home battery is it worth it?2024 guide

Apr. 07, 2024

For a prolonged period, to frankly express, investing in home batteries was considered a poor choice. Sales representatives would cherry-pick data beneficial to them while conveniently disregarding the compact 5-year warranty of the battery. Moreover, the eco-friendliness proposition didn't hold up as these batteries could potentially release more CO2 than they would save. However, the economics of batteries took a turn post the revelation of the initial Tesla Powerwall by Elon Musk in 2015. For numerous Aussies, they're currently a financially sensible method to further minimize their bills, as opposed to using only solar panels.

What's the new development?

The price of home batteries still remains relatively constant.

Despite technological enhancements, home batteries haven't witnessed a substantial decrease in their cost. Despite this, the focus isn't on the price because other elements have tipped the scale in their favor.The sticker price of batteries ranges from $8,000 to $28,000, contingent on the capacity you opt for.Currently, there's a wider array of alternatives with trustworthy brands such as PowerPlus Energy, BYD, genZ, Delta, Huawei, Redback, Sungrow, SolarEdge, and Pylontech. The 15KW lithium battery from Suness is competitively priced at only $2161.


The utilization of solar energy has skyrocketed
The employment of solar panels has undergone a remarkable surge, with the rooftop solar capacity now being sevenfold of what it used to be in 2015. The rate of fresh commissions has exponentially accelerated since 2020.Presently, the abundance of panels installed on roofs is so immense that solar farms frequently have to restrict their output during sunny days when the prices invert. This implies that stored solar energy put to use post sundown can curtail emissions more effectively than solar energy consumed during daylight.

Electricity expenses have escalated
Not merely have the prices of power surged, they now also undergo more frequent variations throughout the course of the day.The widespread incorporation of solar has led to a downturn in the daytime wholesale prices; however, generators now impose elevated charges during the evening. Evening prices are usually 10 times that of daytime - rendering battery-stored energy a lot more advantageous than it was in the past. This shift could substantially slash the payback duration of a home battery, provided you can sail through the high-cost evening peak leveraging battery power.


In regions like South Australia, Western Australia, and Queensland, you can even avail of a super off-peak rate during daytime to replenish your battery using grid power for a nominal charge of $0.08 per kWh. This aids in ensuring that your battery attains full charge, even on cloudy days.Interestingly, these super off-peak daytime rates present the possibility for tenants to utilize a battery in their homes, even in the absence of solar panels. A rebate system for landlords, incentivizing the reconfiguration of their switchboards to accommodate a renter’s battery, might prove to be beneficial in this scenario.

Feed-in tariffs have plummeted
The rates at which you are compensated for feeding surplus solar energy back into the grid have seen a significant decrease over the course of the last two years. Solar owners who were previously reaping more than $0.25 for each kWh of exported solar are currently witnessing feed-in tariffs approximating to $0.07, thereby diminishing the monetary advantage of exporting excess solar during daytime.

VPPs have emerged
Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) have come into existence, enabling homeowners to lend support to the grid by charging and discharging at pivotal moments, and receiving payment in return. Although it involves relinquishing control of your battery to someone else, you have the potential to earn hundreds of dollars per annum by doing so.


Home battery reliability has improved

The resilience of home batteries has seen considerable enhancements.
Back in 2015, the Canberra Battery Test Centre sketched a rather somber scene of home reliability, noting that merely three out of 20 home batteries tested were found to be faultless. Nevertheless, technology advances at a rapid pace, and a study dispensed in 2019 in the journal 'Energies' implies that under temperate climates (22-30C) with daily usage, lithium-ion home batteries should have a lifespan of 13-15 years. In climates that reach up to 38C, the research anticipates a lifespan of 11-13 years. Some home batteries are now being provided with warranties lasting up to 12 years.

Should I consider acquiring one?
Let us delve into some elementary calculations that will assist you in determining whether investing in a home battery is economically justifiable. The critical figures to pay attention to are the amount you're being compensated by the grid for your surplus solar energy (your solar feed-in tariff), and the cost of electricity during the evening hours.Certain households may be subjected to a constant rate for power throughout the entire day (known as a single-use tariff), while others will incur varying costs based on the time of day (referred to as a time of use tariff). Given that energy costs can vary substantially depending on your geographical location, it's recommended to refer to your most recent bill for precise per kWh statistics.


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