – by investing in battery storage you’ve limited your exposure to the impact of further price inflation.
Falling feed-in tariffs
Solar feed-in tariffs – the amount you get for surplus solar power exported to the grid – have steadily fallen in recent years.
Back in 2010, the feed-in tariff was around 60 cents per kilowatt hour. But since then, the feed-in rate has plummeted. Now, the Australian average is around 7 cents per kilowatt hour.
That’s bad enough. But what gets a lot of people, is that they have to pay 4 or 5 times more for the electricity they buy from the grid than what they sell it for.
Whilst there are valid supply and demand reasons for the value of the solar feed-in credit (based on how the Australian national electricity grid operates) most people don’t care and feel ripped off.
So, the answer – quite logically – is not to sell your hard earned solar power back to the grid for a measly return but use it in your home where it has more value.
As climate events unfortunately become more commonplace, so too are blackouts. Whilst some power outages are fixed quickly, others last days or even weeks as we saw in the Dandenong Ranges this winter.
As more of us work from home (one of the legacies of the pandemic), our tolerance to power outages has diminished. Who wants to be working from home and find that you can’t because the power has cut out? Loss of income – not to mention losing your cool – can be avoided with the installation of one of the better quality batteries on the market that provides complete blackout protection.
Sometimes, guaranteed continuous power is vital for other reasons – keeping medical equipment ready-charged in case of an emergency; security systems; fridges and freezers with valuable perishables etc.
Calculating the economic loss – and other potential impacts of a power outage – is specific for each household. For some, the risk of a power outage is simply too great to contemplate. If that’s the case, the value of battery storage will be counted in many other ways – not just in savings per kilowatt hour.
Lower carbon footprint
Using your own clean solar power during the daytime is great for reducing your CO2 emissions. But what about the evening when you use power from the grid?
Grid electricity is still 75 per cent dirty electricity. In other words, it’s generated from fossil fuels with coal being the main source. If you’re serious about reducing your carbon footprint, you’ll want to reduce the amount of dirty grid power in your home.
That’s a huge reason why lots of people buy a battery.
With battery storage, you can power your home through the night with clean renewable energy that you’ve created.
It’s a great way to make your home carbon-neutral and help us move to a zero-carbon future.
Major changes are happening in the way we use power – and that’s going to mean greater use of electricity (as opposed to fossil fuels) for everything we do.
Over time, our homes will become completely electric and our cars will be powered by solar energy.
To get ready for these exciting developments, those with an eye to the future are installing a home battery system.
Battery storage gives you the capability to run your home completely on your own clean solar electricity 24/7. Plus it allows you to charge an electric vehicle using the solar power generated by your panels.
Juicy battery rebates
Whilst battery storage is still quite expensive, in many states there are attractive government rebates to help reduce the upfront investment. For example:
Victoria has a solar battery rebate scheme providing rebates worth up to $4,174 until all rebates in 2020–21 have been allocated. The battery rebate will then reduce to $3,500.
South Australia offers a battery rebate of up to $3,000 and the option to participate in a virtual power plant (VPP). When battery owners join a VPP, they let the power company use their battery capacity in exchange for power bill credits.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) offers a battery rebate of $825 per kilowatt of power capacity, up to 30 kW (up to $24,750).
New South Wales offers an interest-free loan of up to $14,000 for homeowners who use a solar power system with batteries.
These rebates, together with falling prices as competition hots up amongst battery manufacturers, mean that batteries may not be as pricey as you think.
Interested in battery storage for your home?
If this article has got you thinking battery storage, get in touch for a free consultation and quote.
We can assess your energy usage profile – both day and night and throughout the year – and give you the facts and figures to help you decide whether battery storage is right for you.