Gareth’s incredible cost-saving battery journey

Published On: December 14th, 2023|7 min read|

Before Gareth Oakes installed his Redback Smart Three-Phase Hybrid in August 2022, he was copping a $600 quarterly power bill.

When we last checked in with Gareth in December 2022, a mere 4 months after installing his Redback, his power bill had plummeted to just $22 per quarter.

Flash forward to November 2023, 15 months after installing his Redback system, Gareth has kissed his power woes goodbye.

“Now we’re saving money – we’re now $500 in credit on our electricity bill,” he said.

“In fact, since we installed the Redback system, we’ve saved thousands.”

One of the Redback Technologies team with a Channel 10 News presenter standing by a Redback Technologies solar unit
Gareth (left) with Redback’s CTO Adrian Knack

Why install a Redback home battery system?

Living on Queensland’s Gold Coast means there’s no shortage of sunshine. That’s why Redback customer Gareth Oakes is making the most of what the Sunshine State has to offer, by generating, storing, and using solar energy to beat rising electricity prices.

The latter part of 2023 showed homeowners the value of battery storage systems, as traditional ‘on grid’ electricity prices rose upwards of up to 28 per cent in some regions. For Gareth, that’s when it became a “no-brainer” to invest in a Redback home battery system.

“We wanted to insulate ourselves from the price rises that were expected from the grid,” Gareth said.

“Rates have also jumped up quite a lot lately, and a $600 quarterly electricity bill on top of that was something that we were worried about.”

The Oakes household has 6 bedrooms with a pool, hot water system, air conditioning system and all the modern cons.

In addition to their 10kW of solar, Gareth and his family added a 14.2kWh capacity Smart 3-Phase Hybrid battery system to their 3-Phase home in mid-2022.

The system is neatly installed outdoors under a subtle awning on the side of the house. Just around the corner from the system, a high-performance electric vehicle sits on charge thanks to the home’s solar and battery setup.

But why Redback? Gareth says neat installation and price were huge draws to the Redback Technologies range.

“We liked that there was an integrated solution, a lot of other batteries are bolted to the wall with a lot of variants in project configuration. With Redback, we were able to acquire one that worked for us at the right size at the right price.”

How’s it holding up?

Although installed outdoors for over a year, Gareth’s Redback system is still in pristine condition, thanks to the IP65/IP54 ingress rating and sturdy aluminium cabinet.

A visual inspection shows no scratches, dents, or marks – even following several severe storms, and an uncomfortable heatwave that drove temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.

Gareth’s Redback system is equipped with a 10-year Australian-backed warranty, and unlimited access to the MyRedback app, which Gareth says has allowed him to be “smart” about his power usage in the home.

“Once we got the Redback system, it came with energy monitoring software so you can visualise it and adjust accordingly, which has helped us maximise our savings,” he said.

A quick peek at Gareth’s MyRedback app shows that the Oakes household is very self-sufficient, with 95% self-produced renewable solar energy over the last 90 days.

In fact, Gareth says producing, storing and using his own power has encouraged him to turn his family into “sustainability converts”.

“We’re all about doing our bit for the planet,” Gareth says.

What about blackouts?

Despite some wild weather, the Oakes household “luckily” hasn’t needed to utilise Redback’s backup capabilities yet. But, if they did, they might not even notice a blackout had occurred.

Redback’s backup circuit can convert over in just 10 milliseconds, switching from ‘on grid’ power to stored energy from the battery in almost an instant.

“It’s nice to know we have the backup capability if we need it,” Gareth said.

During installation, homeowners have the opportunity to select their essentials to put on a backup circuit in case of a blackout. In Gareth’s case, the laundry, kitchen, lighting and refrigerator are secured in case of a power outage.

“The grid is fairly reliable here, but we are ready for a blackout,” he said.

The secret to saving on your power bills

So what’s the best way to get your power bill into credit? Gareth says it’s just a combination of being smart with your usage and taking advantage of his electricity retailer’s feed-in tariff.

The solar deal sweet spot is a plan that combines a low usage and supply charge with a reasonable solar feed-in tariff – something that the Oakes household is all-too familiar with.

“After we’ve finished charging our battery, we’re able to sell the excess solar generation back to the grid and that produces the savings.”

Other tactics to reduce the amount on your electricity bill could include pre-cooling your home while the sun is shining, setting decorative or outdoor lights on timers, utilising energy-efficient LED bulbs around the home, and running ‘energy suckers’ like pool pumps while the sun is shining.

“You can also optimise your usage by putting your dryer on in the middle of the day, not running your washing machine overnight, and things like that, which reduces the need to purchase power from the grid,” Gareth said.

After years of copping a $600-per-quarter power bill, Gareth has now saved around $3000 since installing the Redback 3-Phase Hybrid battery system.

Peace of mind

There are many advantages of installing a home battery system, including sustainability, reduced reliance on electricity retailers and lower or eliminated power bills.

But, Gareth said that the main benefit of his Redback system has been the peace of mind.

“We don’t have to worry about a big electricity bill coming in any more. We go about our day knowing that we’re doing our bit for the planet while knowing we’re saving some money in the process,” he said.

So what’s next for the Oakes household? Gareth said he’s always looking for ways to be more efficient, so a solar project may be in his future.

“We have a solar hot water system. For example, if I stripped that out and put in a heat pump instead, I could fit in more panels on my roof and that’s a more efficient way to use the hot water.”

A snapshot of an all-in-one home battery system

We’ve talked about how Gareth’s all-in-one system has saved him considerably on his power bills. But are there other reasons to get an all-in-one hybrid system, rather than a separate inverter and home battery system?

An all-in-one system, like Redback’s Smart Hybrid and Smart 3-Phase Hybrid, redefines the installation process by eliminating the need for a separate inverter and battery cabinet.

This not only reduces the complexity of external cables but also enhances the overall safety and cleanliness of the installation. For homeowners with children, like Gareth, this presents not only a clean and elegant installation, but less risk of children touching any cabling.

Being ready for blackouts is another feature that an all-in-one system can provide. For instance, the Smart Hybrid System is its ability to continue charging solar storage during grid interruptions. In regions prone to extended blackouts, this capability becomes a game-changer, allowing homeowners to power essential appliances until the grid connection is restored.

Like Gareth, are you always wondering “what next”? As energy needs evolve, the Smart Hybrid System ensures adaptability. Its expandable battery storage capacity allows homeowners to increase storage by adding more battery modules, providing flexibility and future-proofing the solar investment.

So is a Smart Hybrid a good choice for your home or business? Just ask Gareth!

“Redback’s done a great job, they’ve procured some really high-quality components, nice integrated chassis, and a great design,” he said.

If you’re interested in storing your own clean, green electricity like Gareth, then Redback Technologies is your Australian choice for solar and battery storage solutions. Requesting a quote is just the start of your exciting journey towards slashing your power bills.