Home Battery Scheme Case Study – Dr Ross & Mary Harris


Our motivation for going Solar and Battery?

In 2016-17 we were worried over rapidly increasing power bills. Having retired from regular work we are unable to easily absorb rising costs of living. We were impressed with progress of former SA Government with TESLA to use a ‘partnership with consumers approach’ to lower costs of electricity. In October 2017 our AGL Bill was $816.00. We previously contracted a solar installer to provide 17 x 300kw Solar Panels, with Fronius Inverter (to convert DC/AC as required). Cost of Solar Panels, fitting to roof, Inverter, reconciliation with AGL supply: [Cost to us : $7,156.00]

Was it the SA Home Battery Scheme that got you interested in purchasing?

We became interested in the SA Home Battery Scheme because it provided us with an option to manage our power bills by purchase ($10,000) of a sonnen Battery with substantial SA Government assistance ($5,000).

We contracted with Natural Solar to supply and install a sonnen Battery and sonnen Cabinet. The sonnen Cabinet has capacity for 2 additional batteries which can be purchased for additional power storage at a future date.

We chose Natural Solar because:

Natural Solar personnel on telephone provided:

  • prompt attention, ie., immediate telephone access or swift phone-back during process of contracting AND installation of Battery; pleasant, informed person to deal with;
  • generation of helpful answers to questions about costs, process of Home Battery installation, after-care;
  • intelligible information about costs, equipment, ongoing care of equipment;
  • a promise of minimal disruption to household during installation, an offer of an early start-date and a promise of rapid response to any after-installation needs.
Pictured: The Hon Dan van Holst Pellekaan, Minister for Energy and Mining, South Australia, along with Jonathan Green, and customers Dr Ross and Mrs Mary Harris.

Our experience in dealing with Natural Solar?

We tested Natural Solar on their range of services and skills including telephone staff, and in-home installation staff. We found that Natural Solar personnel performed with skill and with satisfaction in all respects. The Installation team was skilled, courteous, capable of producing good solutions for cables from roof to battery, to Inverter and Meter. ‘Good Solutions’ for house-owner requires invisible cables and the team were amazingly skilful at getting effective and invisible resolutions.

Results of having sonnen Battery functional since 29 November 2018):

One AGL Power Bill since Battery installed in amount of $296.85 credit. Early days yet, but, we note a very pleasing change in our AGL costs. Thank you Natural Solar!

Crunching the numbers:

The prior electricity bill was $631.39 , with the corresponding period 12 months earlier being a bill of $350. The total electricity bill for the 12 months prior to installation of the battery was $2745. The total outlay for the battery system after the Home Battery Subsidy was $10,000. The bill after the installation of the battery came in with a whopping $296.85 credit.

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These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes a general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on Energy Locals Time of Use Tariff – (TOU – Peak, Off-Peak & Solar Sponge).

The reference price is set by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for a financial year in relation to electricity supply to residential customers in the distribution region and is based on an assumed annual usage amount. Any difference between the reference price and the unconditional price of a plan is expressed as a percentage more or less than the reference price. The terms of any conditional discounts are shown, along with any further difference between the reference price and the discount applied if a condition is met, expressed as a percentage more or less than the reference price.