Falling solar battery prices, rising energy costs and decreasing solar feed-in tariffs mean that solar batteries are now making financial sense for more and more people.
However for most people that have one (and there are already tens of thousands of Australians that do) it’s about more than just the payback. They’ve made a decision to purchase an asset that will make their life better or easier – much like a car, mobile phone or laptop – and are looking for benefits that provide more than just financial returns.
Solar battery owners know that (just like with an iPhone) they could wait for the next release, for the new model. But they don’t want to miss out on the benefits they could be getting now, such as the ability to protect themselves from power outages, maximise their solar savings and insulate themselves against the 10-year trend of rising electricity prices.
Solar battery payback is just one piece of the puzzle
There is no question that investing in solar panels makes financial sense. Australians have done so in their millions and continue to do so in big numbers. When it comes to the payback for batteries though, it is still your original solar panel investment that does most of the heavy lifting.
That’s why finding the right solar battery price is just the beginning. Getting the right size battery for your needs is the key to maximising the value from both your renewable energy investments.
And when calculating battery returns, there are many things to consider. Your electricity usage patterns, your electricity rates, your solar feed-in tariff (FiT), the size of your solar system and your choice of battery technology all have an impact on the final number. Not to mention when you get your battery – if you’re looking at installing solar panels, think about getting a battery at the same time. This is usually the most cost-effective time to do so and can reduce your payback significantly.
Another key consideration is the value you place on important features such as blackout protection. You’re likely to value this feature very highly if you need to stay connected in case of an emergency (like the bushfires we saw this summer) or you have important equipment that needs to keep running when the grid fails.
The other reasons Australians are taking the leap to solar batteries
Australian households who take the next step in their solar journey with a solar battery balance financial returns with other objectives and benefits – most often more than one.
Solar batteries are helping more and more Australians to:
Make the most of their solar power
With historically increasing energy prices and falling feed-in tariffs, the best thing you can do to maximise the value of your solar investment is to use the solar power you produce. But solar production usually peaks between 10am and 4pm, when most of us are at work or school and energy usage is often at its lowest.
Today, many Australians are currently house-bound due to COVID-19 which means they can maximise their use of solar power. But these days of self-isolation won’t last and eventually we’ll all go back to our usual daily routines.
While you can schedule some smart appliances to run when the sun is up, this can be limited and can impact your lifestyle.
A battery lets you store your daytime solar power for use in peak periods such as the evening and early morning, reducing your need to draw power from the grid, often at more expensive rates.
Most solar homes will be getting a feed-in tariff that’s much lower than the rate they buy electricity for, so you should try to use as much of it as possible. The right battery solution can help you boost the volume of solar energy you consume from around 25% to as much as 80% (for an average solar home) and help to dramatically reduce your electricity bills.
Achieve lower, predictable energy bills
Much has been written about the rising costs of electricity in Australia. While a slight short-term reprieve has been forecast, the general trend is as undeniable as it is frightening with electricity prices rising by a whopping 117% in the last 10 years.
Solar feed-in tariffs are also on a downward trend due to a huge increase in energy supply from solar in recent years, which is set to continue.
A solar battery helps you to use more of your solar power and reduce your reliance on the grid. This means you can insulate yourself from rising electricity costs, have more certainty around your monthly, quarterly and yearly costs, and can plan your budget and your life.
Have security in a blackout
Wild weather events and ageing grid infrastructure are the key reasons behind a rise in power blackouts. If you’re in the country, you’re probably all too familiar with the problem and could be facing it several times a year. If you’re in the city, you’ll also be increasingly at risk.
For most of us, the impact is considerable inconvenience – no-one likes it when the lights go out, the fridge switches off, the entertainment ends abruptly and we can’t charge our phones. But sometimes there are bigger risks at play.
You may rely on an electric water pump to have a drink of water during a heatwave. Or your remote location means you have an even greater need to stay connected in case of an emergency.
Batteries with blackout protection will keep some or all of your house connected when the grid fails.
Support the shift to homegrown, clean energy
Despite the uptake of residential solar, most of the grid power we use still comes from coal.
While it’s possible to purchase carbon offset energy from your power company, the reality is all electricity comes from the same central pool, called the National Electricity Market, and there’s no way to control which electrons (renewable or not) are delivered to your home.
Consuming as much of your solar power as you can, as opposed to exporting it back to the grid, is the only way you can make sure that the power you’re using is clean, renewable power.
Of course, more renewable energy generation is slowly coming onto the grid. But best scenario predictions are that the first time renewable power will represent 50% of the Australian energy mix is towards 2030. In the meantime (and beyond), every little bit helps.
Every new battery is helping to expand Australia’s clean energy infrastructure, support more solar power to be installed across our suburbs, and reduce our collective reliance on fossil-fuel power.
Did you know, a new energy model is emerging? With over 2.3 million Australian homes now generating their own electricity, a new decentralised energy network is predicted to one day become our main source of power – and we are already in transition.
You may have heard about virtual power plants (VPPs) where a network of batteries can be centrally and remotely charged and/or discharged for the benefit of battery owners and the overall network. It is early days yet, but several government sponsored trials are already underway.
And as a clear example of where we’re heading, your power company may already be running initiatives where they reward you for switching off non-essential loads during times of peak demand.
It’s all a step forward to the new energy model and at DC Power Co, all of our batteries are designed to integrate with this emerging decentralised system.
Adapt quickly when your needs change
There are two main ways you can install your battery – alongside your existing solar system (AC coupled) or with your solar panels connected directly into your battery system (DC coupled).
Our battery solution comes with a hybrid inverter. This gives you the installation options you need, and provides ongoing flexibility for the life of your system.
For example, if your original solar inverter fails, you’ll be able to connect your panels directly into the hybrid inverter and minimise any system downtime. Likewise, if you want to expand your solar capacity in the future, you can add more panels to the hybrid inverter.
If your solar system has been in place for a while and you’re considering a battery but are still not sure, it might help to know that the right battery set-up can give you flexibility and ongoing peace of mind.
Time for the next step toward energy independence?
If you’re considering a solar battery, you’ve probably done your homework. And we have too! We’ve analysed 1500 of our customers, researched the market and designed a powerful yet simple battery package that can be installed alongside any existing solar system. With blackout protection, great warranties and a game-changing price, it’s a quality battery that won’t break the bank.
Don’t have solar panels yet? Our solar and battery package is designed for people adding solar and a battery at the same time. It combines world leading solar panels, an Australian-designed battery system and local, experienced installers. Find out more here.