Battery Storage System – Think before you buy

The announcement from the QLD Government about the introduction of a battery grant of up to $3,000 has certainly sparked a lot of consumer interest in battery storage systems but should you jump in and install one?

If you are not bothered about the cost or the lack of a payback period then there is no better time to get a battery system installed but carefully consider what you want from a battery system. Ask yourself the following:

Do you want the system to supply power in the event of a blackout (also known as Emergency Power Supply)?

Do you want the battery to be recharged by the solar panels if the blackout lasts until the following day?

If the answer to either or both questions is yes then you need to choose carefully as not all battery storage systems have these features. When shopping around for quotes make it very clear what you are after and ensure that you have written confirmation from the company offering you a battery system before you accept any quotation.

Payback Period

In South East Queensland, we are blessed with electricity retailers that are fighting to attract and retain customers and they do this by offering large discounts and large feed in tariffs.

Energy Australia currently offer a 28% discount and a 16.1 cent feed in tariff and other retailers such as AGL will offer you a 20 cent feed in tariff but no discount.

Without a battery, any excess solar power is exported to the grid and you will get paid by the retailer for that power, however when you install a battery excess solar power is used to charge the battery therefore it isn’t exported and you won’t get paid for it.

At night, you then use the power stored in the battery you won’t be paying for that power so your net saving is the discounted cost of electricity including GST less what you would have received as a feed in tariff. For those customers with Energy Australia the discounted cost of electricity is a fraction under 20 cents and the feed in tariff is 16.1 cents

To put that in perspective the advertised price for a Tesla Powerwall 2 is $12,795 which after the $3,000 grant reduces to $9,795.

The storage capacity of the Tesla is 13kWhs and we can calculate the net daily savings as;

13 x ($0.20 – $0.161) = $0.507 per day

With an annual saving of just $185 the payback period for this battery is 52.94 years.

With battery prices predicted to fall and new technologies coming to the market all the time ask yourself is now the best time to buy a battery or should you simply install a solar power system now and think about batteries down the track?

A quality solar power system without a battery will pay for itself in 3 – 4 years.

Contact SunWorks Solar today for more information.