Should I Add a Battery to My Solar Now or Later?

Should I add a battery to my solar system

Congratulations! You’ve decided to go solar and we could not be happier! Installing solar panels on your home is an investment in your present and future energy usage and needs. So it’s no wonder many Australians are considering solar battery storage. It’s well known that battery storage allows you to capture the sun’s free energy for use at night. But, should you install a battery now, at the time of your solar installation, or should you wait?

Let’s look at your options and what might be best for you and your home.

Consider why you will need battery storage

Is battery storage for everyone and all homes? While we might hope that everyone would consider it, the reality is ‘no’ – it’s not needed for all homes. 

Here are some reasons why a home might not need a battery:

  • Your solar system is too small and won’t generate enough electricity
  • You use all your solar generated during the day, leaving nothing to charge the battery
  • Your home is rarely occupied and is unlikely to benefit from a battery

We know that electricity usage is changing for most Australians. With the addition of electric vehicles, changing usage habits, and the addition of more electronics in the home, Aussies have never been more power-hungry. The move away from gas will also mean that 100% of your appliances will use electricity. This means that homes that wouldn’t benefit from battery storage are reducing every year. 

It is important, however, to assess your energy needs, your current solar system setup, and your future energy demands.

How large is your current or soon-to-be-installed solar system?

The size of your system will generally determine whether battery storage is something you should consider now or in the future. 

Generally speaking, your battery should account for around one-third of your daily solar generation. An easy way to work it out is to use the following formula:

Size of system (kW) x 4 (kWh) ÷ 3 = Battery size (kWh)

Using this formula, let’s work out what size battery a 10kW solar system might need (rounded to the nearest whole number):

10 x 4 ÷ 3 = 13kWh battery

Where you live and your energy usage patterns will ultimately determine the battery size your home will require.

find out if battery storage is right for you

If you have a 2kW or 3kW solar system, the energy produced by your solar panels will likely be negligible compared to your usage. If this is the case, we would recommend upgrading your solar system before considering battery storage.

Use our handy solar and battery calculator to find out what size solar system and battery you might need. You can then find out how much a system might cost.

Should I install a battery now?

Battery prices and technology have never been better. Generous rebates and incentives across the country also mean that installing a battery now might be the cheapest you will get for a few years. But, as with most things, prices will be expected to fall as competition in the market increases and old technology makes way for new. It is important to keep in mind that STCs, which are the federal incentive and point-of-sale discount for batteries and other renewable tech, will be phased out by 2030.

sonnen battery installation

If you are looking to install a battery in the future, rather than the present, then you must consider the future financial implications. 

Here are some questions to ponder:

  • Will my home benefit now from blackout protection?
  • Will the cost of the battery be offset by the savings?
  • Is my current, or soon-to-be-installed solar system, large enough to warrant it?
  • Will I be adding any new electric appliances or an EV soon?
  • How might battery storage benefit my family at nighttime?

What should I do if I choose to add in the future?

Our very best advice would be to keep your ear to the ground and stay up to date with battery technology, brands, and models. Subscribing to our weekly newsletter will ensure that you are always in the know for news and updates. You can subscribe by clicking here.

The next advice we have is to consider prepping your home for battery storage. This can be done at the time your solar system is installed. Your solar installer can install cabling and ready your home for battery storage. This will ensure that, when the time comes, your battery installation will be easy and cheaper.

I want to add a battery now, what should I do?

If you’re already in the process of installing solar, have a chat with the retailer who will be doing the installation. They will be able to provide you with a quote.

Already have solar? Use our FREE quote service and we will connect you with up to 3 battery storage installers in your area. These installers will provide you with a no-obligation quote. You’ll be asked questions about your current solar system, energy usage, and present/future needs and plans.

Energy Matters truly believes in a zero-carbon future and battery storage plays a vital role in it. By choosing to go solar and store your excess energy for later use, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint.

Get a quick solar quote, or contact us today toll free on 1800 EMATTERS or email our friendly team for expert, obligation-free advice!

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