Business feature: Solar your life

SAVE: Solar Australia Managing Director Adam Dalby stands beside a BYD B-Box Battery, popular among many Australian households.

SAVE: Solar Australia Managing Director Adam Dalby stands beside a BYD B-Box Battery, popular among many Australian households.

With the recent hike in rates from energy retailers, Australians are honing in on ways to claw back on soaring power bills. While switching providers can offer savings, the true value may just be sitting on your roof.

The benefit of solar panels has long been debated in the market, improved battery technology and Tesla coming into the game means the argument is in favour of solar, and battery storage is now far more compelling.

Adam Dalby is Managing Director of Solar Australia; local experts in the supply of solar energy and storage. He says that the shift in Australia during the last ten years has been exponential.

“When we entered the market ten years ago, there were under one hundred homes connected to the grid with Solar panels. Today there’s over a million homes with PV solar on their roofs,” he begins.

With Australia’s rich supply of sunshine, it’s hardly surprising we are one of the biggest users of solar energy across the globe. But the climb in uptake is not the only change Dalby has seen.

“The biggest change is the cost of investment. Prices have dropped significantly for solar panels and battery storage and with solar incentives still available, it’s easier for the industry to offer a much more efficient return to customers,” he continues.

So how does it work? And more importantly how quickly does the benefit kick in? Well that all comes down to customer expectation, says Dalby.

“We come to your home for an informal consultation, analyse your bills and depending on how much you want to save, we work out the best solution.”

While roof size and its exposure to the sun determines much of your power saving potential, batteries can also affect how efficient solar can be for your home.

When you install a solar battery any excess energy your solar panels generate will be sent to your battery. This stores the sun’s excess energy throughout the day.

You can then schedule your battery to deliver the stored power to your house when you need it most; such as peak times/at night when the sun has gone down. Batteries can also offer comfort in blackout periods by providing back-up protection for essential loads.

Savings, says Dalby should be evident immediately and with finance available for the purchase solar and batteries, the initial outlay is affordable. With the Solar incentives currently offered discounts are immediately applied to the upfront cost of installing a solar system and can shave up to $7000 off the initial investment for a home.

“We look at the energy consumption over 365 days and determine an average that will factor in times when power is required in the home. This enables us to provide the right solution for the household. It then comes down to how much clients want to cut their bills by. The savings will be evident from the next bill,” he explains.

Batteries can be installed in the garage with the need for relatively little space, or there’s the option for a weatherproof product which can be placed outdoors. Solar Australia stock all leading brands of battery storage including names such as; LG, Tesla, Enphase and BYD.

Once the battery is full excess solar power can be sold back to the grid at 12 cents (approx) per kilowatt. It’s practical for an average household to start taking control of their power and bills, with their own generation. Solar and battery storage means households can generate their own power day or night. As power prices continue to rise those savings are only set to improve over the years.

“The future looks interesting, I have no doubt more Australians will switch to solar and battery storage to see just how much they are able to save.”