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“Our bills are half of what they used to be”

Smiling woman standing in front of a brick wall and a solar battery
Smiling woman standing in front of a brick wall and a solar battery

When Sue installed a solar battery at her outer Melbourne home 12 months ago, she knew she would see savings on her energy costs, but she has been surprised at the amount her bills have reduced.

“Before we had the battery our bills were two or three hundred dollars every two months, and now they’re under a hundred dollars. The most recent one’s about $65.” 

Sue decided to install the solar battery after having solar panels for the past eight years. 

“We’ve certainly saved a lot of money over the years in installing them at that time.” 

“I had been thinking about it for a while and had been concerned about the cost of the battery though, and whether we’d really get our money’s worth out of it in terms of savings.” 

Sue says getting the Solar Victoria solar battery rebate was a big factor in deciding to go ahead and install the battery.  

“We needed the rebate to enable us to afford to get the battery because it would have been too much for us to get the battery and would take us a long time to recoup that money in terms of savings, so we definitely needed the rebate to get us the battery.” 

Once she made the decision to install the battery, Sue says the process was quick. 

“The process was quite easy and quite quick. I completed an online application for the rebate and I had approval for the rebate within 24 hours and the company that were installing it were notified as well as me notifying them and then it was installed about 10 days later.” 

Having a solar battery means Sue can capture the excess energy her solar PV system generates.  

"Essentially the energy is going from the sun to the panels to the battery to our appliances and still being topped up as we’re using the appliances.  At the end of the day the battery is usually still full so in the evening we’re not drawing from the grid so we’re saving money”. 

To ensure she’s using the energy as its being generated, Sue has made some changes to how she uses her appliances. 

“I used to put the washing machine on at night, thinking I was using off peak power and saving money, but it’s actually better to run it during the day when the sun is shining.” 

By using her major appliances in the middle of the day, Sue is ensuring she gets the most out of her solar PV and solar battery and she is able to monitor their performance using an app on her phone. 

“I’ve actually got two apps now, one with the battery and one with the energy company that I’m with, but I found for the first two or three weeks I was constantly on the app, just looking at it all day when the sun was shining and when I turned on an appliance, say the dishwasher or the washing machine even the kettle.” 

“Using the app really taught me how to use the electricity better. It’s connected to the battery, so you get a picture of when the battery’s full, how much energy is coming from your solar panels into your battery, and also what energy you’re pulling from the grid or if you’ve got excess energy.  Definitely having the app with your battery does help you use it the best.” 

Sue’s solar battery has attracted quite a bit of interest from her friends and family. 

“Friends and family ask us about the battery and has it saved us money? I’ll show them the app and they’re very interested to see how that works.   They think it’s quite tidy where it is in our garage, it’s out of the way, we wouldn’t even know it was there.   I can compare my bill to my sister’s bill, and she likes mine a lot better!” 

“My advice to someone who’s considering getting a solar battery for solar panels would be to certainly look into the government rebate.  I would highly recommend; we’ve certainly found the whole process from applying for the rebate the installation all very smooth and very easy and now our bills are half of what they used to be and it won’t be many years before we make up that money as well.” 

Reviewed 31 March 2021

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