Now that people have seen the financial benefits of installing solar power and it has become an affordable household purchase, many Australians are investigating the addition of solar battery storage.
Adding a battery gives a solar power system the functionality to store excess electricity generated from the solar panels to use at night, therefore, giving a household more energy independence.
Is Battery Storage As Beneficial As Solar Power?
While a solar power system can benefit the majority of (if not all) households with the fast return on investment they provide, the addition of battery storage has not quite reached these stages.
When considering whether battery storage is right for you, it’s important to consider a few factors including; how much excess energy your solar power system is producing, the expected payback period of a battery and what Government incentives or discounts are available for battery storage.
Solar Power System’s Excess Energy
The purpose of battery storage is to store the excess energy your solar power system has generated so that your household can run off this electricity when your solar panels are not receiving sun. This stops or minimises the need for your household to rely on the electricity grid at night, which will reduce your electricity charges further.
For your solar power system to have excess electricity the system needs to be generating more electricity than you are using during the day. The larger the solar power system is, the more electricity it can generate e.g. a 7 kW will produce more electricity than a 5 kW.
If you currently have a solar power system installed, you should monitor and track how much excess energy your solar power system is producing before determining whether battery storage is right for you.
If you are wanting to install a solar power system and battery storage in one go, it is best to speak to a solar installer about what size solar power system will cover your day-time energy needs and provide enough excess electricity for your battery.
Battery Storage Government Incentives
As solar power systems have become increasingly affordable without the assistance of rebates, some State Governments in Australia have turned their focus to providing financial assistance for battery storage. These include;
Victoria – Solar Victoria’s home battery subsidy can provide up to $4,838 towards the cost of adding battery storage.
South Australia – Home battery scheme can provide subsidies up to $6,000 towards the cost of adding battery storage.
For those eligible it could mean adding battery storage at half the cost, making the payback period significantly shorter and a more realistic investment.
Battery Storage Payback Periods
If you’ve worked out that your solar power system is producing a substantial amount of excess energy, the next thing you will want to consider is if the payback period is going to make battery storage a worthwhile investment. While a solar power system can pay itself off within 2-5 years, battery storage does not.
Battery storage can be expensive and for the average home in Australia will not pay its self-off in time to make it a cost-efficient investment. These days batteries have an estimated return on investment within 9-15 years (if you don’t have access to Government incentives) and the average warranty for a battery is up to 10 years.
For those living in rural areas who are off-grid or have enough land to support a substantially large solar power system, the benefits and payback periods may be significantly different. If this sounds like you, get connected to local solar installers who can assist in determining whether battery storage is suitable for you.
Battery-ready Solar Power System
Battery storage is the future for households with solar power, to gain more or full energy independence. While battery storage does not currently give a fast return on investment, it will in the coming years once battery technology develops and prices drop.
Eventually, battery storage will become as popular and beneficial as solar power systems have. For this reason, it is wise to install a solar power system with intentions to add battery storage in the future. This will mean installing a solar power system that has the capability to add a battery easily and that will produce enough excess electricity to store in the battery.