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Five things you need to know about solar battery storage

We're all excited about the rise of solar battery storage. Make sure you know your facts!

1. What is solar battery storage?

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems can only produce electricity while the sun is shining. Until recently, even if you had solar PV panels, you’ve still had to rely on the grid for night time power. Now, wall mounted home solar battery storage systems can store your excess solar production, allowing you to power your home with solar energy 24 hours a day.

2. What’s my payback period?

Solar battery storage is relatively new to the market and requires a significant financial investment. Your payback period is the length of time the system takes to pay for itself out of the energy savings made. Your solar retailer will calculate your payback period.

3. Does size matter?

Bigger systems cost more, and with a reduction in feed-in tariffs (now 7.13 cents/kWh), there is not as much of an incentive to produce more electricity than you need. It may be better to get a smaller system and work on your energy efficiency measures than to get a bigger system and over-produce.
To avoid over-producing you need to estimate how much electricity you are using in the daylight hours (when your panels will be producing) and after dark (when you’ll be drawing down your battery).

4. Can I go ‘off-grid’ if I get solar battery storage?

To be completely independent of the electricity grid, you need to plan for several days without sunshine. You’ll need a much larger solar PV system, a much larger battery storage system and a back-up generator, just in case. The cost and physical size of such a setup make it impractical for most urban households.

5. I don’t have solar panels, should I wait for the price of batteries to drop before installing?

According to Choice, a new solar PV system alone is price positive for all Australian households because of their low cost. Prices have dropped 75% in the past five years. If you’re interested in solar battery storage, but are considering waiting for the price to fall, you could install a PV system now that is solar storage ready.

Always get a few quotes before deciding on a retailer and consider choosing a Clean Energy Council Approved Retailer. Residents of participating Councils are eligible for a discount on the purchase of solar PV systems through Rewards for Residents.