If you’re thinking about getting solar panels, you might have thought about whether it’s worth investing in a solar battery at the same time. There are the well-known benefits of battery storage like increased bill savings and blackout protection, but there are also some solar commentators that say batteries can be too expensive.
The thing is, getting a battery at the same time as your solar panels could be one of the smartest investments you ever make for your home. It’s by far the most cost effective time to do it and our mid-size solar and battery system can pay itself off in less than 7 years*.
But it’s not just about the finances. By getting a battery with your solar panels, you can:
- use more of the solar power you generate in your own home
- boost your energy savings
- increase your independence from the big energy companies
- get security and control during blackouts (if you get a battery that comes with blackout protection – not all do)
- boost your positive impact on the environment by using more clean solar power
- get your battery at the most cost effective time, because combining the costs of the panels and battery will cut out extra installation costs and combine the two payback periods into one
Use your solar energy, don’t export it
When you install solar panels, your system will generate electricity when the sun is shining. This electricity will be used to power your home at that point in time, and excess solar power you’re not using will be exported to the grid.
There’s one thing no one tells you though: while you will be paid a feed-in tariff for the excess solar electricity you export, it’s likely to be up to three times less than the rate you buy electricity for. That means, it makes much more sense to use as much solar power as you can.
Get more out of your solar investment with a battery
So financially it makes more sense to use as much free solar power in your home as possible rather than exporting it for a relatively low price. But what if your motivation for getting solar isn’t financial? Maybe you want to do your bit for the environment or become more energy independent?
The same goes. The more solar power you use in your home, the less energy made from fossil fuels that you’ll have to buy back from the grid. And if your goal is to become more energy independent, you’ll want to maximise your use of your own energy so you can minimise the amount you need to buy back from your power company.
There’s only so much electricity you need to use when the sun is up though, right? And you can’t avoid using electricity at night. That’s where a battery comes in.
With a battery, you can use solar power day OR night
Batteries store your excess solar power to use at any time of the day or night, regardless of whether the sun is shining. So you can use your own free solar power in the evening, overnight, first thing in the morning… even in a blackout!
Many solar batteries come with blackout protection, which means in a power outage you’d be able to run your home, or parts of it, on your solar electricity. You could be the only house on the street with the lights on and the fridge running. Or stay connected to the internet and radio in case of an emergency like the bushfires we saw last summer.
This isn’t possible with solar panels alone.
The most cost effective time to get a battery is with your solar panels
If you’re getting solar panels installed, now is the most cost effective time to add a solar battery. As we mentioned earlier, our mid-sized solar and battery package (including installation) could pay for itself in less than 7 years*.
Designed specifically for households adding solar panels and a battery at the same time, our solar and battery package brings world-leading, tier 1 solar panels together with an Australian-designed battery solution in one streamlined, cost-effective package.
The package comes in a range of sizes depending on your energy needs, household set-up and budget. Plus there are financing options available so you can start saving with your solar and battery system now, and pay it off over time.
If you already have solar, but want to add a battery, check out the Redback Smart Battery.
*This scenario is the 6.6 kW system and a mid sized battery (7kWh). Assuming typical generation in Victoria and assuming battery gets cycled 90% of the time at 90% depth, solar savings are estimated at $1,734 ($0.20 average value of the solar generated, which could be 10c FiT and 30c usage rate at 50/50% as an example). Battery savings would be an additional $440 per annum, for total savings of $2,174.