Why a Solar Battery is a Smart Investment for Your Retirement
Published On: November 24th, 2023|8 min read|
As you approach your retirement, securing a comfortable and financially stable future becomes a top priority. In this vibrant phase of your life you’re no longer confined by the demands of a daily job, allowing you to explore fresh horizons and make the most of your time.
While preparing for retirement often involves careful financial planning (like managing your superannuation and mortgage, exploring pension options, and saving for leisure activities), there’s another long-term financial consideration that deserves a spot on your list: solar and battery storage. Why? As electricity prices continue to rise, retirees are feeling the pinch. But, with solar and battery storage, some retirees are reporting significantly reduced or even eliminated power bills.
“We just received our first bill [since installing a Redback solar battery] and we are now $75 in credit,” said retiree Wendy.
Throughout your retirement, solar batteries can play a huge role in strengthening your financial security, protecting your retirement nest egg, and fostering a more eco-conscious lifestyle. In this blog, we will delve into the compelling reasons why investing in a solar battery system is a smart choice for those looking to make their retirement years shine even brighter.
Beating the cost of living with a home battery storage system
Transitioning into retirement means shining a spotlight on your financial well-being. But the cost of living is rising, and some Aussie cities have seen a 107% increase in electricity costs from what they were 20 years ago. On top of this, data shows that the cost of living is continuing to rise year upon year, so retirement is proving more financially challenging than ever. It’s natural for retirees to look for further ways to save during their golden years, and reducing your electricity bills could be the solution.
If you already have solar, you’re no stranger to the benefits of generating your own electricity while the sun is shining. But, you may have recently seen your power bill going up due to rising energy costs and falling feed-in tariffs. By taking it a step further by adding battery storage to your home, you can further reduce or potentially eliminate your power bills – while enjoying a myriad of other benefits.
By storing excess solar-generated energy during the day, you can use it in the evenings and on cloudy days, reducing the need to purchase power from energy retailers. Over time, this adds up to substantial savings, giving your retirement fund a nice boost.
Battery storage is more than just a quick fix; it’s a long-term investment that can potentially last 20 years or longer. This extended lifespan ensures that your investment keeps paying off throughout your retirement, even as energy costs continue to climb. With fewer utility expenses, you’ll also have more flexibility to allocate your hard-earned money to other retirement priorities.
Other benefits: Investing in peace of mind
As you transition into retirement, the need for a reliable power supply becomes even more important. It’s not merely a matter of convenience but also a question of ensuring your well-being. Dependable electricity plays a crucial role in keeping the refrigerator running, enabling you to indulge in your cherished hobbies, and bolstering the security of your home with well-illuminated surroundings and an active security system.
Of course, in the event of a blackout, these appliances then become unavailable. Even during the day while the sun is shining, solar alone will not produce power in a blackout. That’s where a fully charged battery storage system would come in to safeguard your essential appliances when you need them most. At the time of installation, your installer can set up a backup circuit and you can work together to ensure the essentials that you value most will be powered during a blackout*.
Recent data shows that many retirees are opting for a ‘sea change’ and flocking to coastal areas to enjoy their retirement. Although the oceanic landscape is picturesque and serene, it’s also a hotbed for high winds and storms which can contribute to grid blackouts. Similarly, if your retirement involves a move to a more regional area, changed weather conditions combined with drought and heat can lead to gas and coal outages as well. If relocating is part of your retirement plan, investing in battery storage can help you keep those essentials online through these unplanned outages.
*Provided your battery is fully charged and online
Are there incentives available?
The idea of saving on electricity bills is hugely attractive to many. But battery storage can also offer other financial benefits to help you maximise your investment even further. Many state governments offer a range of incentives and rebates to promote the adoption of solar battery technology.
For example, eligible ACT homes may be able to get a loan of up to $15,000 to install battery storage at their home, while VIC has an interest-free loan scheme for up to $8,800. Redback Technologies is an approved provider for NT’s solar Home and Business Battery Scheme. The scheme provides a rebate worth $450 per kWh of battery capacity installed up to a maximum grant of $6,000 to homeowners, businesses, not-for-profit and community organisations. These programs can significantly reduce the upfront costs associated with your battery storage investment, making it an even more appealing prospect for your financial well-being.
The concept of a Solar Battery Virtual Power Plant (VPP) has also gained traction in recent years, particularly in Australia. For homeowners participating in a VPP, their solar battery can be discharged or charged by the VPP operator when there’s an opportunity to make money on wholesale or ancillary energy markets. In exchange for this occasional usage, the VPP operator can offer a benefit to homeowners.
Maximising the payoff from battery storage
Two attractive and highly recognised benefits of investing in battery storage include maximising savings and significantly reducing or eliminating power bills. However, there are additional financial benefits available to retirees.
If you decide to downsize or relocate during your retirement, or if you have an investment property that you’re renting out, battery storage can also benefit you by enhancing the value of your property. In today’s real estate market, prospective buyers are increasingly attracted to energy-efficient homes with solar capabilities. In fact, some reports show that energy-efficient homes have seen a 17% rise in value. The report also found that cost-conscious renters are attracted to homes with battery storage, knowing that their quarterly bills will be lowered, or even eliminated.
Another unique point about investing in battery storage technology is that the returns often come in the form of monthly savings rather than taxable income. So, when you consider these financial aspects, it becomes clear that solar batteries offer an attractive and tax-efficient avenue for securing your financial future in retirement.
Long-term benefits of solar battery storage
Aside from the financial benefits, a sense of environmental responsibility also stands as an attractive benefit of opting for battery storage. By investing in a battery and using your own stored solar energy, as opposed to coal power from electricity retailers, you’re reducing your carbon footprint and ‘doing your bit’ to maintain a cleaner planet for generations to come.
What battery system should I get to prepare for my retirement?
Choosing the right battery to prepare for retirement depends on your specific needs and goals. If you want to ensure a reliable backup power source and reduce your reliance on coal power and energy retailers, a battery system is a wise investment. It can help you maintain essential appliances, keep your home comfortable, and even save on energy costs.
When selecting a battery system, consider factors such as capacity (the amount of energy it can store), compatibility with your existing solar panels, and the warranty offered by the manufacturer. It’s also wise to consult with a reputable solar installer who can assess your energy usage and recommend the most suitable battery for your retirement needs. You may also want to explore any available government incentives to help offset the initial cost of the battery. Additionally, it’s important to consider how long your battery will last. Not only will this give you a clear idea of a return-on-investment timeframe, but it will also give you confidence that your investment will last for years to come.
Redback Technologies offers an array of solar in different capacities to meet your power needs. We partner with fully accredited third-party installation partners across the country and have a 10-year Australian-backed warranty, giving you peace of mind that your Redback is built and installed to last. All Redback systems give you access to the MyRedback app or the Redback portal, where you can check your battery’s status and performance from anywhere, at any time. The batteries used in Redback’s products have also been rated at 8,000 cycles which, if cycled once per day, could potentially equate to a 20-year lifespan.
Ultimately, the best battery for your retirement is one that aligns with your specific financial objectives and ensures a secure and comfortable living environment during this phase of life. Speak to a Redback installation partner to find the exact right option for your retirement.
As you embark on your retirement journey, securing your financial well-being while enjoying a comfortable and sustainable lifestyle is the highest priority. Having your retirement marred by financial hardship isn’t ideal, which is why many savvy retirees are considering battery storage as a valuable investment. Battery storage offers a compelling solution, combining energy independence, long-term financial stability, eco-conscious living, and backup power, all while enhancing your property’s value.
It’s a smart investment that not only brightens your golden years but also shines a light on a more promising and sustainable future.