As of today, I can confidently say as an undeniable fact that solar batteries are trending upwards. However, we’re not quite there yet. Of 3.3 million Australian homes with solar panels, only 180,000 have solar batteries.(1)
Why is there such a huge disparity? Is it because solar batteries are expensive? If so, how much do solar batteries cost?
To briefly answer those questions, yes, solar batteries can be quite expensive, especially if you’re adding them to an existing solar system.
Don’t be discouraged, though. They’re well worth it — as I will explain later on. For now, let’s jump straight to answering your most immediate concerns. Tap on any of the topics listed below to jump straight to their sections:
- What is the cost of solar batteries in Australia?
- A solar battery is expensive but it’s also worth it
- Sizing your home’s solar battery storage
- Solar battery storage alternatives
How much do solar batteries cost?
The cost of solar batteries in Australia can range from $1000 per kWh to $2000 per kWh. These prices are already inclusive of the installation costs.
Now, you might be wondering why the price of solar batteries has such a huge range — and it all boils down to whether you’re installing a solar battery with a new solar system or integrating it into an existing one.
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Installing a solar battery with a new system VS. Adding to an existing system
In a nutshell, you should expect to pay north of $1000 per kWh when installing your solar battery with your new solar system. If you want to add it to an already existing system, however, that’s when your installation costs go up to $2000 per kWh.
The process when installing a battery alongside a new solar system is typically more streamlined. This allows the installer some room for cost and time savings which, ultimately, makes the service more affordable to you.
On the other hand, adding a battery to a running system involves a more complex integration process, often translating to a higher installation cost.
Before you bank on these figures, though, remember that they’re only rough estimates. The actual prices depend on many factors, such as the battery type, model, brand, and other relevant specifications.
Solar batteries are expensive, yes, but they’re also worth it.
The fact that it comes with so many benefits makes a solar battery storage system well worth your hard-earned money.
We have a more detailed discussion around this topic in another article but the most important advantage you need to know is that a solar battery will enable you to use all of your solar energy.
This, in turn, reduces your reliance on the power companies, significantly pulling down every electricity bill you will ever have.
This, by the way, also increases your return on investment (ROI) and is the best way to maximize your solar-powered savings.
Choosing the right battery size for your home
The most oversimplified way I can explain this is that the size of your solar battery should be equal to that of your consumption. For example, if you use 10 kWh of electricity per day, a 10 kWh solar battery will serve you best.
It’s not always as straightforward as that, though. Like almost anything, finding the ideal solar battery size for your home will depend on several factors.
This includes the size and output of your solar panel system, the battery’s depth of discharge (DoD), how many days of backup power you want, your budget, and, of course, your daily average energy consumption.
For your daily average, you will most likely find that information on your previous power bills. The other factors are covered in our in-depth guide to help you size your solar battery appropriately.
Are there alternatives to solar batteries?
For storing your excess solar energy? There sure are. These include solar hot water systems (solar energy diverters), virtual power plants (VPP), smart relays, and feed-in tariffs.
While I’m confident that a solar battery system carries a wealth of benefits, I also understand that they’re not always a feasible option. So let’s talk about the other ways you can save more from your excess energy.
Solar hot water (solar energy diverters)
In this system, your excess electricity will be stored as heat. More specifically, hot water.
It’s a cost-effective alternative to a solar and battery system that uses energy diverters to, well… divert your unused solar power to your hot water cylinder.
This, in turn, leaves you with a tank full of hot water — for free!
So, you not only reduce your electricity bills, you get a relaxing hot shower at night, too.
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Using smart relays
Smart relays automatically switch certain appliances on when you have excess solar power. This increases your home’s self-consumption of its solar energy which, in turn, maximizes your savings.
For example, let’s say you work during the day and your solar modules generate more electricity during the afternoon. Smart relays could make it so your air conditioner turns on at around 3 PM, giving your home the perfect temperature when you come back from work at around 4 o’clock.
Now, let’s turn that around and say you’re a night owl and you wake up at around lunchtime. Smart relays could turn on your dishwasher during the day while you’re still sleeping, so you wake up without having to worry about dirty dishes.
Of course, in both examples, you’re using your excess solar energy. So they’re free.
Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs)
A feed-in tariff, or FiT, is credit you receive from your energy retailer for exporting your extra solar electricity to the grid. Consequently, your energy will then be redistributed to the community.
When Australia’s shift towards greener energy started, FiTs were commonly used to further reduce energy bills.
Today, though, the value of feed-in tariffs has sunk so much lower compared to the cost of buying electricity. At this point, it’s honestly not worth it.
If you’re not committed to getting a solar battery storage system yet, go ahead and check your power retailer’s FiT rates. But, while you’re at it, I recommend considering the other alternatives I stated above, too.
How Long Does A Solar Battery Last?
A modern solar battery can last anywhere between 8 and 15 years. Some can even be usable for up to 20 years.
What Happens To A Solar Battery When Its Capacity Is Full?
Most commonly, your system’s charge controller will stop electricity from flowing to your battery storage unit when its capacity is full. Alternatively, you could also choose to send your power to the grid.
Will My Solar Battery Charge During A Power Outage?
If the power outage happens during a time when there’s enough sunlight for your solar panels to generate a surplus of energy, yes, your solar battery system will charge.
To recap, a solar battery installation can cost roughly $1000 or $2000 per kW, depending on if you’re installing the solar battery storage with a new solar system or adding it to an existing one. The latter is going to be more expensive because it’s a more complex process.
If you choose to install a solar battery system, rest assured you will enjoy a wealth of money-saving benefits. If you don’t, you also have other alternatives to battery systems that you can choose from.
Either way, you’re still going to need a solar installer, so allow me to plug in our services.
We have a network of pre-vetted solar installers all across Australia. They’re all CEC-accredited, too, so your system will be eligible for rebates. If you need them, we can get you 3 FREE quotes from them right away.