As of May 31st, 2021, data from the Clean Energy Regulator shows that Australia has more than 2.83 million rooftop solar systems installed. This means that more than 1 in 4 homes in the country had solar, representing the highest uptake of solar in the world.
Many of these installations (547,347) took place in Victoria, a state with Australia’s second-highest population. With most sold on the idea of reducing power bills over the long term with a one-off investment in the short term, these homes become potential candidates to invest further in-home battery storage.
Solar Victoria is charged with the responsibility of administering state incentives to encourage the uptake of renewables. At the time of writing, there are currently 1,008 solar battery rebates remaining in the current release.
The Solar battery rebates were initially released to select postcodes, but have since been unlocked for all postcodes in Victoria.
Solar battery rebates will remain at their current value of up to $4,174 until all rebates in 2020–21 have been fully allocated. They will then reduce to $3,500, so if you’re considering one, best to make a move sooner rather than later.
A solar battery will store the energy collected from your solar panels, ready for use when the sun doesn’t shine, reducing your draw from the grid during peak times (when power is the most expensive).
There are many home battery storage options available under the Solar Victoria rebate scheme, but they estimate installing a battery can help a typical household save up to $640 a year. You can review the approved products here.
The list of options is actually really impressive, with more than 1,400 variants available each offering a different storage capacity which comes in at a range of different price points.
The most commonly known brands like Tesla Powerwall, Sonnen, LG Chem, but there are also some options from players like BYD and Huawei.
Typically battery storage solutions are fairly expensive, so the significant saving on offer from the Victorian rebate may bring them down to an affordable price that makes sense for many households.
As an example, the Tesla Powerwall 2 offers 13.5kWh of capacity, with 7kW peak and 5kW continuous capacity.
When I look at our energy use through our SolarEdge inverter, I see we typically draw 1-2kW with a couple of TVs, computers, lights, fridges, washing machine etc. If we turn on the heat lamps in the bathroom, run the oven, or charge the car, then this may rise to as much as 4kW, but typically for a short period of time.
This means without modifying our usage, we could have as much as 6.5hrs of power, in the event, we have a blackout. In reality, we’re likely to taper our use to essential items and could get around 12hrs.
Every home will have different demands, but if we were to purchase a Powerwall 2, it would cost $11,050 so with the $4,174 rebate currently, that price drops to $6,876, plus the supporting hardware at A$1,700 for a total of $8,576 before installation costs. While this is still a lot, it is likely similar to the cost of many solar installations.
Many battery solutions which feature smaller capacity, do come at a cheaper price, BYD’s Battery Box L7 for example, starts around $6,725.00 + installation. It offers 7kWh of usable energy and a max output of 6.0kW.
If that solar investment was a few years ago, chances are paid it off and largely forgotten about that investment, making you ready for the next.
It is important to appreciate the warranty on these batteries is often 10 years, so any savings achieved by your family each year will be multiplied by how many years you have it. Even after the warranty ends, it’s unlikely the product stops working, but the capacity available may diminish, continuing to offer a usable life well into the future.
More information at https://www.solar.vic.gov.au/solar-battery-rebate