“I thought it’s less about finance, more about what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint.”
“Being one of the first people to take on a solar battery in the area and I’m really glad I did, it was very much driven by what’s the latest technology and what can I get out of my battery.”
Richard, his wife Lyn and two boys moved into their three-bedroom home in 2014. It already had 12 solar panels but they decided to add another ten 250W panels in 2015.
With the panels producing about 6 kw of power on a really good day, they decided to install a 9 kwh battery using the rebate they received from the Solar Homes battery rebate stream.
Monitoring their energy use with the app on their iPad, the Dowsons have changed the way they use their appliances.
“It helps me think about my usage of power, because if we even that out, then it puts less strain on the grid. I feel like I have more control over my energy usage about what I can with that energy and when it is used.”
“I’m not consuming all the energy my panels are harvesting, a lot of it is going into the battery. And when that’s fully charged, any excess goes back out into the grid for other people to use. I have changed the way I use my appliances. There’s far less high draw appliances, at the same time, like the dryer, the washing machine, the dishwasher, the kitchen appliances tend to have high draw.”
Researching battery retailers and estimating savings
This Melbourne household were early adopters of home energy storage and offer their own advice to anyone looking to add a battery to their solar PV system.
Richard says the battery delivers what he hoped it would.
“It gives a constant, reliable source of electricity that I’ve harvested myself for free from the sun.”
“There is huge consensus on climate change, be part of the solution not the problem. Don’t look for reasons why you can’t, look for the reasons why you should and why you can.”
Richard says the rebate from Solar Victoria made it that much easier to buy a battery.
And eight months on, he says he’s more often in credit because of the battery installation.
“It works astonishingly well. I am at the moment 35 dollars in credit and that’s including everything on the bill. It’s rare now that I pay on a monthly basis for electricity, especially during the summer, during winter, I still manage to get the battery fully charged, which is 9kwh I can use throughout the day.”
While the warranty for a battery is usually ten years, Richard expects to get a bit more than that out of his.
“For me, it’s less about paying off this battery within its lifetime. I think that is achievable. But because we opted to go for the higher capacity, it’s more about the environmental aspects. We had the means to do it at the time, and I think it’s an environmental investment as well as a personal one.”
Reviewed 22 August 2023