Why You Should Consider a Solar Battery and How to Choose the Best One for You

Considering solar battery storage for your home? Here’s why it’s a great idea and how to choose the right one for your household.

The Benefits of a Solar Battery

Here are just a few of the benefits of switching to solar with battery storage.

Back Up in the Event of a Blackout

Solar batteries make it extremely unlikely that you’ll ever suffer the frustration of a power outage ever again. Power outages, or blackouts, occur due to faults in the main grid. So, if you’re not relying on the main grid for your electricity supply, it will never be an issue. As long as your solar system and battery are both large enough to produce and store ample power, you won’t need electricity from the main grid. Some solar batteries even allow you to store a portion of energy separately, only to be used in the event of a blackout, giving you even more coverage.

Further Reduce Energy Bills

Naturally, the biggest reason people invest in solar batteries is to reduce energy bills. Here’s a brief explanation of your options for interacting with the main electricity grid:

  • No solar installation: All your electricity comes from the main grid, and you pay for it through an energy retailer.
  • On-grid solar: You don’t have a solar battery, but the sun powers your home during the day. You still rely on the main grid at night or when your system isn’t producing enough solar energy for your needs. Your bills will be reduced, and you may be able to export excess power to the grid for a credit on your account, but you’ll still pay for some amount of power.
  • On-grid solar with battery: Assuming your system produces and stores enough energy, you reduce your reliance on the grid. Solar energy powers your home directly during the day, and excess power is stored for use at night when electricity costs the most from the grid.

So, you can drastically reduce or even remove energy bills with solar battery storage.

Reduce your Carbon Footprint

While not a financial gain, many people want to reduce their carbon footprint for the good of the planet. Reducing your reliance on electricity companies also reduces our reliance on fossil fuels.

How to Choose the Right Solar Battery for You

Without getting too technical, there are a few basic things you’ll want to consider when choosing the right solar battery storage for your home.

Usable Storage Capacity

Battery capacity is measured in kWh (kilowatt-hours) and represents the total amount of energy your battery can store. It’s best to check the details of any solar power battery storage solution you’re considering because the actual usable storage capacity is often around 80-90% of the full capacity.
So, if you purchase a 10kWh battery, you may only be able to use 8kWh of energy. However, some modern battery systems make that remaining 10-20% available for emergencies, such as blackouts. Always ask your provider for full details regarding usable storage capacity.

Upfront Cost

Naturally, everybody has a budget. Solar power batteries have decreased in price, but they are still considered to be quite expensive. Ultimately, you should work out how much money a battery could save you each year and then decide how many years it would take for the system to effectively pay for itself. This approach is purely financial and doesn’t take into account your desire to reduce your carbon footprint, break away from reliance on electricity retailers, or increase your energy security.

Inverter and System Compatibility

Certain types of batteries are only compatible with certain inverters. Some lithium batteries, for example, only work with certain hybrid inverters. If you consider a Tesla Powerwall 2, though, they use an inbuilt inverter so this isn’t a concern. Before doing any major solar upgrades, ask for a consultation from SolarBright, so we can tell you exactly what will be compatible and what won’t.

Warranty

Another important thing to consider is the warranty. The Tesla Powerwall 2, for example, comes with a 10 year/10,000 cycle warranty. It’s important to get the most out of your warranty – if something goes wrong, it’s good to have peace of mind that you can access repairs with no additional cost.

Overall, it’s a personal preference as to whether battery storage is right for you. If you use a lot of power at night or when the sun isn’t shining, you’ll certainly maximise the benefits of your system by adding a battery. For more information on solar installations and battery storage, contact the friendly team at SolarBright today.

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What Are the Benefits Of a Solar Battery In Your home?

Many Australian homes run on solar power during the day, but adding a solar battery is the next step in taking full advantage of the sun. Solar batteries store excess power produced during the day to help power the home at night to save on electricity bills. They can also provide backup during power outages. Let’s look at the benefits of installing a solar battery in your home.

How Solar Batteries Work

Solar panels often produce more electricity than your household needs when the sun is shining Generally, this power is sent back to the grid. However, if you have a solar battery, this excess energy can be stored for you to use later. Typically made with lithium-ion, solar batteries are an efficient, long-lasting, and safe way to take advantage of the sun’s natural resources and make your solar system even more sustainable.

The Benefits of a Solar Battery for your home

Installing a solar battery to your home offers a range of benefits, from stability, independence, and savings. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits.

Energy Independence

Storing your excess power in a solar battery means you don’t have to make the most of your solar power during daylight hours. This reduces your reliance on the power grid and allows you to use your power when you need it, at night or during peak times.

Backup Power

During power outages and blackouts, your solar battery can provide you with backup power to keep your essential appliances running. This gives you increased security, especially in areas prone to power outages or during emergencies.

Your Power for You

Storing the excess solar power your panels have created means that you get to use it yourself, rather than pushing it back to the grid. This ensures that more of the energy generated is used directly by your own home.

Energy Savings

Using your stored solar energy at peak times, when electricity rates are high, will help to reduce your electricity bills. This can result in significant long-term savings on your energy bills and lower your cost of living.

Supporting the Grid

Solar batteries can help to stabilise the grid by storing excess power when solar generation exceeds the demand. Power is stored and released when the power demand is high, balancing the supply and demand on the electricity grid.

Environmentally Friendly

Adding on a solar battery to your existing system significantly reduces reliance on fossil fuels for electricity. More solar means less greenhouse gas emissions and fewer negative environmental impacts.

A Long-Term Investment

Setting up a solar system with panels and batteries can be a significant up-front cost. However, the incentives, rebates, and savings on your energy bills make them a worthwhile long-term investment.

Increasing your home’s value with Solar

Research shows that solar panels and batteries can significantly increase a home’s value, attracting eco-conscious buyers and reducing long-term energy costs(Origin Good Energy Report – April 2018).

Below are just some of the ways you can add value to your home with solar panels and a battery.

Savings

A solar system on the roof screams “I save on my energy bills!” to potential homebuyers. The promise of low energy bills and long-term savings adds value to your home in the present and future.

Resale Value

A solar power system complete with battery storage can enhance the curb appeal of a property. With buyers becoming increasingly interested in environmentally sustainable homes, buying a home that is already equipped with solar panels and a battery is a top priority.

Battery storage is a valuable selling point for any home, especially in areas that are prone to power outages or low grid reliability. Having your own backup power capabilities is appealing to potential homebuyers in these locations.

Incentives and Rebates

There may be tax credits or rebates available for a solar system, depending on the home’s location and energy provider. This not only increases the value of the home to potential buyers but offers savings to current occupants.

A Future-Proof Home

For a homebuyer, investing in renewable energy is an opportunity to invest in the future. A solar power system can be desirable to homebuyers looking to future-proof their home against rising energy costs and changing energy regulations, while also planning for charging capabilities for electric vehicles. Buyers may consider a home with these renewable energy features as a valuable long-term investment.

Solar batteries offer homeowners greater control over their energy production and usage, making them a valuable addition to any home. The benefits of adding a solar battery to your home speak for themselves. For more information on whether a battery will suit you call SolarBright and talk to one of our energy consultants.

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Save On Your Heating This Winter with These 5 Tips

Some people enjoy the winter: it’s a chance to stay cosy and warm inside. But that can only happen if you’ve got good heating options. With the additional electricity use and longer morning showers, winter can be a terrible time for energy bills. If you want to stay warm and comfortable in winter without excessive energy bills, we’ve got some tips for you.

Lower Your Heater’s Temperature

If you use a wood heater, you can skip this tip. But for everybody who uses other heating solutions such as heat pumps, space heaters or even gas heaters, these come with an expense in the form of your energy bill. One of the ways to reduce your costs is to simply lower the temperature on your heater.

A heat pump, for example, if kept between 18-20 degrees Celsius, can comfortably heat your rooms. The temptation is always there to crank it up to 23 or higher, but this is where the system has to work harder and therefore uses more energy. Pick the lowest comfortable temperature for your needs, and you’ll save money instantly.

Use Weatherstripping On Doors and Windows

Doors and windows are notorious for creating a draft that not only lets cold air into your home but allows warm air to escape. Weatherstripping is a strip of rubber or plastic that’s used to seal the gap between a door or window and its frame. It helps to keep heat in and cold out, which means your heating system doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain your chosen temperature.

Best of all, weatherstripping is quite cost-effective and can be found in any hardware store. It’s simple to install yourself, and you’ll reap the benefits when your next energy bill arrives.

Close off Unused Spaces

In many Australian homes, there is a lot of unused space, whether it’s’ a spare bedroom or the bathroom that’s only going to be used at certain times of the day. If your heater tries to heat the entire house, it will be less effective and need more electricity or gas to maintain the temperature. So, consider which areas really need to be heated.

Bathrooms usually have their own heater, so you can warm up quickly if you need to use that room. Laundries are used sporadically and don’t need to be heated. Every home and lifestyle is different, but closing off sections of the house that you aren’t using is a great way to save money.

Install Insulation

This tip may not be the cheapest or easiest, but it’s extremely effective. Insulation is laid in your roof and wall cavities, even under your floorboards, to provide an extra barrier that keeps heat inside your home. Insulation is quite easy to install in your roof cavity, provided you have easy access.

Wall and floor insulation is a bit more complex because access to those spaces is more complicated. However, there are modern less-invasive methods, such as foam insulation that make this job easier. It may cost a little more, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Consider a Solar Power Installation

While all of these tips are useful for reducing your energy bills, there’s one that’s guaranteed to slash them drastically. A solar power installation allows you to power your home with free solar energy during daylight hours. If you choose to install a solar battery, too, you can even store excess solar energy generated during the day for use at night.

Especially in winter, when heating use is more prevalent and expensive, solar power installations can save you large amounts on electricity bills. SolarBright is your trusted name for clean, green energy. With solar installers in Sydney ready to set you up, there’s no better time to ask us for an obligation-free quote.

Looking for the Best Solar Installers Sydney Has to Offer?

Solar power installations come in many sizes to suit all types of households. But the one common theme is that they all save you significant amounts of money on energy bills. You can book a consultation with us at SolarBright, and we’ll give you an estimate of your savings, and even how long it will take before your system pays for itself. Talk to our professional team to find out more.

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Are Solar Panels Worth It? We Do the Math

Solar energy is growing in popularity every day. But are solar panels really worth it? Let’s find out whether solar is a cost-effective solution for your home.

Government Incentives

Before we go into costs, it’s worth mentioning the government incentive available for solar buyers. The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) is designed to reduce the upfront cost of investing in solar panels. In very simple terms, when you purchase a solar package, you’re given a certain number of STC (small-scale technology certificates) credits. The number of STCs you receive depends on the size of your system and your location. STCs are essentially sold by the solar retailer on your behalf, and the value of these credits is deducted from your upfront cost. You can, of course, hold your credits, pay full price to your retailer, and sell your STCs independently if you choose.

Your location means the rebate amount will vary. In 2024 a rough estimate in NSW is around $390 per kW installed. So, for a 6.6kW solar power system, you can expect a rebate of around $2,600.

Note: The SRES technically isn’t a rebate, but since most solar retailers will help you take this amount off your upfront cost, we’ll call it a rebate for simplicity.

Components and Cost of a Solar Installation

There are two main components to a standard grid connected solar installation: the solar panels and the solar inverter. You can, of course, consider battery storage, too, but for the purpose of this article, we’re going to look at solar installations with no battery storage.

According to Canstar, you can expect to pay around $6,000 for a 6.6kW solar installation. For this article, we’ll use 6.6kW systems as they are the most common and in optimum conditions, they generate plenty of solar energy for the average household.

This price includes solar panels and your solar inverter (which is required to turn solar energy into usable electricity). Installation costs may vary depending on the complexity of your roof, but these are generally included in the price. So, let’s say that solar panels Sydney cost roughly $6,000, and this is after any STC credits you may receive.

Can You Access a Feed-in Tariff?

When determining if solar is right for your family, you need to know if you can access a feed-in tariff. Here’s a very brief example of how a typical on-grid solar system works.

  • Solar panels generate energy during daylight hours (or whenever the sun is shining).
  • Solar energy must be used immediately (unless you have battery storage).
  • At night or during poor solar-producing conditions, your electricity comes from an energy retailer through the main grid.
  • Excess (unused) solar energy produced by your panels during the day is exported to the main grid, and your energy retailer gives you a credit on your energy bill.

Feed-in tariff rates range from 0c per kWh to 20c per kWh. For the sake of argument, we’ll say the average is 8c per kWh. The average 6.6kW system produces roughly 24kWh of energy per day. Even on the higher end of consumption, let’s say your home uses 10kwh of energy during the day. This leaves 14kwh to be exported.

14kwh x 8c = $1.12

Over a month, this represents an approximate $33 credit on your energy bill.

Monthly Savings from Solar

The amount you save by using solar energy is really dependent on how much energy you consume. If your consumption is typically higher during the day, you’ll save more because your home is powered by free solar. But if you use more energy in the evenings, your solar savings will be less.

It is estimated that families can save over $2,000 per year. Because every home is different, it’s impossible to give a generalised figure, so we’ll go with this figure, which equates to a monthly saving of around $166.

Let’s not forget, you could also be getting around $33 in credit on your electricity bill. So, add that together, and we’ve got $199 worth of savings per month.

When Does Solar Pay for Itself?

So, the big question is, how quickly does a solar system pay for itself? If you consider that you’re saving $199 per month and the system costs you $6,000 upfront, the calculation is:

$6,000 / $199 = 30 months

This means that you can save enough money in approximately 30 months to cover the initial cost of installation.

When you consider that most solar panels come with a 25-year warranty and the system can pay for itself in 2.5 years, that’s a lot of time you can expect to enjoy energy savings, even after the initial cost is covered.

Again, the figures used in these calculations aren’t going to be the same for everybody. It all comes down to how much energy you use and, more importantly, when you use it. Using more energy during daylight hours and less of an evening typically means you’ll save more than a household that predominantly uses power at night. But even if it took five years to pay for itself, a solar system still leads to excellent long-term savings.

Want to Know More About How Much Solar Panels in Sydney cost?

If you’d like to start slashing energy bills and saving money today, contact our friendly SolarBright team to discuss the best solar panels for your home.

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When is the Best Time to Install Solar?

Summer may seem like the obvious season to install solar panels for your home. And you wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that many households opt to wait for the warmer months to make the switch to solar (there is no wrong decision after all!) However, holding off until November or December can have drawbacks that may be avoided by choosing to install solar during a different season.

So, while it’s a fact that summer brings longer daylight hours and higher temperatures, there are a number of significant benefits to investing in solar before the sunny season hits. Here are some factors you may want to consider when deciding on the right time to install solar.

Start Taking Advantage of Sunlight Now

Despite common misconceptions, a solar power system will be beneficial to your household all year round, not just in summer. This is because solar panels don’t require heat to generate energy, only sunlight (or ultraviolet rays). In fact, extreme temperatures can actually work against the efficiency of your solar panels, meaning a sunny 25°C day may result in better energy production than a hot day in the middle of summer. This makes both Autumn and Spring suited for solar generation.

An additional benefit to installing solar outside of the hotter months is that your solar energy will not be drained by operating air conditioning systems when the need arises. These are a major contributor to energy consumption; less reliance on the power grid has a positive effect on your energy bill.

Less Demand = Quicker Turnaround

Summer is the peak season for solar power installations. As the heat rises, so do power bills. And as the need for air conditioning increases, so does the demand for solar energy. Therefore, by choosing to have solar installed prior to the summer period, solar providers are more likely to offer a faster turnaround time, from quote to installation.

You may also find that providers offer better deals on solar system installations during non-peak seasons due to lower customer demand.

Government Rebate Scheme Available Now

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) is available to households and small businesses across Australia that install an eligible small-scale renewable energy system such as solar panels or solar water heaters.

This generous scheme offered by the Federal Government entitles you to a subsidy that can help with the purchase cost of your solar system.

Purchasing an eligible solar system allows for the creation of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), which are calculated based on the expected power generation of your system over a 15-year period, or until the scheme ends in 2030.

You have the choice of assigning your STCs to your solar provider, who will exchange them for a dollar amount and deduct this from the cost of your installation, or you can sell the STCs yourself to receive the benefits.

As this current scheme has a limited lifespan, now is a great time to jump on board and make the switch to solar so you don’t miss out on the savings. The rebates are reduced by 7% on Jan 1 every year.

Be Ready When Summer Hits

To make the most of long summer days, you need to be prepared before the season arrives. Not only will solar providers have more availability during non-peak times, but you will be perfectly placed to take full advantage of the increase in sunlight hours when solar generation is at optimum levels.

With this in mind, consider installing solar in the colder months when demand is at its lowest. In doing so, you can save both time and money and start reaping the numerous benefits of solar immediately.

Install Solar Today with SolarBright

Solar systems from SolarBright can help reduce your energy bill every day of the year. Our high-quality range of solar products has been helping households harness the power of the Australian sun for over 15 years.

So, don’t wait until summer, contact the solar experts at SolarBright to arrange a free consultation and take advantage of solar energy today.

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