CEC Pushes To Add Home Batteries To Solar Rebate Scheme

The Clean Energy Council has responded to South Australia’s Green Paper on the Energy Transition, calling for a home battery rebate and better national technical standards for initiatives such as dynamic solar exports.

The CEC’s submission (pdf) to the Green Paper noted the climate emergency is now upon us, which requires:

“a cohesive policy plan to implement direct action.”

What stands out for our readers is the CEC using the submission to advocate for home battery installations to be included in the national Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

Home Batteries: A New Addition To SRES?

For those unfamiliar with the term, the SRES (aka the ‘solar rebate’ ) is an initiative from the Australian government to encourage the installation of renewable energy systems. Under this scheme, homeowners, small businesses and community groups receive Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) when they install eligible systems.

These STCs can be traded or sold. The certificates are usually signed over to the solar installation company, which provides their value less administrative fees as an up-front discount on the cost of a solar power system. Prices you see advertised for systems will already include STC value.

The CEC’s submission specifically recommends:

“adding battery installations to the Clean Energy Regulator’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES),”

This would reduce the cost of solar batteries for homeowners.

A South Australian Storage Target

The submission urges the South Australian Government to establish a battery storage target. It suggests leveraging the SA Residential Energy Efficiency Scheme to encourage households and small businesses to adopt energy storage solutions. The recommendation emphasises that a storage target aligns with the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO’s) Step Change scenario.

Empowering Rooftop Solar Owners

The CEC goes into specifics about supporting home solar owners. They suggest improvements such as:

  • Clarifying governance around rooftop solar and batteries.
  • Taking steps to avoid networks constraining solar energy exports.
  • Implementing better end-of-life management for solar panels.

Praise For Flexible Exports

Noting the success of South Australia Power Networks’ (SAPN’s) past work on  flexible (dynamic) exports, the CEC submission encouraged:

“Advocacy and engagement with regulators on the use of dynamic operating envelopes as a better alternative to zero-export limitations.”

A Call for National Solar Technical Standards

The Clean Energy Council also urged the South Australian government to support the establishment of a “National CER  Technical Standards Body.”

“The current status of CER technical standards regulation is not satisfactory and is neither serving the industry nor consumers.”

A national body would help standardise technical requirements across the board, benefiting both the industry and consumers states the CEC. South Australia’s efforts would, the submission said, combat the growing inconsistency in solar technical standards at the national level.

About Richard Chirgwin

Joining the SolarQuotes blog team in 2019, Richard is a journalist with more than 30 years of experience covering a wide range of technology topics, including electronics, telecommunications, computing, science and solar. When not writing for us, he runs a solar-powered off-grid eco-resort in NSW’s blue mountains. Read Richard's full bio.

Comments

  1. Malcolmklingner says

    Solar for the average home owner is not worth it because you have to produce 9 times the power than what you use for. 0 $.

    South Australia has the most solar because our power is so high,now our feed in is so low all solar owners are doing is making the power companies rich. Don’t talk nuclear talk higher feed in tariff.
    People can then afford a battery.

    • I would love to see your calculations on that one.

      Personally, my feed in is 12c/kWh and import is 36.95c/kWh here in NSW, so 3.1x would be the worst case scenario to cover import cost.

      Even if i moved to a ‘worse’ retailer with a 42c import and a 7c fit, its still only 6x.

      This assumes consumption is outside “solar hours”.

      The average household uses about 20-30kWh a day, you only need 60-90kWh exported to cover the worst case scenario, a 13kW PV system should output about 52kWh a day. That’s a significant reduction in cost.

      i know my bills for about 9 months of the year are $0.

      heaps better then if i didn’t have solar….. so explain how solar isn’t worth it?

    • Craig Iedema says

      Yeah that’s simply not accurate. There are plenty of savings to be had even from small systems.

      I have more than halfed my powerbill since installing solar.

    • George Kaplan says

      WA aside, I don’t think any state has FiTs of a ninth of usage charges, at least not if you look for a decent retailer.

      Bonus rate aside – which basically covers the daily charges, my per kWh usage rate is ~6.5x my FiT.

    • Tim Chirgwin says

      Malcolm, I agree that the feed in tariff is about 5c and the cost of peak is 56c, in SA on TOU making your 9x figure correct,…but.

      1.during the daytime when you may have power to sell,…the solar sponge rate is about 30 cents

      2 The most important thing with PV is that you can use that power yourself and save not having to spend on your usually bought power (at various rates from 20c to 56c (or higher with some plans)

      3. so while you may not make a fortune out of selling power, you can save a fortune by not buying so much power at whatever price, and you have the opportunity to change your usage to match the sunshine with timers and diverters etc.

      As a clear example of load shift and use own PV: I have 3 freezers that use about 1kwh of power each per day, and if run without solar would cost about $500 per year at 45c/kwh, but if I run with timers and using my own solar priced at the FIT of 5c actualy only cost $55 per year in lost FIT

  2. STC’s for batteries …. please Jeebus no!
    This would just give the importers of low quality, short lived battery products a further cost advantage.
    In our wonderful country of incurable gamblers and “she’ll be right” optimists, the end result of an upfront lump sum Battery rebate will be a whole lot of extra e-waste going to the dump a few years after installation.
    If there is to be a rebate for home batteries, it needs to be a non-deemed one based on performance, akin to the LGCs for large solar generation – perhaps a yearly rebate paid on the basis of total energy throughput, verified by uploaded data from a manufacturer-accepted solar monitoring portal such as Tesla’s Powerwall app.

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