Thousands of home owners are saving money on their power bills by installing solar panels combined with energy storage battery installations, according to a report in Domain.
Last year around 20,000 Australian households included a battery system in their solar installations. When combined with solar panels, energy storage batteries can drastically reduce a household’s electricity bills.
Peter Youll from North Epping in Sydney is one such example. The retired engineer powers his home with 20 rooftop solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall battery storage system housed in his garage. He also uses the battery to power his electric car.
Mr Youll says the household’s electricity bills “went down to nothing” after he installed the battery. He also says they now produce and store much more power than they can possibly use.
What else is driving the battery installations boom?
While saving money on bills is the main driver, there are other incentives for installing solar batteries. These include:
- Protection from blackouts – if you have energy stored in a solar battery, you can draw on it during power blackouts.
- Greater control – generating your own electricity could give you are greater sense of independence and control over your costs and lifestyle.
- Mitigating climate change – many people are becoming aware of the risks of global warming and wanting to do their bit by producing and using clean energy.
How battery storage works
While solar panels generate electricity from the sun, solar batteries allow it to be stored via a chemical process. The batteries can either be coupled to the solar panels or to the home’s electrical system.
Storing power in a solar battery means you could draw on the saved energy later when it’s less sunny. This could be a particularly beneficial scenario for households that are empty during the day. Having the power generated from solar panels stored in a battery system means they get to use it when they get home from work and / or school.
Battery installations in Australia are likely to increase as the prices of solar panels and batteries continue to tumble. So, while solar batteries were once a niche market, they look like becoming much more mainstream than in the past.