Many Australians with an interest in solar find the dynamics between batteries and feed-in tariffs confusing. This is completely normal. After all, it’s true that starting a solar installation project can be a little intimidating. Yes, installing a solar system can be great – but it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why now is a great time to look at the relationship between batteries and feed-in tariffs in Australia and ultimately how homeowners like yourself can achieve energy independence with a healthy home economy.
The Basics of Batteries, Feed-in Tariffs and The Home Economy in Sydney
Batteries: Solar panels generate energy during the day. As they do, the excess can be stored in a battery for later use, for when electricity is in need but the panels are not producing power/energy.
Feed-in tariffs: Feed-in tariffs are a credit that solar panel owners receive for any excess energy they generate with their panels that is then fed back to the grid.
Energy independence: We think of energy independence for homeowners as being in a position to rely on your own electricity generated from a solar system, and incorporating a battery to house excess energy production for use later (instead of sending excess energy back to the grid for a feed-in tariff).
The home economy: At Soltek we talk to our customers about the home economy. This is even more important to us than energy independence. The home economy is the idea that your home and its electricity usage is centred on power coming in versus costs going out. We think of power as a currency homeowners can use to reduce or remove grid costs. We encourage homeowners to not only think about installing solar, but also keep the bigger picture in mind. Focus on the production (PV Solar) of your power currency, how and when you use this power, whether storing your power (battery storage) works for you, and how you can reduce your current usage through solutions like heat pump hot water and heat pump pool heating as well as selecting energy-efficient devices for your home. All of this together allows your home economy to flourish.
Whether you want to plan out an efficient home economy or you prefer to install solar and receive credit from feed-in tariffs, this will be dependent on your specific circumstances.
The Choice Between Feed-in Tariffs or Battery Storage
It’s not critical to have a battery in order to gain access to a feed-in tariff. In fact, it’s not necessary to have a battery at all. In such cases, any excess energy will automatically be fed out to the grid. This said, many Aussies installing a solar system do find there’s value in having a battery. Furthermore, many Aussies that right now do not have a solar battery are looking to get one in future, once battery technology advances further.
So although it’s not a hard and fast choice, it’s instead one best thought of as being a question of strategy. It’s held as of December 2020 more than 2.66 million rooftop solar systems had been installed across Australia. Just as many millions more are set to be installed, existing solar installations will get added to, and otherwise modified in years ahead. For example, as well as adding a battery, it’s expected many homes will eventually install a charging station for an electric vehicle (EV) that is charged – at least in-part – by the solar installation.
The Case for Going Double
Installing a solar system is not about the benefits you get on day 1 of its use, but day 100, day 1,000, and so on. A solar system can drive down energy costs, and drive up the value of a property. In this regard, getting a battery will make the installation a bigger job, but it means the extra energy the panels generate can be stored, and then later utilised.
The Home Economy
The home economy (or business economy) is a renewable journey rather than just one step towards reduced power bills.
The benefits you get from solar, storage and efficient energy management in your home outweigh any benefits you can get from solar alone. It’s why we talk about an overall solution for the home economy, rather than just focusing on one aspect like solar or batteries.
Remember, the home economy brings together:
- Production (PV Solar) of your power currency
- Identifying how and when you use this power
- Determining whether storing your power (battery storage) works for you
- Investigating how you can reduce your current usage through more energy-efficient solutions like heat pump hot water and heat pump pool heating as well as energy-efficient devices and practices for your home.
A rich home economy means greater electricity savings and peace of mind knowing that your home is efficiently renewable.
Contact Soltek today to learn more about the home economy and how we can help you get to this position in your home or business.
Why Investing in a Battery is Starting to Make More Sense for Homeowners
It’s necessary to keep in mind that the solar industry is – notwithstanding its ongoing growth – subject to change when it comes to both batteries and feed-in tariffs. Put simply, batteries are getting better as time goes on. In turn, while many governments have sought to implement generous feed-in tariffs to incentivise installations in years prior, the sheer popularity of solar across Australia today means in future the rate of such feed-in tariffs will reduce, and eventually likely come to an end altogether.
This is why we believe relying on feed-in tariffs is not the optimum strategy for homeowners looking for energy independence or an efficient home economy. Depending on your circumstances, you may be better off with a battery to store excess electricity (for periods when no power is being produced) and find ways to minimise current usage.
Battery technology is advancing and has a great part to play in the home economy. Some are choosing to watch and wait for battery prices to come down and technology advancements to improve. But in the meantime they may be suffering from lower feed-in tariffs when they send their excess energy back to the grid. For many homeowners, a battery storage system would be a better option and lead to quicker system payback.
Where Can I Find Out More About Feed-in Tariffs and Excess Power Storage?
The Australian government has a good starting point for anyone looking to come up to speed on specific rates for feed-in tariffs across Australia. The precise rates for a feed-in tariff can vary across Australian states and territories, and from one energy provider to the next. Many people make use of energy price comparison websites to find a feed-in tariff they like.
It’s also useful to keep in mind that these feed-in tariffs can be subject to change. If you’re in Sydney and you find a tariff you like today, or want a solar battery storage system to store your excess energy instead of sending it back to the grid, simply talk to us today, we’d be more than happy to discuss battery options, feed-in-tariffs, or energy-saving solutions like heat pump systems that meet your specific needs and get you closer to an efficient home economy with less reliance on the grid.