Concerns over increasing electricity costs have led many Aussie households to turn to renewable energy solutions, such as solar battery storage, as an alternative to drawing power from the grid. This raises the important consideration of weighing how much a solar battery costs compared to the amount of savings you will experience by shifting your electricity usage from the grid to a renewable source.
To provide you an accurate answer we will work closely with you to design the best solution based on your current energy usage and your vision for future energy usage that will help you move toward $0 electricity bills and energy independence.
When deciding what solar battery to install it is important to consider battery efficiency, the life span of the battery and how your system may actually generate revenue for you through feed-in tariffs.
Efficiency in the context of solar batteries refers to how much energy is successfully stored and converted to useable electricity. The Tesla Powerwall 2 has an efficiency of 92.5% coupled with an incredible 13.5kWh of battery storage (double that of its predecessor).
Solar battery life is measured in cycles, which refers to the process of filling and emptying a battery with electricity. When measuring a life span in years, it’s usually assumed there is one cycle per day.
Obviously, the more cycles, the more durable the battery. At Natural Solar we only use the most innovative and advanced battery systems including the US designed Tesla Powerwall 2 which has a 10-year warranty that covers 10 years of daily cycling or 3,650 cycles, whichever comes first.
Our other favoured battery is the German engineered sonnen battery which has an expected design life of 20 years coupled with an incredible warranty – 10 years or 10,000 cycles, whichever comes first, before your battery total storage capacity starts to degrade. (10,000 cycles is 2.7x more cycles than any other product on the market). Sonnen is widely accepted as the industry leader in home battery storage, with a superior battery chemistry offering 10,000 cycles, learning algorithms which can intuitively map the habits of a household and adjust when/how it discharges/charges accordingly while even considering weather forecasts.
Sonnen was also recently purchased by Royal Dutch Shell a USD$230 Billion-dollar company, with the vision of becoming the world’s largest electricity retailer by 2030 and accelerating the transition to a cleaner economy. This naturally leads to peace of mind with a strong warranty and product support
An important factor to consider that may offset your solar battery cost, are feed-in-tariffs which is essentially a rebate on your energy bill for each kWh of electricity that a household solar system generates but doesn’t use, meaning it’s fed back into the energy grid.
This raises the question – if you’re getting paid for your excess solar power, why should you store it?
It’s a good question, but while some areas of Australia receive high tariff rates (upwards of 20c per kWh), some states have reduced or completely removed their feed-in-tariff subsidies, meaning the rate you’re paid is usually around 4-6c/kWh. The point here being that if you are sending power back to the grid and getting only 6-8c per kwh, why not store that power and use it directly from your very own shiny home solar battery and avoid buying it from the grid at anywhere up to 45c/kwh.
Solar battery price largely depends on the storage size with cost around $ 1,000 per kWh storage capacity. If you first need a solar panel system installed, then that can cost anywhere from $6,000 – $12,000 depending on system size. You will also need to pay for a compatible inverter as well as installation costs which will usually run in to the thousands of dollars, depending on the complexity of the installation.
Natural Solar has been at the forefront of the home energy storage revolution having installed the first Tesla Powerwall in The Word as well as the first SonnenFlat system in Australia. We are committed to creating cutting-edge renewable energy solutions by pairing the most innovative solar and battery products with a pioneering retail electricity plan. This should be taken into consideration when contemplating the overall solar battery price.
Our solar battery partner, Sonnen, has created an electricity plan analogous to a mobile phone plan. It’s called sonnenFlat and supplies you with all the electricity you need — up to a limit — for one flat fee per month. There are three different sonnenFlat plans based on your annual household consumption before you start being charged extra (similar to the limit of talk and text in most phone plans that if you are in excess of the talk, text or data usage you need to pay extra money in addition to you monthly fees).
The usage allowance covers all the electricity consumed by your home regardless of the source – PV system, battery storage or the grid. The advent of such a novel concept impacts on the cost benefit analysis applied to your solar battery cost because the annual usage allowance covers a full year. It’s not broken into months or even quarters (as traditional electricity bills) which means your solar battery price will be significantly offset if your household has seasonal fluctuations in energy consumption (e.g. increased use during the height of winter and summer with significant reductions during the more temperate months of the year).
Australia’s First $0 Electricity Bill Revealed!
In July 2017 Stephen Fenech contacted Natural Solar to investigate the best solar and battery system to meet the needs of his household. Our expert team of Energy Consultants devised the most suitable solar and battery system to meet the Fenech’s needs. This included a 7.56 solar system made up of 27 panels, coupled with a SolarEdge inverter and a 10kWh Sonnen battery. In addition, we introduced Mr Fenech to the novel concept of SonnenFlat and he became the first ever Australian recipient of the SonnenFlat system.
For this service, it cost Mr Fenech $40 a month (less than his mobile phone plan!) to become part of the Sonnen grid with the guarantee of receiving a $0 electricity bill.As the first ever SonnenFlat recipient, Sonnen is his new energy retailer and the Fenech’s reliance on the traditional grid is now zero.
In addition, Mr Fenech is now part of a community of Sonnen customers generating power through their panels across the country and storing it in their batteries forming a virtual grid which Sonnen manages remotely.
It would not be incorrect to say that Mr Fenech was perhaps ahead of his time as the growth of Virtual Power Plants (VPPa) are shifting the global electricity economy from an almost total dependence on large centralised power stations to a much more diverse and diffuse electricity supply system. While VPPs are widely used in the Northern Hemisphere and many Asian markets, the concept is relatively new for Australia. There are multiple trials underway in various Australian states to understand the significance and benefits of virtual power plants throughout Australia.
For example, Ausgrid have launched a 1-megawatt virtual power plant (VPP) with 233 customers across 170 suburbs in Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter region. Customers who choose to participate in the trial, which allows electricity from their batteries to be directed back into the grid, will receive direct cash payments from Ausgrid of up to $135 per year, depending on the size of their battery system.
Ausgrid CEO Richard Gross explains that: “Solutions like a virtual power plant not only help customers, it helps the grid. If the trial is successful, it could provide a lower cost alternative to grid investment, which would result in lower customer bills in the long term.”
Natural Solar are proud to be the leaders in our field in providing our customers these cutting-edge solutions that are an integral when considering solar battery prices.
Tesla Powerwall (And Solar) Saved An Aussie Household 92.2% On Their Electricity Bill
$2,110.46 – that’s how much the Pfitzner family says they have saved in power bills since installing a Tesla Powerwall 12 months ago, with the yearly bill for 2016 coming in at $178.71. The Sydney residents, who were the first in the world to install a Powerwall on their home, claim to now pay just 50 cents a day for electricity.
Prior to installation, Nick Pfitzner says the average quarterly energy costs for the four-bedroom home (with a pool) were $572.29 throughout 2015. Throughout 2016, they came in at $44.68 per quarter.
Natural Solar, who installed the $16,000 5kw system say that this isn’t an unusual occurrence. “Across the board, families who have adopted battery power in 2016 have seen a reduction in their energy bills of 80-90 per cent,” said CEO Chris Williams.
Williams says the return on investment time for a Tesla Powerwall installation (just the Powerwall – not including the panels), previously thought to be around 20 years, can now be expected to be 6 years. It comes with a 10-year warranty, and the panels 25 years.
With the help of his rooftop solar and integrated Powerwall, Nick managed to cut his electricity bill by a staggering 92.2 per cent.
South Australian Family Beats The Blackout
Brian Gillespie lives in a part of South Australia close to Adelaide. The area is an energy blackout zone with regular outages to the electricity network. Having already had a solar system installed Brian wanted to add a Powerwall home battery as an addition to his solar. Natural Solar were able to provide the technical skill to install the Tesla Powerwall in an AC coupled backup configuration.
With the ever-present threat of blackouts becoming more frequent throughout Australia it is good to know that a solution has been tried and tested. For Natural Solar customer Brian Gillespie from South Australia it was a complete shock to find out that for the previous three hours the rest of his neighbours had been in complete darkness. Why … because Brian has a Tesla Powerwall and whilst everyone else was suffering from the lack of power, he was lighting his home and watching TV as normal. In fact, Brian has stated that his Powerwall can stay off-grid for 10 hours without any issues supplying his home with useful energy to run lights and the television.
Adding a Powerwall to a system
One of the main reasons Brian came to Natural Solar was to purchase a Powerwall, his reasons were to beat the many blackouts experienced in and around the area he lives. However, the state-wide blackout was very severe and many 1000s of South Australians were left without power for a considerable time.
Brian’s backup circuit in his home is used exclusively for when the power fails and contains his house lights and a few power points for the TV and other smaller electrical appliances. Brian only discovered that there was a power outage whilst watching the news, he said he opened the oven door to see that the light wasn’t working.
The Most Powerwall Batteries Installed At One Location
At the time of installation in 2016, this was a World record for the most Tesla Powerwall home batteries installed in one property. At 42kWh of energy storage the media described the install at this Gold Coast property as a ‘mini power station’. In reality, the installation was the culmination of many months’ hard work and clever electrical engineering to ensure that this system provided the calculated returns.
The main solar system features 93 Phono 255W panels and 3 SolarEdge inverters. The home has 3 phase power, so each phase was connected to 2 Powerwall batteries each providing a total capacity, when fully charged, of 14kWh per phase. Discharging can be made from one battery at a time, per phase, however, the phases can work together with three batteries in total being discharged simultaneously.
Clever by design
The system has also been designed so cheaper off-peak energy can be used to charge the Powerwall batteries overnight. This is then used to offset the more expensive periods of energy import from retailers, should it be required. Such scenarios may occur in poor energy producing periods or where panel performance has been inhibited for whatever reason and to boost savings with multiple daily battery cycles.
As well as looking impressive the system is designed to provide the complete power requirements for the home and also offer a significant backup facility should a blackout occur Complimenting this is the 3-string array of panels, each 8kW. Each array is connected via a smart system to control the energy produced.
Return on investment
Savings are expected to be in the region of $13,000 per year, with a return on investment expected between 5 – 6 years.
The system was also designed to accommodate the advent of new technologies allowing energy to be sold back to the grid on demand. Such systems offer larger incentives for the energy than the traditional Feed in Tariff (FiT).
Natural Solar installs world’s largest commercial Tesla Powerwall 2 array for Domino’s
In a world first, Aussies can now have battery powered pizza, with one Domino’s franchise in Sydney’s West now delivering pizza made using battery power direct to customer’s homes, due to their installation of ten Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries by Natural Solar; the largest commercial Tesla Powerwall installation in the world.
Chris Williams, CEO and Founder of Natural Solar, said the Company was proud to have worked on the largest commercial Tesla Powerwall installation in the world.
“Aussies can be assured that when they are biting into a piece of pizza from Domino’s Plumpton, it was cooked using battery power,” said Mr Williams. “We are excited Dominos has jumped on the battery bandwagon and are looking forward to seeing more Domino’s Franchises across Australia begin making their own ‘Tesla Powerwall 2 pizzas’.”
Domino’s Plumpton is the first store in Australia to opt into a renewable energy storage solution, having ten functional Tesla Powerwall 2 units installed which power all appliances including ovens, refrigerators, freezers and lights.
The system, which is already functioning, includes 10 Tesla Powerwall 2 units and can store 135kWh in power, which over the course of a year, is enough to cook more than 90,000 pizzas and 27,000 loaves of garlic bread.
The newly installed Powerwall 2 system at Dominos Plumpton will allow the store to charge their 10 batteries from the grid overnight when the store is not in use. This allows the store to use this extra 135kWh of power during the day, without having to change the infrastructure of the grid, allowing the store to meet high demand for hot fresh pizzas.