When you combine smart energy consumption with the long-term efficiency of a solar battery, you’re on the right path to saving money. But like any big investment, it’s important to know how to get the best out of your system so you can maximise the benefits available to you.
Let’s break down some of the costs and potential savings:
Your initial investment
Just as every home and business has different electricity requirements, your battery storage size (and therefore cost to purchase) will be dependent on your needs. A solar battery tends to range from $1000 – $2000 per kWh storage capacity, in addition to the installation costs for your new unit. If you have an existing panel array to retrofit, you may also need to budget for a solar inverter as well. A customised quote will give you the best idea of what battery and installation costs will suit your unique electricity needs, based on your usage and any existing panels you have in place.
‘Feed-in’ tariffs verses ‘peak-period’ costs
Without a solar battery, any excess solar energy that your panels produce during the day gets pushed to the electrical grid to be re-dispersed. In return you’ll receive a feed-in tariff (per kW) – the variable payment you get from your electricity retailer for sharing your excess energy. At its inception, this financial kickback was significant, however as more Australian houses join the solar revolution, over-supply has seen this advantage decline to almost negligible rates.
In addition, we are now also seeing an increased cost in supply to feed that electricity back to you at night when you need it most. This is due to the ‘peak period’ strain on electrical grid resources as consumers arrive home from work and begin to switch on lights and appliances.
When you balance the lower feed-in tariffs against higher costs of drawing from the electrical grid, the advantage of using your surplus electricity yourself has stronger appeal. By retrofitting your existing panel system with a solar battery, you can put those savings back into your own pocket.
Some best practices for saving money:
Start small and size up – choose a battery system that can expand with your needs. Buy a battery that will cover your current electricity requirements, and add additional batteries later, as you can afford it.
Do your rebate research – remember to take advantage of any solar rebates or subsidies offered in your local area to reduce your initial outlay where possible.
Be energy-consumption savvy – know your high-use electricity times and make sure your battery is timed to cover you during peak-periods. Manage your electricity load by setting your high-energy appliances for use during the day when your battery can recharge. To help you keep tabs on your electricity use, some solar batteries also allow you to monitor your system via an internet app, giving you unparalleled visibility.
A rewarding solution – not all savings are financial. By choosing to store and use your own solar energy, you’ll also have the peace of mind that comes with being energy-independent, avoiding blackouts, and promoting environmental sustainability.