If you’re like most Australians, you’re already paying too much for electricity. The cost of energy is tipped to rise by 23.7% in some states as of July 2023, according to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). With prices expected to continue surging, now is the time to make a change – enter solar batteries Australia.
Solar batteries are a great way to take back control of your energy costs. Also known as energy storage devices, they come in various sizes, capabilities, and price tags.
Join us as we discuss solar batteries in Australia and why they might be a good option for you. We’ll also explore the rising electricity prices and why it makes sense to invest in solar now. We’ll wrap up by providing some tips on how to choose the right solar battery. Read on!
Solar Batteries Australia
Australia is blessed with abundant sunshine, and solar systems have recently gained significant popularity. The nation of sun lovers is experiencing a big solar revolution. With electricity bills on the rise, many homeowners are taking control of their energy bills by investing in solar technology. With this comes the increased need for solar batteries to store excess electricity generated by solar panels during the day.
A recent Sunwiz survey reports that the Australian solar battery market has grown by 55% from 2021 to 2022. This increase is triggered by a couple of factors, including:
- The country’s high electricity prices
- Government incentives to encourage the adoption of solar energy
- Advances in the technology of solar battery systems make them more affordable
With this significant demand for battery systems comes an increasing range of options, depending on your needs and budget. Let’s compare the cost of solar batteries Australia. But first, here’s an overview of how these energy storage devices operate so you understand why you should get one (or two).
How Solar Energy Batteries For Storage Work
Solar energy batteries are like a second set of solar panels that store energy for you to use when the sun isn’t out – or when energy prices are higher. They work by converting the direct current (DC) electricity generated by solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is then stored in the battery for later use. The batteries are designed to discharge the stored energy as needed.
Two main types of batteries are used for solar power: Lead-acid and lithium-ion.
- Lead-acid batteries: These are the most widely used type of solar batteries and have been around for decades. They are more cost-effective but take up more space. Lead-acid solar batteries are available in two forms: flooded (wet-cell) and sealed. Flooded lead-acid batteries require regular maintenance, while sealed lead-acid batteries are maintenance-free.
- Lithium-ion batteries: These batteries are lightweight, have a high energy density, and are designed to withstand frequent charging and discharging cycles. They are lightweight and have a longer lifespan compared to lead-acid batteries. They also require less maintenance and can be discharged to a greater extent without damaging the battery.
Other types of batteries commonly used for solar energy storage include flow, nickel-cadmium, and sodium batteries.
The Cost of Solar Batteries in Australia
The cost of solar batteries has declined significantly in recent years, making them more accessible to homeowners. But before we get into the details, let’s break down the two main costs associated with solar batteries:
A solar battery system comes with an upfront cost, depending on the manufacturer, size, and other specifications. On average, Australians can expect to pay around $8,000-$16,000 upfront for a home battery system with a capacity of 13 kWh.
Ongoing costs of running a solar battery system include energy loss from charging and discharging it and maintenance costs such as inspection or replacement of the battery components. Factor this cost into your decision-making process before investing in one.
Check out the current cost of the top three solar batteries in the Australian market:
|S.no.||Solar Battery||Price||Type||Usable Energy||DoD||Warranty (years)||Mounting Options|
|1||Tesla Powerwall 2||5kWh - Not available||Lithium-ion||5kWh - Not available||1||10||Wall or floor|
|10kWh - Not available||10kWh - Not available||0.96|
|2||Alpha ess||13.5kWh - Over $15,000||Lithium-ion||13.5kWh||0.95||2 to 5||Wall or floor|
|3||LG Chem Solar Battery||5kWh - $7,000 to $9,000||Lithium-ion||4.8 kWh||0.9||10||Wall or floor|
|10kWh - $12,000 to $13,000||9.6 kWh|
|4||SolaX Solar Battery||5kWh - Not available||Lithium-ion||5kWh - Not available||0.9||10||Wall or floor|
|10kWh - $10,000 to 13,000||9.6 kWh|
|5kWh - Not available||5kWh - Not available|
|10kWh - $4,500 - 5,500||9kW|
What Affects the Cost of Solar Batteries?
So, how much does solar batteries cost? Several factors determine the cost of solar batteries, so let’s break it down piece by piece.
Some brands come with a few extra bells and whistles in the form of prolonged warranties and advanced features. The cost of a well-known and established brand may be higher than for lesser-known brands. So if you’re looking for something with smart metering or intelligent software, you must account for that when budgeting for your solar battery purchase.
Battery Capacity and Type
The bigger your battery, the more energy it can store – the higher the cost. Batteries are usually sold in kilowatt-hour (kWh) units so a 10kWh battery will be more expensive than a 5kWh one. The cost of different types of batteries varies, with lithium-ion batteries often priced higher than lead-acid batteries.
Installation charges depend on the size and complexity of the current system, the location, and the labor costs. Installing high-quality batteries requires additional gear such as brackets, cabling, racking, or controllers.
Market Demand and Competition
The demand for solar batteries and competition among manufacturers and installers can also affect costs. As demand increases and competition grows, prices for solar batteries may decrease.
Government Entitlements And Subsidies
Government entitlements and subsidies save you money on buying, installing, and maintaining solar batteries. To make adding a battery more affordable for households with existing solar PV systems, the Victorian Government has launched various Solar Battery Rebate programs.
Why You Need to Invest in Solar Batteries
You may be wondering why you need to invest in solar batteries in Australia. Here are reasons why you should consider adding a battery to your current rig:
The primary benefit of investing in solar batteries is to reduce energy costs. By storing the excess power your photovoltaic (PV) system generates during the day, you can use this energy during peak demand periods like overnight when electricity prices are typically higher.
Check out this example:
A five-bedroom suburban home in NSW occupied by three adults and three children has a 5kW solar system and daily energy use of 25kWh. Hoping to become more self-sufficient, the homeowner upgrades with a 5kW rooftop solar panel and 13.5kWh battery with a 10-year warranty. The system cost is $18,500 with a payback period of 12 years. Of the total electricity generated, the household consumes 9,125 kWh per year, selling-off the extra to the grid. This results in annual savings of $1,500 and a self-sufficiency rate of 77%.
You minimize your reliance on the grid, effectively lowering your electricity bill. Many state governments offer incentives and rebates for installing solar batteries, saving you more money.
Reduced Reliance on the Grid
Investing in a solar battery means more energy Independence as you reduce reliance on the grid. This is particularly useful during power outages or when demand on the grid is high. You use the stored solar energy to power your home or business, allowing for greater autonomy with regard to your energy needs.
With the increasing volatility of energy prices, Australians can achieve much-needed peace of mind knowing they have more control over their electricity bills. This is particularly important for those living in rural or remote areas where grid reliability can be an issue.
Solar power is an environmentally conscious choice that helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from traditional forms of power generation like coal or natural gas. Energy batteries significantly reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of electricity you need to purchase from the grid. Investing in one is a positive step towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.
Increased Property Value
Unlike traditional commodities such as cars or electronics, investing in a solar battery system raises the value of your home. Solar energy is increasingly becoming a key determining factor for home buyers looking for energy-efficient and sustainable homes. This makes any investment into solar battery systems even more attractive as it will likely increase the overall return on investment when it comes time to sell or move house.
The federal and state governments offer incentives and rebates to encourage the installation of solar batteries to existing PV systems. These solar battery incentives make investing more affordable and accessible for households and businesses. Check below for some rebates you can access in your territory or state:
New South Wales
Residents can take advantage of the NSW Home Battery Scheme. Eligible applicants can access interest-free loans for solar battery installation.
- Home Battery Scheme (HBS): Ended in June 2022.
- Battery Storage for Business: Regional rebate of up to $1,500 towards the cost of a battery system for qualifying businesses.
- South Australia Virtual Power Plant::An ongoing project designed to create a “virtual power plant” by linking thousands of individual solar and Tesla systems, which can be managed as a single entity to maximize power output to the grid.
- The Adelaide sustainability incentives scheme: A program that offers grants, rebates, and discounts to help cover the cost of implementing sustainable practices and technologies to residents and businesses in Adelaide.
The Western Australian government provides no state incentives for solar or home batteries. However, under the Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS), homes can earn a ‘feed-in tariff’ for their renewable energy generation – a credit on your energy bill for extra power exported to the grid.
There are currently no home solar battery rebates, however, residents can access no-interest loans for battery purchases of up to $3,000. The region has some of the best feed-in tariffs of 5 – 9c per kilowatt hour.
ACT (Australian Capital Territory)
- Next Gen Energy Storage program: No longer taking applicants after attaining the goal of 5,000 batteries in Canberra homes and businesses.
- Sustainable Household Scheme: No-interest loans are available to homes and businesses to make sustainable upgrades to their existing PV systems..
Factors to Consider Before Investing in Solar Batteries
Before you invest in a solar battery, there are a few things you need to consider, as they impact the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the investment. These include the following:
Cost vs. Benefits
Investing in solar batteries comes with an upfront cost. It is essential to consider the long-term benefits that it can provide. This includes the potential reduction in your electricity bills, the ability to store excess energy produced during the day, and the reduced reliance on grid energy. You need to weigh the cost of the battery against these benefits to determine if a solar battery is a cost-effective investment for your needs
The Payback Period
The payback period refers to the time it takes for the cost savings from the solar battery investment to equal the initial investment cost. You need to calculate the payback period by considering your energy consumption, the cost of the battery, and the potential savings that it can provide. It usually takes a couple of years before they start paying off, so make sure it fits within your timeline and budget before investing further.
Here’s the approximate payback period for the above use cases:
|S.no||State/Territory||5kWh ROI Period (Years)||10kWh ROI Period (Years)|
|1||New South Wales||12.5||11.7|
Understanding your energy needs is crucial in determining the appropriate battery size to meet household electricity demands. It’s best to install a battery that can store enough energy to power your home during times when solar electricity is not being produced, such as at night or during cloudy weather.
Solar batteries are designed to work with specific types of solar systems, such as string inverters or microinverters. If you choose a battery that is not compatible with your solar system, it may not function properly or could even damage your system. The communication protocols between the battery and the solar system must match to operate efficiently.
Available Space For Installation
Solar batteries come in different sizes and shapes, so consider the space you have for installation. It should fit well into the designated area and be in an easily accessible location for maintenance.
Solar batteries have a lifespan that can vary from 5 to 15 years, depending on the brand and model. It is vital to consider the battery’s lifespan and warranty when making a decision, as this influences the long-term cost-effectiveness of the investment.
Solar batteries require regular maintenance to ensure they are functioning efficiently. Consider the maintenance requirements of the battery and whether the service is covered under warranty and factor this into the overall cost of the investment.
Government incentives significantly reduce the upfront cost of a solar battery system and enable homeowners to enjoy the setup’s benefits. Other than the federal government’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), state incentives and rebates can make purchasing and installing solar batteries more affordable.
By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about investing in solar batteries that aligns with your energy needs, budget, and long-term goals.
Choosing the Right Solar Battery For You
Now that you know more about solar batteries and their costs in Australia, it’s time to consider which one is right for you. With so many different types of solar batteries available, choosing the right one can be daunting.
To help you make an informed decision, consider the following key factors when choosing a solar battery system. Here’s how:
Evaluate Your Pattern of Usage
Evaluate how much energy you use, when consumption is highest, and how much you invest in a solar battery system. Understanding your usage patterns lets you choose a battery size tailored to your needs. This eventually ensures you get the best return on your investment.
There are several different types of batteries, each with its own unique characteristics. The most common solar system battery types are lead-acid and lithium-ion. Lead-acid batteries are more affordable but have a shorter lifespan and require more maintenance than lithium-ion batteries. On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries are more expensive but offer a longer lifespan and require less maintenance.
Battery Capacity & Voltage
The capacity of a solar battery is measured in kiloWatt-hours (kWh), while voltage determines how much electricity can be stored or travel through it at once. The higher the battery capacity, the more energy you can keep.
A larger capacity translates to longer runtimes for high-power appliances like air conditioners. A higher voltage, on the other hand, delivers better performance but will be more expensive. But be careful not to exceed what’s recommended for your home’s electrical system.
Depth of Discharge (DoD)
The amount by which a battery can be safely discharged before it begins to damage itself is known as its Depth of Discharge (DoD). Some models can be discharged up to 80% before recharging, while others only go to 50%. The deeper the DoD, the more energy you can store, but the more frequently the battery needs to be recharged.
The lifespan of a battery is determined by the number of charge and discharge cycles it can undergo before it needs to be replaced. Lithium-ion batteries generally have a longer lifespan than lead-acid batteries, with some models lasting over ten years.
Best Time to Invest in Solar Batteries, Now or Later?
When it comes to investing in solar batteries, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The best time to invest depends on your unique situation and needs. But with the current subsidies and incentives currently being offered in Australia, it’s hard to ignore the added value you can get from investing in solar batteries sooner rather than later.
At Solar Power Nation we offer a variety of top-quality batteries that can be tailored to meet your demands and budget. At Solax, we understand that investing in solar batteries can be a big decision. That’s why we make it a priority to be as helpful and informative as possible. Contact us for a no obligation analysis and quote from our team of experts