Solar Battery Storage

If you’re considering adding a home battery to a new or existing solar power system but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

In 2024, residential energy storage only makes financial sense for some solar owners. As energy storage is a significant investment and you’ll be living with the result of that decision for a long time, it’s really important to ensure you understand the basics before parting with your cash.  

But there are also benefits, such as blackout protection (with the right system) and protection from increasing electricity costs and changing tariff structures. 

Further down this page are links to everything I think you need to know about batteries.

Solar Battery Storage In Australia

Solar battery storage has been around for decades, but it had always been *really* expensive, complex and somewhat difficult to maintain. Energy storage remained mainly in the realm of Australians living off-grid and unable to access mains electricity, tinkerers and tech-nerds.

All that changed in May 2015, when Tesla announced it was taking reservations for its new Powerwall energy storage system.

The new features, lower price point (at that time) and 10 year warranty had many people excited at the prospect of affordable batteries for their grid connected solar system.

Soon after the Powerwall was announced, many other battery manufacturers also revealed plans to start selling home solar battery storage systems with a similar price, performance and warranty.  It also didn’t take long for Tesla to announce they were introducing a successor, the Powerwall 2, in late 2016. The Australian battery storage revolution began – slowly.

With Australian households paying high rates to buy electricity from the grid, but getting much less for exporting electricity, the latest generation of batteries can save the right households money by allowing them to use solar-generated energy 24 hours a day.

What You Should Know About Home Batteries

But before you run off and buy a fancy new solar battery storage system for your home, there are a number of very important considerations you need to understand to ensure you get an energy storage solution that will reduce your bills as much as possible while providing the features you expect and need.

Below you’ll find everything I think you should know about home solar battery storage before you jump in and buy a system. Given a purchase is quite an outlay, you owe it to yourself to ensure you have the best information possible.

Solar Battery 101 Guides

This is the best place to start. This 101 series about batteries and solar storage is kept updated and comes in three parts.

Home Energy Storage Research Tools

  • Costs – Your go-to guide with up-to-date prices throughout.
  • Installation – the different types of home battery installations, what’s involved and what to look for in a quality install.
  • Solar battery comparison – specifications and estimated prices of dozens of models currently available in Australia that you can compare side-by-side.
  • Solar battery reviews – information on over 50 brands and reviews from Australians who have installed batteries.
  • Solar and battery calculator. Find out if home energy storage may make financial sense for you. This clever calculator will show you the savings and payback of the solar panels and battery combined – and separately.
  • Compare Virtual Power Plant (VPP) programs – you can also learn more about what a VPP is and how they work.

Other Useful Articles about Solar Battery Storage

While you’ll probably find the 101 guides mentioned above cover most of what you need to know, the following articles focus on specific topics you may want to look into as part of your research. 

Thinking Of Going Fully Off-Grid?

It’s important to understand Tesla Powerwall 2 and other competing ‘next generation’ solar battery storage systems have not suddenly made going off-grid in the suburbs economically viable. 

For the average Australian home, going fully off grid will require lots of batteries, a backup generator and substantial rewiring.

Expect to pay from $40,000 to go off grid, and to replace your batteries every 10 years or sooner, given they’ll see much more use.

The Powerwall and its competitors are designed for hybrid solar systems. That is, solar power systems with batteries still connected to the grid.

For a new 6.6kW hybrid solar energy system with a single Powerwall 2, expect to pay about $21,500 as of May 2024 for a straightforward installation. Or to add a Powerwall 2 to an existing solar power system, expect it to cost around $15,000 – more for difficult installations.  

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