The SA Solar Battery Rebate: 2023 Guide
The South Australian state government is seeking to have more of its residents gain maximum benefit from the use of solar power. Consequently, they have come up with a home battery scheme.
The SA solar battery rebate scheme is open to all residents connected to the grid. In the scheme, applicants can access low-interest loans from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to purchase solar battery systems. Once you purchase the solar battery, you become eligible for the SA solar subsidy. The subsidy or rebate reduces the purchase cost by up to $3,000, depending on the battery capacity.
The South Australian government intends to make solar home battery systems affordable with this scheme. The subsidy targets a minimum of 40,000 households in South Australia. This will see more grid-connected homes reduce their power bills significantly.
A home battery system is a solar power system composed of solar panels, a solar battery, and an inverter. Many homes only have solar panels and an inverter for their solar system as the solar battery is expensive.
This is how a home battery system works. Your solar panels capture sunshine and convert it into Direct Current(DC) power. The flows to your system’s inverter and is converted to Alternating Current (AC) for use in the home. Then the battery stores any excess electricity generated for use later or to export back to the grid.
When homes use the excess electricity stored in the battery, they rely less on the electric grid. This results in lower electricity bills for the home. The South Australian government also hopes that it will reduce demand for grid electricity and lead to lower energy prices in South Australia.
South Australia's Home Battery Scheme
South Australia’s home battery scheme is a state government initiative to lower the cost of a home solar battery. The project is worth $100 million and targets 40,000 households with significant discounts when they purchase and install a solar battery system in their homes.
The battery’s capacity will determine how much you will receive in subsidies. The higher the capacity, the higher the amount of subsidy received. At the time of writing, the maximum subsidy in the scheme is $3, 000.
Homeowners can access the $100 million through low-interest loans from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
To access the subsidy on the solar battery, you need to make sure you purchase from a Clean Energy Council Approved and qualified system provider. The qualified system providers will advise on the required South Australia government-approved battery systems for home battery subsidy.
You can now upgrade your home solar system by taking advantage of the home battery scheme. This allows you to manage your time and your power usage effectively.
Although it is much better to use solar power during the day as it is being produced, the home battery storage system allows for the use of solar power at night and in low sunshine periods. It also leads to significantly lower electricity bills.
The scheme also favors energy concession holders. They are eligible for higher subsidy amounts, thus ensuring low-income households also gain access to less expensive renewable energy on favorable terms.
Energy concession holders will get a rebate worth $400 per kilowatt-hour of solar battery they purchase, while others only get $300.
How To Determine Whether You Need A Battery Storage System
Everyone needs solar battery storage systems for the many benefits accrued. However, before you install it, you need to consider a few important aspects of using battery storage.
First, your electricity usage. You need to consider your daily electricity consumption. For a large household with more appliances to run, battery storage systems are essential. You also need to consider when you use the most electricity.
The home battery system can help you lower your electricity bills if you are home in the evenings. If you are home during the day, you can use ordinary solar panels and little electricity at night. If you don’t want to use electricity, you can apply for the home battery scheme subsidy and install solar batteries at a lower cost.
Second, do you have an already existing solar PV system? If you do, this means that you already enjoy lower power bills. However, you may not be using your solar system effectively. If your solar system produces excess power that you don’t get to use, you need a solar battery. Contact an accredited battery installer to get South Australia state government subsidies when you purchase a battery.
Can you afford a home battery system? Solar PV systems are easy to buy and install for most households. The battery system is more expensive. The South Australian government’s home battery scheme is meant for you if you need it and can’t afford it.
The other factor to consider is if you currently enjoy a solar feed-in tariff. Those who already enjoy the high solar feed-in tariff may be discontinued since adding a solar battery may go against the tariff eligibility rules. Consider whether you would rather lose the high tariff, get a solar battery, and save on other high energy costs.
South Australia Solar Battery Rebates For Energy Concession Holder
Fixed or low-income South Australians can apply for help with their energy bills in their primary residence. On application, they will receive a concession card. With their concession card, they can apply to their electricity retailer to reduce energy costs to their household or primary residence.
Energy concession holders are also eligible for the South Australia home battery scheme subsidy. Energy concession holders will receive a higher subsidy when they join the program. Coupled with other solar incentives from the Australian government, the SA solar batteries rebates help in ensuring low-income households reduce their electricity costs with solar PV systems.
Who Is Eligible For For A Subsidy?
South Australia’s home battery scheme eligibility criteria are straightforward.
Any South Australian connected to the grid is eligible for the home battery scheme subsidy. This includes renters. However, they have to have permission from the property owner before they can apply for the subsidy.
If you own more than one property, each of your properties is eligible for the subsidy individually.
As mentioned, energy concession holders are eligible for the subsidy as long their name is on the electricity account of their primary residence.
Only residential properties are eligible for the solar batteries subsidy scheme.
Only battery systems passed by the Clean Energy Council are eligible. In addition, every battery installed should be installed by a qualified solar battery installer.
If you already have a solar PV system installed in your house, you can also apply for the South Australia solar home battery subsidy scheme. You can upgrade your existing PV system by purchasing additional solar panels and a battery system.
When purchasing the extra panels, keep in mind that the South Australia subsidy is only for the battery component of the PV system. Get advice from a qualified system provider on the extra panels to buy to get more out of your solar batteries.
A virtual power plant refers to a network of connected home solar battery systems that generate and export back power to the energy grid.
There are several virtual power plant programs run by solar system providers. When there is a high electricity demand, in peak hours, or when in need of blackout power, you need a virtual power plant. The connected batteries produce power for your home and other homes within the same system.
To build a virtual power plant, your systems provider needs to have several other customers. Your batteries can then connect to form a virtual power plant.
Many virtual power plant providers are still in the trial phase and are likely to onboard more customers at a future point.
Depending on the capacity of your solar battery system and your power usage you can live off-grid. However, to qualify for the South Australia home battery scheme, you need to be connected to the SA power networks.
The solar battery installation subsidy is meant to help households lower electricity costs. It is also intended to lower the demand on the grid. It is not an opportunity to live off the grid.
Depending on how much energy your battery can store, you can export the excess back to the grid.
Depending on where you live in South Australia, you may need to get approval to install a solar battery system.
If you live in an apartment building you will need installation approval. Also, seek approval from your apartment manager or owner if you are a tenant.
Yes. If you are building in South Australia, the home battery system scheme allows you to apply and receive the subsidy. The subsidy is processed after installation in the property. Thus, your system provider will indicate that your property is under construction.
This ensures that your subsidy remains valid for up to 12 months from the time you applied to the time the solar battery is installed on your property.
No. However, if the solar battery provider from whom you purchase runs a VPP, you may have to change to their energy provider partner. This will ensure that you can participate in the VPP program easily.
Energy independence when there is a high demand for power is the main reason why people install a battery system. A secondary reason is to ensure that you have power when there are blackouts.
Depending on the kilowatt-hour capacity of your battery, some will provide power during a blackout while others will not. Let your solar installer know what you are looking for so that they can advise you accordingly.
Author: Ben McInerney is a renewable energy enthusiast with the goal of helping more Australians understand solar systems to make the best choice before they purchase. Having an accredited solar installer in the family helps give Ben access to the correct information, which allows him to break it down and make it easily understandable to the average homeowner.