With gaping weaknesses exposed in the Australian electricity market in recent weeks, its no surprise that demand for solar and battery storage has skyrocketed.
Never before has the Australian National Electricity Market been suspended. Never before have electricity retailers told their customers to go away – or stay and be hit with a doubling of prices. Never before have politicians asked residents to turn off their dishwashers to avoid widespread blackouts.
It’s a sign that the Australian energy system is in crisis. Whilst plans are being put in place to fix things, industry experts agree it will take time.
But, in the meantime, electricity price rises are kicking in from July 1 across most Australian states with analysts warning this is just a taste of what’s to come. Predictions are for a 20 per cent increase in prices this year – and a further 20 per cent next year.
So – the question is: should you wait to install battery storage?
For a long time, battery experts have said that the economic rationale for installing a battery was borderline – at best.
But now, with electricity price hikes kicking in, that argument is disappearing into thin air.
And given the rush of enquires and orders we’ve had for batteries in recent days, it seems many would agree.
On this blog, the 10 reasons NOT to wait to install battery storage.
- Protection from spiraling energy costs
- Protection from blackouts
- Reduce your power bills to near-zero
- Reduce your reliance on the grid
- Get battery rebates at current high value
- Set up your home for transition to all-electric
- Set up your home for EV (electric vehicle) charging
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Earn extra income by joining a Virtual Power Plant
- Be prepared!
1. Protection from spiraling energy costs
Battery storage is like an insurance policy. Get a battery and you’re no longer at the mercy of surging electricity prices. Turmoil in global energy markets, COVID-19, the war in the Ukraine – all these factors driving up power prices are completely out of your control.
But getting a home battery is in your control. And once you have it, you’ve got control over your energy supply and costs. That’s peace of mind; and that’s worth a lot!
2. Protection from blackouts
The Australian energy crisis showed how vulnerable households and businesses are to disruption in electricity supplies. The threat of load shedding (which basically means widespread blackouts) suddenly hit the headlines. And emergency events experienced across many states in the last few years shows how quickly power outages can happen – how long they can last.
With the right battery, you can run your home for days from your solar panels and battery system without connection to the grid. Not all battery systems provide this functionality so it’s important to check that the battery you’re interested in can do this, if that’s what you want.
3. Reduce your power bills to near-zero
A correctly sized solar panel and battery system should be able to get your home to near-zero electricity bills. You’ll still have to pay the daily supply charge. But you can think of that as back-up electricity for you home in case your solar system needs a boost – for example if there’s a run of cloudy days in winter and not enough sunlight to generate solar energy.
4. Reduce your reliance on the grid
With the electricity grid showing its age, the power quality can be variable. This is particularly true in regional areas but is increasingly becoming the case in the cities as well.
Variable power quality can result in voltage variances; and these reduce the lifespan of electrical appliances. By investing in battery storage, you avoid issues with irregular voltage and prolong the life of your expensive appliances and electrical systems.
5. Get battery rebates at current high value
Right now, the Victorian Government has a generous battery rebate scheme through the Solar Homes Program. But every year, the value of the battery rebate reduces. So the quicker you get in and order a battery, the better chance you’ll have of getting a rebate that’s worth something.
6. Set up your home for transition to all-electric
It’s not just electricity prices that are rising. Gas is getting more expensive too. And with many Victorian homes still running their heating and hot water on gas, that’s not good news.
That’s why the Victorian Government has incentives in place to switch homes and businesses off gas and onto electric systems for heating and hot water. The bill savings are huge, and the rebates can knock hundreds, if not thousands, off the purchase price.
7. Set up your home for EV (electric vehicle) charging
The Labour Government has stated in their climate and energy policy that nine out of ten new car sales in Australia will be electric by 2030. Chances are that you’ll be weighing up the pros and cons of an EV for your next car purchase (or the one after that). Get the right solar battery set-up now – and you’ll be ready for free home EV charging when the time comes.
8. Reduce your carbon footprint
Whenever you use grid power, you’re using electricity that’s 70 per cent sourced from coal or gas. By using the solar energy stored in your battery, you avoid dirty power from the grid. That means clean energy to run your home and a better outcome for the environment.
9. Earn extra income by joining a Virtual Power Plant
Virtual Power Plants, or VPPs, are becoming increasingly common in Australia. They are a way of connecting thousands of household solar battery systems to provide on-demand electricity to support the grid. Battery owners are incentivized to join a VPP through an upfront discount for purchasing a battery, electricity bill credits or a combination of the two. Just make sure you talk to an expert before selecting a VPP as some will use your battery more than others.
10. Be prepared!
The biggest benefit of all with battery storage is that you’re prepared for anything. Blackouts, grid failures, energy price spikes, emergency events, an electric car, making your home all-electric – so the list goes on.
Putting a value on these items is subjective. Every household will be different in terms of whether the cost of battery storage is worth it.
The right battery can set you up with extra solar generation capacity which is another bonus for anyone wanting more energy independence.
It’s all about being prepared. And that starts with getting the best battery advice for your home.
Get in touch
If you’d like expert advice on battery storage for your home or business, get in touch. At Specialized Solar & Electrical we employ a team of Clean Energy Council Accredited Solar Battery Specialists and Installers. We supply and install leading battery brands including SolarEdge, Tesla Powerwall and Sungrow. If you’re wanting the costs and benefits of battery storage assessed for your property, we’ve got the skills and experience to provide you with what you need.