SA Home Battery Scheme to Launch This October!

South Australian’s Home Battery Scheme to Launch This October!

The South Australia Government is about to launch a new renewable energy scheme to assist in providing more affordable energy to South Australian households. The scheme focuses on home batteries and will be available from this October!

The South Australian Government has placed $100 million funding into the new Home Battery Scheme and will make the scheme available to 40,000 households, with little to no eligibility requirements. The program has been designed to not exclude any household from accessing the available subsidies.

What is the Home Battery Scheme?

home battery
The Home Battery Scheme will allow households with Solar PV Systems to be able to purchase a battery storage system at a reduced cost, using Government subsidies. Having a battery storage system will enable households to store excess energy generated from their Solar PV System. Subsidies will only be available for the battery storage component of a Solar PV System.

Homes that do not have a Solar PV System installed will be able to apply for Finance Loans through Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to assist in purchasing the system and then will be able to apply for the Home Battery Scheme subsidies for the battery storage component. The loans through CEFC will be flexible and competitive in comparison to other financing options.

“In working with the CEFC we expect to be able to further assist households overcome the upfront financial barriers to accessing storage technology by offering households competitive, flexible loans where needed, in addition to the subsidies,” said Minister van Holst Pellekaan

How much can you receive in subsidies for the Home Battery Scheme?

The amount you can receive in subsidies will be dependent on size and storage capacity of the battery that is being installed. Energy Concession Holders will be able to access higher subsidies, ensuring households on low incomes are able to access the benefits of solar and batteries. For all homes, the maximum subsidies allowed will be capped at $6000.

Estimated Subsidies for the Home Battery Scheme

Energy concession holder             $600.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)

All other households                      $500.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)

The Government has announced that as the price of batteries come down the subsidies will gradually be reduced.

Option To Connect To The Virtual Power Plant

Households who apply for the Home Battery Scheme will be able to choose whether their battery system is set up as a home battery storage system or part of the Virtual Power Plant.  The Virtual Power Plant is a project in South Australia where a network of connected home solar PV and battery systems will be created to generate, store and feed energy back into the grid. The project is being run by The South Australian Government and Telsa who aim to include at least 50,000 homes in the project, which will form the world’s largest virtual power plant.

It is not a requirement to be connected to the virtual power plant, but systems funded with the assistance of the Home Battery Scheme must be set up so that it allows for the option to connect in the future.

Who’s Eligible to Apply for the Home Battery Scheme

All homes in South Australia are eligible to apply but must use products and providers that meet the minimum technical requirements to ensure batteries are safe, reliable and capable of being connected to the virtual power plant.

Renters will also be eligible to apply for the Home Battery Scheme with approval from the homeowner of the property.

Prior to the Home Battery Scheme becoming available in October the website will assist homeowners in assessing suitability for a home battery system, choose between approved products and system providers, access the subsidy and apply for finance if required.

Conditions of Home Battery Scheme

Not all details have been finalised however the following conditions have been stated:

  • Minimum battery size that can receive a subsidy is 2.5 kilowatt-hours
  • The subsidy is not available for off-grid battery installations
  • Battery must have a minimum of 5-year warranty
  • Subsidies are per home and not per person (this means if you have more than one property you may be eligible to apply for the scheme for both)

Solar Provider Eligibility

To supply and install eligible home battery systems under the Scheme, industry providers will be required to first qualify as a System Provider. In assessing applications, priority will be given to System Providers that commit to installing approved battery systems that are manufactured or assembled in South Australia.

To qualify, System Providers will need to demonstrate:

  • Financial health, reputation and competency
  • Only use CEC accredited installers
  • CEC Approved Solar Retailer status

If you’d like to become an eligible provider you can register your interest HERE

Stay Up To Date with the Home Battery Scheme HERE

Learn More About Solar Batteries and How They Can Benefit You!

 

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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.