Australian homes with rooftop solar systems will benefit from energy price hikes


Happy Family Solar Panel Roof

There’s been a lot of bad news coming from the energy sector in the last few weeks, so let’s take a minute to focus on some of the good news.

Australian homes that have rooftop solar systems will be benefitting from the wholesale energy price hikes, as the retailers are preparing to increase Feed-in tariffs [FiT] by up to 140%.

True story.

AGL said that they will be increasing their FiT in South Australia from the current value of 6.8c to 16.3c.  That is a 140% increase.

FiT rates for residential customers in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria will increase between 77% and 126%. The new FiTs will range from 11c to 16c, up from between 5c and 7c.  These new rates are set to take effect on July 1, 2017.

“Australia has the highest rate of household solar panel installation in the world, with around 15% of Australian homes hosting solar panels, and we see the uptake increasing especially as the price for solar PV systems continues to decrease. We also know consumers are wanting and expecting greater control and visibility of their energy usage and management and this too is driving solar PV uptake,” said Sandra de Castro, general manager, sales & marketing, AGL.

These increases could equal as much as $332/year for some households.

That’s good news, right.

For the remaining 85% of households that have yet to invest in a solar system, now really is the time to take control of your energy bills.

The current Government rebate is as high as it will ever be, at $4826* and the prices of solar PV systems are at an all-time low.  When you include the increased FiT rates, there really is no better time to combat the increasing energy price hikes and leveraging off solar’s free energy.

We can help by organising 3 FREE QUOTES from local solar suppliers, allowing you to make the best decision for your household.

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.

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