Solar Batteries Supercharge Your Savings

By Morgan Pierce

Updated June 11, 2023

In recent weeks, we’ve talked with enthusiasm about the government’s Clean Export Guarantee, but not enough about solar batteries. The CEG is the government backed scheme under which energy suppliers are obliged to pay a competitive rate for electricity that micro-suppliers – homes, farms, small businesses – generate through solar PV or wind power.

To make the most of this scheme, however, it’s really important that micro-suppliers like you and me do a cost-benefit analysis between the energy we produce and consume ourselves, and any we “spill” (i.e. export) to the Grid. If you are taking the important step of installing solar PV, you want to follow through to make sure you are also getting the best deal possible from your energy supplier.

In some cases – especially with all the buzz around the CEG payment – suppliers are offering great rates for the energy we micro-suppliers export to the Grid. The sting in the tail of those offers is the fact that sometimes those same suppliers are charging a high or higher rate for any energy you have to buy from them. Even when a micro-supplier (that’s you!) does get a good deal, it is usually the case that you’ll pay more from any energy you have to buy than any energy you have to sell.

‘Why,’ you may ask, ‘would someone with solar PV have to buy any energy from an outside supplier? Shouldn’t the solar array on my roof cover all my energy needs?’

And that’s where solar batteries comes in.

Once solar energy is created – say by the strength of the sun shining on the photovoltaic cells in rooftop panels – it must be used immediately. If you or other family members are at home during the day, you may be able to use a large proportion of the electricity you generate. That limits the amount of energy you’d need to buy.

But for many of us, higher energy usage – starting up washing machines, tumble dryers, TV and electric lights – begins when we get home from work. Often that’s after the sun goes down, not during the peak energy production period for solar panels.

A battery added to your solar PV installation provides a way of storing the energy produced during those peak times, so that it is there when you need it.

Storing the power generated by your own system means having to buy less from your energy provider. For example, if you need 15kW of electricity at a given time, and your solar PV system produces 5kW, you’d have to buy the additional 10kW you need. By using a solar battery to store what you’ve generated earlier, you can minimize the number of kilowatts you’ll need to buy, and maximize your savings.

SolarSmart’s installers and those at other reputable solar energy firms are well versed to advise about the amount of energy your chosen system can produce, and what size battery will best suit your needs. The right battery will meet your night-time energy needs and then be ready to be charged up when the sun rises the next day.

Batteries enable those with solar PV to live as prosumers and as much of their “energy lives” as possible “off-grid”. In a world in which most large energy suppliers are still generating significant amounts of energy from non-renewables, that level of self-reliance is valuable. By adding to the net supply of renewables, while simultaneously decreasing demand for energy generated from fossil fuels, a battery increases the overall positive environmental impact of installing solar and saves you money.

Talk to us today to learn how you can save with a battery!