As prices of energy storage are declining so fast and energy prices still rise, a number of home battery storage product options are popping up in Australian market for residents to choose from.
As batteries are beginning to look attractive to the eyes of residents and businesses, let us share to you the good reasons why installing battery storage should be done right now.
Reduce your electricity bills & avoid bill shock
You read it right; batteries can help you to reduce your electricity bills significantly. If you have a big enough solar system on your roof and enough battery capacity, you could potentially eliminate the entirety of the ‘consumption charge’ portion of our bill (the portion that is based on how many units of electricity you use).
And if your household is like most households that go solar these days, you’re more likely to pay attention to how and when you consume your electricity throughout the day. This awareness – which is helped along quite nicely with a good monitoring or home energy management system – goes a long way towards helping you stay on top of your consumption habits and head off outrageous bills before they can happen.
As long as you remain connected to the grid, what you won’t be able to eliminate is the fixed ‘supply charge’ component of your bill – usually about $0.80 – $1.50 per day, depending on your electricity retailer and where you live. (Beware of solar salespeople bearing promises of ‘no electricity bills’!) Getting rid of this part of your bill would mean going off the grid – a move you won’t want to take lightly for a number of reasons. That being said, going off-grid with solar and batteries has never been more affordable, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good investment from a purely financial perspective (yet!).
Increase Energy Independence
Don’t like relying on electricity from the grid? Batteries reduce the amount that you need to draw from it to meet your electricity needs. Solar panels on their own can help you do this as well, but they’re not as flexible – you need to use the energy they produce while it’s being generated, or it automatically goes out into the grid. Batteries help you to keep more of the energy that you generate in your home for you to use yourself. This is mainly a psychological benefit, as electricity from the grid will do the exact same job as energy from your solar/batteries in terms of running your appliances, but it’s still pretty cool to be able to say that you have at least some degree of energy independence. Some battery storage systems (but not all – shop carefully) will come with the ability to power your home even when the grid is down – a battery backup.
Limit your losses as you come off a state-sponsored feed-in tariff
A number of solar homes in NSW, South Australia and Victoria recently came off of state-backed solar feed-in tariff incentives. These homes will have seen the value of their excess, exported solar energy drop significantly down to as little as 5c/kWh – only a fraction of the retail electricity price. This change is sure to leave quite a few of these homes fuming at their electricity retailers and looking for ways to ensure that their precious solar energy retains its value. Although you’ll have to shop around to ensure you chose a battery product that maximises this value, installing a battery bank is one way to stem the flow of energy into the grid and mitigate the potential losses.
Trade your energy on the grid
Home battery storage is opening up a whole new world of possibilities, as electricity retailers and network companies explore ways harness batteries to reduce wholesale market price spikes and curtail peak demand – something we like to call ‘selective export‘. Fitted out with the appropriate kit (such as Reposit Power‘s Reposit Box), any battery storage system may potentially earn a premium rate for stored energy that is exported to the grid at the right time (as determined by your retailer or network operator). It’s unclear exactly what the annual financial benefit of this sort of energy trading might be at the moment, but it promises to tip the scales of batteries’ investment-worthiness in a positive direction. Plus, you as a battery storage system owner will get to know (and brag) that you’re a hotshot energy trader (kind of).
Help build the grid of the future
While home battery storage is still in its infancy here in Australia, it’s widely anticipated that it will only be a matter of time before batteries are nearly as commonplace as solar panels. Morgan Stanley, for example, has predicted that there will be over 1 million homes with batteries installed in Australia before the end of the decade. With this influx of battery deployments will come a massive shift in the way that Australia as a nation handles its energy generation & distribution – the advent of the so-called ‘smart grid’. In this grid of the future, individual households will be active players who not only buy energy from the grid, but also contribute energy to it. By installing a home battery system, you can help to shape the future.