South Australian Government seeks to include renters in Home Battery Scheme

South Australian virtual power plant soon to enter phase 3.

South Australia is looking to expand its $200 million SA Home Battery Scheme to include rental properties.

Of the 2,300 subsidies approved under the program, just 11 have been for batteries in  households occupied by renters.

Since it opened 10 months ago, the HBS has seen over 1,500 home battery systems installed around the state. Data also shows more than 70 per cent of customers who purchased a battery had installed solar panels before applying. However, the government has received a strong backlash from apartment dwellers and tenants calling for inclusion in the scheme.

SA Home Battery Scheme helps those in high rise as well

Solar Battery Scheme expands to include apartments and renters.

“We know there are many more people who could be benefiting from the energy savings delivered by battery technology,” said SA Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

First, the government will open the scheme to common areas of apartment blocks. It’s also focusing on people without individual electricity meters, but who use power, such as  retirement homes and supported housing.

Expanded Home Battery Scheme reduces peak demand, electricity costs

The HBS is designed to reduce electricity prices for SA households. Its goal is to expand the pool of battery storage – solar generation in the South Australian energy market. This reduces the state’s energy demand.

During afternoons and summer peaks, wholesale electricity prices soar. Widespread home solar plus storage thus provides a cost benefit to every South Australian customer, not just those who receive the subsidy.

The HBS was likened to a recent AEMC proposal to pay big energy users to curb consumption when the network faces shortages.

SA Home Battery Scheme open to all South Australians

The program offers 40,000 SA households subsidies for the installation of a home battery paired with new or existing solar panels. The amount depends on the kilowatt-hour capacity of the battery, capped at $6,000 per system.

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter administers the subsidies on behalf of the South Australian Government.

Although home storage systems usually include a battery and inverter, the scheme only applies to the battery itself. Households without solar panels may apply to registered Scheme providers for a quote on installation of solar panels and a battery

In addition, all systems must be ready to participate in SA’s virtual power plant (VPP) revolution.

Right now, one of the best options for smart energy storage is the Tesla Powerwall 2. Tesla just dropped the price of its flagship storage system.