Australia is no stranger to extreme weather events like bushfires, cyclones, floods and hailstorms. These harsh climatic conditions can often influence the country’s energy infrastructure, bringing down powerlines and damaging electricity grids which consequently leads to longer durations without power. Keeping such circumstances in mind, solar batteries are a viable option for Australians with solar panels who want to minimise their power bills and be less reliant on the grid in case of these unprecedented power outages.
One of the most impressive innovations in the field of solar technology is the development of solar battery solutions. Homeowners across Australia who have given this technological innovation a chance have observed massive savings made with the installation of solar batteries along with their solar power system. Having a solar battery connected to the inverter in Australia gives the homeowner the ability to store the electricity generated throughout the day and to use it when the sun goes down or when there are power outages. Power outages can be completely unexpected too, which can cause a lot of hassle. With the installation of a solar battery, you are given the opportunity to gain independence from the grid and to completely rely on the energy your own solar power system produces during the day.
Power Outages across Australia
The recent Australian power outage sparks has encouraged more people to install and enquire for solar batteries. Installing a solar power system not only helps you save drastically when local electricity costs are very high but your potential savings improves even further if you decide to combine your solar power system with a solar battery. Local incentives set in place have further encouraged more people to go green with solar. The benefits of installing a solar battery are not only financial as we observe all the environmental benefits it adds, helping us move towards a zero-carbon future. Therefore, a larger population across Australia are turning to solar energy storage as a means to achieve energy independence and a low carbon-footprint. With a solar battery you are guaranteed to have backup power in case of power outages.
Recently, Queensland’s worst power outage in decades has triggered calls for the introduction of more utility-scale batteries to provide security for the Australian state’s electricity network. Solar batteries are a viable option for Australians with solar panels in all parts of Australia who want to significantly lower their power bills and be less reliant on the grid. However, solar battery prices in Australia are currently high. For many Australians, a solar battery might not be worth the investment yet. Since the technology for solar batteries is a lot newer as compared to solar panels, the question then arises of whether or not installing a battery for your solar powered system is worth it.
Is installing a solar battery worth the investment?
If you have looked into possibly installing a solar battery for your home or business, you must have come across all the benefits and the freedom provided by the installation of a solar battery from having to rely on the grid for your energy needs. Generally, homes that use a solar powered system in Australia use the electricity that is generated during the day and feed all the excess power back into the grid to receive a credit through the Feed in Tariff scheme set up by the government to encourage more people to switch to this renewable power source.
This practice of sending the extra power back to the grid in a way helps the homeowner to balance out their bills in regard to the power used at night. The addition of a solar battery to an existing solar powered system helps the homeowner to completely get rid of any reliance on the grid for their energy needs and can even help with going completely “off grid”. When a battery is installed to an existing system, it enables the homeowner to use almost every kW of energy generated by the solar powered system. This can mean an even larger reduction in energy costs, on good days making the reliance on the grid completely zero.
Benefits of combining a solar battery with your solar power system –
1) Drastically reduce your electricity bills
A suitably sized solar system will supply an average Australian home with all its power needs during the sunniest time of the day. Additionally, you will also earn a Feed-in Tariff (FIT) for any excess energy harnessed by your solar panels that your household doesn’t consume by sending this extra power to the grid for credit. Overall, your electricity bills will undergo a significant reduction with the addition of a solar battery system as this will help you to minimise your reliance on the electricity grid even further by using the energy stored in your solar battery during peak solar production hours. The energy generated by your solar panels will help power your home during the day and all the extra power stored in your solar battery can be used to power your appliances at night, helping to reduce your reliance on the grid even further.
2) Increase your property value
Based on a survey of 1,005 Australians in 2018, 77% of Australians think a house with solar is more valuable than those relying on traditional energy sources, with 57% of homeowners saying they would pay up to $10,000 more for a home equipped with a solar power system. This is certainly a key point to include in your decision making, especially if you have plans to move within the future. Potential buyers want cheaper electricity bills and, in some cases, add the presence of solar panels and a solar battery to their list of desirable features when shortlisting properties.
3) Solar power systems + Battery require very low maintenance
It’s helpful to know that there is little to no effort in the upkeep of your solar panels. Most solar panels have a 12- 15 year product warranty and a 25 year performance warranty. The average lifespan of solar panels is 25 years. Using an accredited CEC installer with a good track record is critical to ensure you can get good after-sales support in the rare event that it’s needed. Your solar panels and battery do not require a specific routine for their upkeep, only an annual cleaning of the panels is recommended by most installers to prevent build up, etc.
4) Go off-grid with the installation of a solar battery
The installation of a solar power system makes you less dependent on the grid. The power from the grid is supplied by a mixture of renewable energy and fossil fuel sources such as coal and gas. By having solar panels and a solar battery system installed, you reduce your exposure to rising energy prices and help to reduce emissions. If you include a home battery with a backup system, you may even be able to isolate from the grid during blackouts and continue to have power available for your home.
With On- grid solar powered systems, the feed-in tariff set up with the respective energy provider helps the homeowner to get paid a fixed FIT rate for every kWh that is exported back to them. It is important to note that this rate doesn’t always give you the most value for the solar energy produced by your system. Also to keep in mind, there is a limit on how much power you can export back to the grid on a single phase connection. The export is limited to 5kW in most areas across Australia for single phase connections which means that on days your consumption is low and the production of your system is high, you won’t be able to experience all the gains from the production of your system. In such cases, installing a solar battery makes the most sense to maximise on the benefits of having your own system. Installing a solar battery means that you use your own energy, produced by your own system and there is no need to sell it at a discounted rate.
Federal and state incentive programs for the installation of solar batteries
Knowing all the benefits of installing a solar battery is not enough. The cost of solar batteries in Australia is still extremely high and is unaffordable for a large population. Solar batteries cost anywhere between $8,000 and $20,000 and the payback period for you to experience any kind of return on your investment could take over 10 years – which is the average warranty length of the batteries available in the market at the moment in Australia. The financial case for batteries also improves when there are local rebates and incentives on offer. These can range from upfront rebates when purchasing batteries, to demand response programs that reward you for taking load off the power network. If you want to learn more about solar battery installation in your area or would like a free quote, contact Solar Power Nation today!