The NSW Government has created a new Empowering Homes Program. Under the program, the state will offer financial incentives to 300,000 homes that add home battery storage.
Starting with a pilot in the Hunter Region, homeowners around the state will now be able to access solar and battery power like never before.
Interest-free loans of up to $14,000 for a solar-battery system (repayable over a range of terms up to 8 years), or up to $9,000 for the addition of a battery to an existing solar system (repayable over a range of terms up to 10 years). To be eligible, you must:
- live in one of these postcodes in the Hunter region
- have a household income of no more than $180,000 per annum
- own your grid-connected home, live in it and have the authority to install the system
- satisfy the loan criteria.
Natural Solar, who installed the first Tesla Powerwall worldwide 4 years ago, says there has been a huge increase in demand for solar battery systems since COVID-19 and a surge in enquiries since this pilot has been announced.
This is very much based around energy efficiency, people having further independence from the grid and knowing they can bring their bills down – particularly with household electricity bills expected to rise as more people work from home.
It is estimated that households could save as much as $2,000 per year on their energy bills, and net around $250 per year after loan repayments.
The first installation under this program has just occurred at the Wells household in the Hunter Region.
Personally, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see how much power I’ve been able to generate from a 6.5kW system and 5kW inverter, even while working from home. Living in Victoria (just), I look at a program like this and think our decision to not add a battery may have been different if this was available here.