Whether you’re just starting out on your solar journey, or you already have a solar system on your roof, the question ‘is this really worth it?’ has likely crossed your mind. Having solar panels is a great first step towards independence from the grid. But are you saving as much on your energy bills as you once were?
That’s where battery storage comes in. The good news is that you can add battery storage at any time – whether you’re just starting out, or if you’ve already got an established solar system installed. This can look two different ways; either you get rooftop panels, an inverter, and a separate battery, or you can get a hybrid battery system connected to the panels, which includes a solar inverter and battery storage in one streamlined cabinet, reducing the need for excess cabling between separate components.
So should you consider battery storage moving into the warmer months? Let’s take a deep dive into the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of battery storage, and answer the question ‘is it worth investing in battery storage this summer?’
Are solar panels enough?
If you already have solar panels, you may not be getting the most out of the energy they generate.
Your solar panels generate a lot of energy in the morning and the middle of the day when the sun’s shining – a time when most people aren’t home and able to use that energy. Of course, by the time the evening comes and people are returning home from work and getting ready to cook dinner, the sun’s no longer shining and the solar generated during the day is no longer available. Presumably, you’d then be purchasing energy from the grid when you’re needing it in the evenings.
That’s where battery storage would come in and store energy during those peak times, so you can use your home’s self-generated energy as you need it.
Additionally, the feed-in tariffs (the money you make from feeding your excess solar-generated power back to the grid) were very attractive in the early days of solar. But now, there’s been a huge uptake of solar in Australia (around 30% of Aussie households now have rooftop solar) which has caused a fall in the feed-in tariff in most regions.
Essentially, the money you’d make from feed-in tariffs is most likely significantly less than it once was.
When’s the right time to add battery storage?
The short answer: sooner is better – particularly if your energy needs are significant or your suburb is prone to blackouts.
Having the correct-sized battery storage to complement the rooftop solar means that you may power selected appliances on a backup circuit during a blackout if the grid is down. As long as you have battery power available, the battery will kick in automatically and depending on which appliances you’ve chosen to receive backup power, you may not even realise that the grid is down (which is particularly useful during summer storm blackouts).
Australia’s energy costs have increased exponentially from what they once were. In fact, some east coast Aussie cities have seen a 25-30% increase this year alone. With the cost of living putting households under even greater pressure, having to worry about an ever-rising power bill just isn’t worth it.
Having battery storage means you’re not reliant on an aging energy grid and continually increasing energy prices. Realistically, the sooner you install a battery storage system, the sooner you can beat the prices and make the most of the valuable solar energy that your home is generating.
Will it reduce my carbon footprint?
It’s absolutely possible to reduce your carbon footprint by harnessing more of a natural energy source through battery storage.
According to the Climate Council, coal-based energy is “always polluting, no matter how you label it”. If you’re concerned about using coal-based energy, a battery storage solution is certainly an environmentally conscious choice.
Having a battery to power your home when the sun goes down – from the clean energy generated by the sun during the day – greatly reduces the need to purchase fossil fuel-generated electricity from the grid.
Is battery storage financially worthwhile?
If you’re still ‘umming & ahhing’ about a battery, doing the math on energy savings may contextualise the value of battery storage – outside of the convenience, independence, and environmentally friendly factors that we’ve already discussed.
As electricity prices and the cost of living are ever-rising, it makes sense now more than ever to invest in a solution that can potentially lessen or eliminate your power bills so your hard-earned money can instead be spent doing the things you love.
Many of our customers report small to zero power bills by installing a battery and have become completely self-sufficient. In summer and on sunny days, their batteries can be fully charged by 9:00 AM!
On top of this, there are options to sell your excess electricity back to the grid and to possibly receive a feed-in tariff — where you receive either a credit on your power bill or a payment for this electricity.
So, is it worth getting battery storage this summer?
Absolutely. Of course, everyone’s individual situations differ, and the decision to opt for battery storage will depend on your personal life stage, values and drivers. Our recommendation is to do your research, do the math, and speak to a trusted installer.
Among many others, here are some benefits of getting battery storage ahead of the warmer months:
- Backup Power: In the event of power outages, solar batteries can provide essential backup power to keep crucial appliances running.
- Stabilise the Grid: Solar battery systems can help even out the demand on the grid, especially during peak times.
- Increased Property Value: Homes with integrated solar and battery systems often see an increase in property value.
- Long-Term Savings: As electricity prices rise, the savings from using stored solar energy can become even more significant over time.
- Flexible Energy Consumption: You have more control over when and how you consume energy, helping to optimise your energy habits and savings.
- Clean Energy: Reduce reliance on fossil fuels and ‘do your bit’ by reducing your carbon footprint.
Battery storage maximises the use of your solar panels and can be the final piece in the puzzle for saving money, powering through blackouts and helping towards decarbonisation. You may also find that it may pay for itself quicker than you think.
Overall, wherever you are in your solar journey, battery storage could be the solution you need this summer!