South Australian Home Battery Scheme Statistics

SA Home Battery Scheme

South Australia’s Home Battery Scheme subsidy has been active for around 10 months, so how’s it faring?

Launched in October last year, the Home Battery Scheme has a goal of supporting 40,000 installations through subsidies of up to $6,000 for batteries and low interest loans for the balance of solar + storage systems.

Up until December 31, only three brands were eligible for the subsidy, but since then the list has grown considerably:

  • Sonnen
  • Alpha-ESS
  • Eguana Technologies
  • Tesla
  • LG Chem
  • Enphase
  • Varta
  • BYD
  • Redback
  • Solax
  • Pylontech
  • Senec
  • Suntech

Not all models a manufacturer produces may be eligible for the subsidy. Specifications and indicative pre-subsidy pricing for some of the above can be found on SolarQuotes’ solar battery comparison table. A Home Battery Scheme logo is displayed where a particular model is eligible.

With ten months now having passed, there’s still no risk of subsidies running out soon.

According to South Australian Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan, 2,300 subsidies have been approved under the scheme to date. Minister van Holst Pellekaan said close to 70 per cent of customers who have purchased a battery through the scheme had solar panels installed before applying for the subsidy. As for how many batteries have actually been installed so far, the Minister put the number at 1,500, with another 800 awaiting installation.

Dan van Holst Pellekaan is excited about batteries. Recently the minister hosted a “Home Battery Forum” where he and SQ’s Ronald (politely) locked horns on the topic of battery payback and pricing.

While it’s not clear which have been the most popular batteries under the scheme in South Australia, no doubt Tesla Powerwall 2 is among them. However, even with the very recent drop in Tesla Powerwall 2 pricing, Ronald warns the Powerwall 2 still won’t pay for itself within its warranty period for “any family with remotely normal electricity consumption.”

SA Home Battery Scheme Expansion Considered

Minister van Holst Pellekaan said the Marshall Government is considering expanding the Home Battery Scheme to include rental properties, property developers and aged care facilities.

“We’ve had feedback from the community that those who are renting and in apartments want to benefit from new technologies such as batteries,” said the Minister.

The first priority will be to open up the program to the common area of apartment blocks.

“We’re also looking at people who don’t have an individual electricity meter but use power, such as in some retirement villages or supported accommodation, and how those sites can participate,” he stated.

Slow Going For Victorian Battery Rebate

In related news, across the border in Victoria the Solar Victoria website indicates at the time of writing there are still 144 battery rebates available from the first tranche of 200. This means only 24 rebates have been approved since we last reported on the figures on July 8.

Part of the reason uptake has been slow is the rebate is only currently available in 24 postcodes. Over the full 2019-20 financial year, there will be 1,000 rebates available of up to $4,838 for solar battery systems, and the first release of 200 covers until the end of October.

Battery rebate uptake in Victoria is in stark contrast to the situation with the state’s solar power system rebate; with July’s quota of 3,333 snapped up in 3 days. The situation with the rebooted PV rebate isn’t just frustrating for applicants, it has also caused incredible hardship for Victoria’s residential solar industry; resulting in businesses laying off workers and some closing their doors. A rally will be held today on the steps of State Parliament at 10.30am to highlight the plight of the sector and the knock-on effects for the wider Victorian community.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Trevor Mexted says

    I want batteries for our 10 KW PV system. Registered for Govt subsidy, and gave a list of “wants” to my registered handler. He came back with options. Good so far….NO! Wanted was BATTERY TO POWER DURING GRID FAIL. Easy you think. If you have batteries, they get charged by ones PV system, so when grid down batteries auto kick in. Not at all. There are dedicated switches, inverters, Etc. ALSO; Will your new battery discharge fast enough to cover the power requirement you may draw without going into brown out failure? We were going to get 2 stack able batteries (11.7 KW) and our 6yo system that when purchased was supposed to be, battery ready, but is apparently not. Yep we got caught. Good system, but not battery ready. People PLEASE do your homework, it could save you $1000’s. The current cost of batteries and upgrade is not cost effective even with the Govt subsidy. We cannot help with global warming as it is beyond our income to do so.

  2. NICHOLAS REEVE says

    You seem to have it in for batteries.
    I have had solar PV for many years, with upgrade two years ago bringing my total to 10 Kw, plus a 10 Kw battery system. I have not paid any electrical bill for years, having a growing credit from my supplier. So far the system has been trouble free and supplies : the house, cooker and air-conditioning, the pool pump, and charges a ‘plug -in-hybrid’ Electric Vehicle. So not only am I not a burden on the electrical supply I am not polluting the atmosphere with Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Yes, I am fortunate to be able to afford the initial cost but as an investment it beats most anything else around these days.
    So let’s see a bit more fo the good news, and save the planet.
    Nick Reeve, Grafton

    • As an investment your unlikely to be anywhere near breaking even. As an investment you’re being heavily subsidised by others to achieve your results. As an investment the battery will need replacing in around 10 years (likely before its even paid for itself). So no, not a good investment and certainly not better than anything else around.

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