With ever increasing power prices and the risk of impending shortages in some States, it is a fertile market for those pushing battery storage as the simple solution. A recent news poll of 2,000 households (ABC-21Sept) found:
- Almost three -quarters of people believe batteries will become commonplace
- 60% of households with solar panels are considering purchasing a battery in the next few years
- The price of storage batteries in the first half of 2017 only dropped by 5%
With over 1.7 million residential solar systems in Australia this represents over one million battery installations.
While this is an exciting development in households taking control of their energy bills it does raise some questions that need to be addressed.
According to the Clean Energy Regulator, 25% of all rooftop installed solar capacity has a fault. This is based on the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) figures gleaned from audits the CER conducts each year.
Of these 4.7% are faulted to be dangerous and need to be shut down until remedied. There is also another approx.18% of builds with faults that are not dangerous but need fixing. Many of these are caused by poor quality product such as isolators that are not weather sealed. A high percentage of these faulty systems were installed between 2010 and 2015 and most are now out of warranty or the original installers have left the industry. It is the early start of a lot of work that will need to be done over the next few years to fix problems caused by the use of poor quality product which includes a high percentage of inverter faults.
So the question remains what comes first, the battery solution, or bringing your current system up to compliance?
Many systems are currently not working to optimum standard and many are unsuitable for battery installation due to their size (2kW systems were very popular in the early days) or inverter design. My suggestion is to have an audit done by qualified tradespeople of your current system so you can make sure your system is working safely, and optimally, and is suitable for a battery installation in the future.
Is now the right time to install a battery? Yes, prices have come down but they are still expensive and unless you are a big user of power the payback can be anywhere from 8 to 10 years. Prices will continue to fall and I expect within the next two years we will see a drop across the range of suppliers that will bring the payback down to around 5 to 7 years which is starting to make sense.
In the meantime make sure your system is working well and you are getting the best feed-in tariff available. Become battery ready.
Check out Energy Stuff services today as we can support you in the whole solar journey.