While prices of solar power batteries have fallen significantly over the past years, their price tags remain hefty. Let’s take a look at how the government is pitching in.
There’s been a lot of talk about solar power batteries, but the reality is that battery powered homes are still far and few between. This article goes into detail about how battery technology has advanced over the last couple of years and it also mentions the number one blocker that still exists: cost.
Solar power battery storage has become smaller, more efficient, safer and smarter. It’s also become a lot less expensive, but it’s still far from cheap. A Tesla Powerwall for example is nearly $10,000 and that’s not including installation.
Despite the strong savings you can experience with a solar power battery, it’s not enough to offset the initial purchase costs in a reasonable timeframe. A solar power system in most cases is able to pay for itself in just a few years. Usually 3 to 5. For a solar power battery this is more like 12 to 15 years until you get a return on your investment.
That’s often several years after the warranty on your battery (10 years on the Tesla Powerwall) has run out.
Government incentives would make it possible to reduce this timeframe to something more manageable.
Why is the government considering incentives for solar power batteries?
There are several reasons why the government is considering increasing the amount of rebates for solar power batteries.
1. Reduce strain on the grid
Every year we experience rolling blackouts during the hottest days of the year. When everyone has their air-conditioner set to the highest setting, a lot of strain is put on the grid. This causes problems that can’t be fixed easily (=cheaply) and the blackouts that are a result are costing the Australian economy hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
If people were to use their batteries instead, that significantly reduces the strain on the grid which in turn reduces the chance of a blackout for the rest of us.
2. Give power back to the people (pun intended)
Energy companies are amongst the biggest companies in the world, worth billions of dollars and responsible for thousands of jobs. That gives energy companies power. The power to raise the prices every year for example. On average 10% per year.
That hurts the economy, because that’s 10% you can’t spend on other things.
By reducing the demand for electricity from the grid and less demand generally leads to lower prices for all of us.
3. Reduce our impact on the world
This one is debatable due to the impact battery production has on the world, but it’s undeniable that burning coal and gas to generate electricity isn’t doing our world any favours either.
Batteries provide an opportunity store energy generated through your solar power system. Without that way to store energy, we would still need coal and gas for the times solar power systems aren’t generating enough energy. Like at night, early in the morning or on heavily overcast days.
4. They want your vote
It’s not a sexy reason, but it’s the big one. Most solar power battery incentives are currently still just an election promise. ‘If we get voted in, we’ll give you solar power batteries.”
With that in mind, let’s look at all the current incentives available for Victorians.
The Andrews Labor Government promise
Following the promise from the Labor Government in September 2018 the government will provide half price solar batteries for 10,000 Victorian households that already have solar panels. Homeowners can get a 50 per cent rebate for installation of a battery storage unit, capped at $4,838 in the first year and tapering down to $3,714 by 2026 as the price of batteries comes down.
The rebate is available starting 1 July 2019 to the first 10,000 eligible households that apply. To be eligible your household income should be under $180,000. You should also be living in your home and that home can not be valued at more than $3 million.
Important: You are only eligible for one solar power rebate. That means that if you installed a solar power system using the available $2,225 rebate, you are no longer eligible for the $4,838 rebate for the solar power battery.
Bill Shorten to offer $2,000 rebates for battery systems in homes
In November 2018 Bill Shorten said: “Labor will invest in new generation, in better transmission and distribution, because we realise this vital nation-building work cannot be left up to the big power companies.”
The details of this promise are a $500 rebate for eligible battery systems capped at $2,000 for households with a gross annual income less than $180,000. The rebate will become available to 100,000 new battery installations.
Outside of these two battery specific rebates, you still have access to the standard solar power credits program.
(RELATED: Want to know out if you’re eligible for $2,225 Victorian solar power rebate? Check out our solar power rebate article that contains all the information you need. From the eligibility criteria to a quick step-by-step on how to claim the rebate.)
With the current prices Solar Power Co recommends against getting batteries right now. However, don’t let the current price of batteries keep you from getting solar power, because you can already save money right now. Give us a call on 1300 765 502 to see how much or visit www.solarpowerco.com.au.