Will Only 7 Batteries Qualify For The NSW Battery Rebate?

batteries eligible for nsw rebate

The NSW government battery rebate has been causing some angst for NSW solar and battery installers.

Installers have rightfully complained the November start has put all their battery business on ice as consumers rationally wait for the rebate to kick in before buying solar batteries.

Since we last wrote about the NSW battery rebate, further details for eligibility were announced, and more head-scratching is happening in the solar industry.

What Are The Criteria For NSW Battery Rebate Eligibility?

You can read the full document here – but the salient points are:

  • 4. The End-User Equipment must have a warranty of at least 10 years and guarantee that at least seventy percent (70%) of Usable Capacity is retained 10 years from the date the End-User Equipment is installed at the site.
  • 5. The End-User Equipment warranty must define the normal use conditions during the operation of the End-User Equipment as not being less than:
    • 1. A minimum ambient temperature range of -10 °C to 50 °C
    • 2. A minimum warranted throughput of 3.65 MWh per kWh of Usable Battery Capacity

Are These Criteria Reasonable?

The 10-year minimum warranty is very reasonable, and the 70% usable capacity after 10 years is also reasonable—but it knocks out some big players, like Sungrow, which warrants 60% after 10 years.

I suspect many battery manufacturers will hastily re-issue warranties with 70% minimums to avoid missing out on the NSW bonanza.

The ambient temperature range requirements knock several otherwise eligible batteries out of contention in a worst-case interpretation.

This is due to the somewhat ambiguous ‘ambient temperature range’ mentioned in the criteria. Some batteries, like the Energizer Homepower, state in their datasheets two ambient temperature figures – one for charge and one for discharge:

Energizer battery specs

The minimum warranted throughput figure of 3.65 MWh per kWh of usable capacity is also somewhat odd.

If you take a generic 10kWh battery with a 10-year warranty, one cycle per day for 10 years equates to 36,500 kWh—or 3.65 MWh per kWh. So, on the surface, this is a reasonable minimum to enforce.

However, some major players, like Tesla and BYD, warrant a specific kWh throughput less than this requirement.

For example, Tesla warrants ‘unlimited’ cycles – which would make it eligible – but if you use it as part of a VPP, they warrant 37,800 kWh, or 2.8 MWh per kWh, making it ineligible for the rebate. It becomes a question of whether the NSW government uses “worst case” scenarios when evaluating batteries for eligibility.

I reckon there will be industry—and consumer—pushback once more people realise popular batteries may not be eligible for the rebate.

So, Who Is Eligible?

I expect the NSW government to release an official eligible battery list at some point (their website references an “approved product list”).

For now, looking at the SolarQuotes battery comparison table, only these batteries appear to meet all the requirements:

  • Enphase IQ Battery 5P (note: their warranty allows 60% capacity, but after 15 years – it is logical to assume at the 10-year mark, capacity will be above 70%)
  • Zenaji Aeon
  • SolarEdge Energy Bank
  • Sonnen
  • Alpha-ESS (note: they have 10-year battery warranty but short 5-year product warranty – unclear if this disqualifies them)
  •  Soltaro AIO2
  •  SolaX Triple Power

This seems like a rather short list, arguably missing the best batteries available in Australia in 2024 (i.e. Tesla, BYD, Sungrow). Here’s looking forward to some eligibility clarification from the NSW battery bureaucrats.

NEW: Thinking of adding a battery to your existing solar using the NSW battery rebate but unsure what the payback will be? Our brand spanking ‘Add-A-Battery Calculator‘ removes the guesswork. It uses your 12-month smart meter data to make a realistic estimate based on how much spare solar you really have and how much energy you actually use when the sun is down.  Try it out and let me know what you think.

About Finn Peacock

I'm a Chartered Electrical Engineer, Solar and Energy Efficiency nut, dad, and the founder and CEO of SolarQuotes.com.au. I started SolarQuotes in 2009 and the SolarQuotes blog in 2013 with the belief that it’s more important to be truthful and objective than popular. My last "real job" was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division. Since 2009, I’ve helped over 700,000 Aussies get quotes for solar from installers I trust. Read my full bio.

Comments

  1. Pablo Batt says

    Where’s Pylontech and I store not even Goodwe?
    There seems to be some cheap and less operable batts accepted.

    Glad I don’t live in NSW.

  2. I think this is fantastic news, the specification eligibility criteria has been released with plenty of remaining time for OEM’s/ AU agents to adjust warranties, prices and follow on marketing, even sufficient to partially inform new release engineering.

    Given that all, including this site, for quite a long time have correctly identified that warranty provisions for Home Batterys in AU have been less than stellar (ranging from abysmal at worst to best case “sort of Ok…I guess”) then it seems governments are going to use their power to change the state of affairs and to force manufacturer/AU agent change when individual consumers had no/little power to do so in their own right prior to the Rebate. I forsee a step improvement in warranty conditions coming up. At the end of the day who in the near term future is going to pay for a non rebate eligible battery in NSW??? Good on Gov for realising this is rare opportunity to generate a step improvement.

    That a good number of Battery’s already comply tells me that the intent here is not to have a Claytons rebate, but rather bring all up to a minimum standard

    Let the changes commence!

    Andy

  3. I hunted through this story, and the linked energy.gov PDRS doc to find how much the rebate would be…. no luck.
    Previous solarquotes and other sources indicate between $1600 and $2400, without providing any further detail about the variance.
    I’ve got no problem with the criteria for rebate being high… if it wasn’t, that would be a good time to get critical.
    3650 charge/discharge “cycles” of only 50% nominal capacity (ie a 10KWh battery discharging from 80% to 30% overnight, and recharging the next day) sounds like a pretty low hurdle to jump.
    If manufacturers use those (in my view) archaic potentially dangerous fiery lithium ION batteries, rather than lithium IRON phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, then they can degenerate faster if discharged or charged closer to battery capacity limit…. thus being more likely not to comply with the stated throughput specs.
    But if the far safer lithium IRON phosphate batteries are used, there’s far less capacity loss due to deep discharge over time. (side note- tesla’s latest batteries, not yet marketed in AU, ARE lithium IRON phosphate, unlike their current stuff)
    Too many people seem to be factoring in battery warranty period as the battery lifetime, for ROI calculations. If this rebate mechanism forces manufacturers to be more realistic, all the better! (most TVs have a 1 year warranty, but people expect them to last far longer than 1 year. Less mainstream TV manufacturers use this tightarsedness, and offer 3 times the warranty of LG, Samsung, Sony, etc etc)
    The scheme nominated “ambient temperature” …. I don’t see this is a big issue…the concern is about minimum charging temperature of -10C, where some batteries quote 0C. While some places get pretty cold, I’d like to hear how many places have useful sunlight and solar systems at less than zero C in australia. Maybe ski resorts? It would be different in canada or other places closer to the ant/arctic circles.
    30 characters left!

    • Declan Power says

      Re your comment about 0C ratings in Australia, in Canberra and surrounding parts and many areas of the Snowy Mountains region this would be relevant, even if not on many days of the year.

      At 8am this morning it was still -3.7 in Canberra and that is well after sunrise. This week is similarly cold. And it would take a while to get above that. Other parts of the of the region would most likely be colder. Some other areas further north along the Great Dividing Range right up to south QLD get similar temps.

      Many batteries will not be placed inside in a warmer area either.

    • Sadly “many” LFP ( the IRON Phosphate version of lithium ION batteries ) are unable to accept charge under 0 degrees C ambient temperatures – internally,- requiring active venting and heating with adequate thermal insulation to reduce significant energy costs overnight in the dead of winter – if heating is necessary to enable a charge, when the sun returns-hopefully before spring.

      This may jot be a problem in coastal, northern Aussie Country, but the charge destruction, would be a sad warranty deall for importers.. (Many recent offerings at the DIY level are “self heating” – hopefully without fireworks….)

  4. Just curious, like any other government rebate only people who benefit are sellers, would there be a criteria that government will apply making sure that prices are not jacked up? Should I get three quotes now and expect $2400 less for the same thing automatically in November.

  5. Would have loved to have expanded my Sungrow battery with this rebate, but alas, ineligible as they were installed a week before the announcement (and now it doesn’t even look like Sungrow will meet criteria either). Seems some dummy’s didn’t really plan this one through.

  6. Donald Burbidge says

    All the batteries are Lithium ion, pity there no flow batteries.

  7. Brian Beaven says

    Your ‘Add-A-Battery Calculator” sounds like a good idea. I installed a solar system last year with a 10kWh battery and now realise I probably need more. I would like to be able to calculate the economics of adding extra capacity, but I am an Amber customer, getting continually changing wholesale prices and your calculator requests rates, which I can’t provide.

    • Finn Peacock says

      it’s impossible to know what you’ll save with Amber and a battery, because we can’t predict what your electricity and feed in prices will be. In theory you could do it with historical wholesale pricing data, but that would be a huge job, for a very small niche.

      • Frank Hamersley says

        G’day Finn,

        With existing solar panels, I am now trying to plan for the integration of battery tech to maximise if possible future flexibility for VPP membership or self managed (Amber) interactions with the grid.

        Does AC coupled vs DC coupled batteries make any difference to the degree of control re deciding when & much energy to release to the grid?

        Its a bit unclear (to me at this stage) how the different inverter(s) provide (or don’t) any levers to pull in terms of optimising charging and discharging to underpin the investment as well as support the new VRE grid dynamic.

        Cheers.

        • Anthony Bennett says

          Hi Frank,

          In terms of being able to play with Amber, you need equipment they have done integration for and support.

          Or as I understand it, you invest a bit of time in Home Assistant. There you need a basic little computer and ability to code it.

          I liken it to a technical hobby, programming & monitoring the results.

          There are of course online forums which will guide you to learning about HA but not much off the shelf as yet.

          • I was with Amber , but even my solar production is 4 times more than what I consumed I still pay ( under $100 ) mainly because I am in Ausgrid area Time of Use, But I changed provider and I got 12 cts per kwh, that changed for a good surplus

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