If you’re looking to save more on your energy bill, then a solar battery probably seems like the next most logical decision. While solar batteries are great for maximising your solar system and becoming more self-sufficient, there are a few important things to consider before taking the leap.
How much energy am I exporting?
Most people think that now they have solar they should get a battery, but the first thing you need to look at is how much energy you are exporting to the grid. A solar battery is charged by the excess energy that your solar system produces, and you don’t use. If you’re someone that uses very little power during the day, then you’re likely exporting a lot of your solar and a battery storage system might be a great solution for you.
However, if you’re home all day and you export very little of your solar energy back to the grid, then a battery will be of very little use to you. Look on the second page of your electricity bill and look at how many kWhs of solar you are exporting every month. You should be exporting enough energy to the grid to power the battery. For example, if you’re thinking about purchasing a 7kWh battery, you should be exporting a minimum of 7kWhs a day to the grid. It is possible to charge your battery with power from the grid however you’ll see more savings if you avoid this.
How much is your Feed-in Tariff?
If you’re on a high feed-in tariff (FiT) and you’re exporting a lot of your solar energy, then a battery likely won’t be a good choice for you. Depending on how high your FiT is, you will likely save more exporting the energy to the grid than storing it to use at night. A good rule of thumb is that if your FiT is higher than what you are paying for grid power, you should export it back to the grid to get the FiT. If it is under, which it is in most cases today, a battery could be a good option.
How does the return on investment look?
Like any investment, it’s important to analyse your return. Sit down and work out much you’ll save against how much you’ll spend and determine how long it will take you to recoup your money. It’s also important to take into consideration how you’re going to pay for it. If you’ve got the money sitting in the bank, then it might be more viable than taking out a loan and paying interest.
Can I get a battery rebate?
Another important factor to consider is if you’re eligible for any rebates or incentives.
Does it have back-up functionality?
While it’s most common for people to install batteries for the extra savings, a lot of people purchase them because they live in an area with grid instability. It’s important to do your research and ensure your battery has back up functionality. Some battery storage systems only work while connected to power so it’s important to be aware of this when making the switch.
Just like going solar, purchasing a battery storage system should be well thought out. It’s important to do your research and make sure that it’s the right choice and the right time for you to make the switch. Battery storage systems are still out of reach for a lot of people but just like we saw with solar panels, the price will eventually drop making it more accessible to the greater population.
Founder & Manager of Horan & Bird Energy. Director of Master Electricians Australia. John has played a key entrepreneurial role in the transformation of the Energy Landscape in Queensland having founded Horan & Bird in 2004 and building it to a $35 Million Business. The business was then sold, repurchased and merged with Juice Capital in 2020. Juice Capital own one of the largest renewable energy funds in Australia and allow customers to go solar and batteries for no up front capital through Power Purchase Agreements.