Consumer advocacy group says solar battery electricity can be cheaper than grid power

Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group says that solar battery electricity might be cheaper per kilowatt-hour than using grid power.

Depending on the time of day and the feed-in tariff (FiT) you get from your energy supplier, the consumer advocate says a large enough solar array and battery storage system can be a cheaper option.

Choice concludes that battery storage makes more financial sense for households with a lower feed-in tariff.

It can be more cost-effective to divert excess solar energy into your own Solar battery storage because FiTs are relatively low in most parts of Australia. This can also be accessed overnight or when the weather is overcast.

Choice’s Chris Barnes says that solar battery costs continue to fall. People will likely install energy storage batteries with their solar panels over the next couple of years, thus bringing them closer to the financial tipping point between battery cost and retail power cost.

But because home solar power system is an ‘island’ of power and it’s not controlled by the main distribution network, solar batteries disconnect from the electrical grid when a blackout occurs. This is due to the ‘anti-islanding’ protection, which protects electrical workers from power surges from home batteries when they are trying to repair lines on the grid.

However, today’s advanced storage systems provide anti-islanding protection while still keeping your solar panels and battery operating.

Choice notes that increasing numbers of people are investing in home battery systems, even though battery storage can still be expensive.

The group recommends working through two or three quotes to ensure you get the best and safest deal. Solar retailers and installers accredited by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) offer the latest technology, competitive prices, and approved installation.

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