Should I Buy a Solar Battery Now or Wait?

The cost of waiting is higher than buying a solar storage battery now.  A bold statement perhaps, but if you look at history and analyse the figures it’s true.  The value of an energy storage battery is that it reduces your electricity bill by 90% or more in some cases.  Just do the maths!  Any discount has to be high to be worth waiting for.

It also provides freedom and control in the face of rising prices and on-going issues with our very old electricity grid. You keep your lights on in power cuts; you can sell your excess power back to the grid and in the future you will have the chance to sell your excess solar into virtual power plants and to people who want renewable energy but can’t produce it themselves.

Customers of ours who bought the LG RESU and Tesla Powerwall 1 batteries when they first entered the market are so far ahead in energy savings and control of their own power that they tell us frequently they don’t regret buying when they chose to.

There are several battery options to suit different needs.  Tesla Powerwall 2 is slick looking and has high storage capacity.  We have some special deals going on the Powerwalls & gateways right now.

The sonnenBatterie shown in the photo is also a great choice.  It’s the only battery currently available that was specifically designed for home use.  It has 10 years of reliable history behind it and is able to cycle more times than the other batteries.  This makes it a good option for the future if you are thinking of producing solar to sell.  Purchasing a sonnenBatterie gives you an option to join sonnenFlat which is a community of solar producers and gives you a discounted monthly electricity price.

Also available are the smaller LG RESU and VARTA batteries.  We will find the battery that suits your needs and budget.  Give us a call, visit the web site or come to our showroom in Allambie Heights.  We have the largest selection in Sydney of solar panels, storage batteries, inverters and other equipment on display.

 

Charge an electric vehicle with a solar inverter

SolarEdge has introduced an electric vehicle (EV) charging single phase solar inverter.  It enables households with solar power systems to charge their electric vehicles directly from the solar inverter without having to buy a separate EV charger.  They will also benefit from the ability to charge EVs up to 2.5 times faster than a standard EV charger through an innovative solar boost mode that uses grid and solar charging simultaneously.  The EV charging inverter is fully integrated with the SolarEdge monitoring platform.

Depending on your solar energy production, SolarEdge estimates the boosted inverter will give you 35 to 40kms/1 hour of charging compared to 8 to 15kms from a standard EV charger.

sonnenCharger for EVs linked to sonnenCommunity

Another innovative EV charger solution comes from German-based, solar battery manufacturer, sonnen which in early 2018 introduced the sonnenCharger in Europe.  It is a smart home charge point that charges your electric car from your own cheap solar power.  It is connected to the internet and sonnen’s mobile app.

The innovative thing is that it is linked to the Company’s community of energy storage devices. This means that if a member of the sonnenCommunity with an electric vehicle needs to charge but doesn’t have sufficient solar power, they can use excess energy from other sonnenCommunity members to cover their shortfall and still power their EV with clean solar power.

In Australia, people who have purchased a sonnenBatterie eco and joined sonnenFlat are already members of the pool of 10s of thousands of people who are coming together to form the World’s largest virtual power plant of its kind.  The introduction of the sonnenCharger in Europe brings transport in the shape of electric vehicles into a system that is already meeting energy needs previously provided by fossil fuels.

Whether you already have an electric car or think you might in the future, contact us to discuss your options.

 

How to reduce your electricity costs

Here’s how to completely remove or substantially reduce your electricity bill using sonnenFlat, Reposit, SolarEdge appliance control devices and being smart. In 2015/16 the average Australian electricity bill was $1,524 and 48% of it went to our old and failing grid.  Your electricity retail company got 24% which includes both their profits and costs, including advertising!  Generators (wholesalers) got 22% for electricity produced predominantly from coal or gas.  In 2017, electricity bills increased by 20% and it is anticipated they will rise year on year.

The price you pay for your electricity includes the tariff, fees and other charges that apply under your current plan and contract. Usually GST is added to your total bill.  Prices are subject to government regulation in some states.  However, here in NSW the electricity retailers set their own prices.  The amount you pay is based on your electricity consumption.  This is measured by how much power you use over an hour.  This is known as the watt hour (Wh).  A thousand watt hours is one kilowatt hour (kWh).  A smart meter will measure your consumption every 30 minutes.

Your electricity bill will have the total number of kilowatt hours used over a period of time – usually three months.

SonnenFlat – $0 electricity bill

You can reduce the amount you pay to retailers and wholesalers by investing in solar and being smart with how you use your power as detailed below.  However, the only way to avoid paying for what is often described as an ageing grid with good money being thrown after bad, is to go completely off-grid or change to a more modern system.  A system that not only saves you money with a low capped fee instead of an electricity bill but also eases the pressure on our ageing electricity infrastructure.

Relatively new to Australia, sonnenFlat is well established in Germany and over 30,000 people in Europe are already members.  It is basically a network of solar power generating homes which become a huge power station with control of their own power.  Sonnen coordinates it for a capped monthly fee which also guarantees an additional amount of kWh should you need it to supplement your own production. To become a member of the sonnen solar community you have to have a solar power system, purchase a sonnenBatterie eco and apply to join sonnenFlat.  Learn more…

Reducing how much you pay

You can act now to reduce how much you pay for electricity even without renewable energy.  Here are a couple of tips:

  • Work out how much energy your household uses and when
  • Time your energy hungry appliances to come on when electricity prices are lowest

If you have or are thinking of installing a solar power system you can time your energy hungry appliances such as the dishwasher or washing machine to come on when your panels are producing more energy than is being consumed by your household.  This can be made easy by using smart systems such as Reposit or SolarEdge appliance control devices.

Please call or contact us through our web site to discuss how much money can be saved using solar energy.

Achieve maximum solar power use

Generating maximum solar power and using as much as possible yourself, protects you from high electricity prices and gives the best value for money from your solar system.

Maximum Solar Power Generation

A SolarEdge optimised inverter with LG solar panels will ensure you get the most power you can out of your solar system.  Unlike other inverters, the SolarEdge system enables every panel to generate the maximum solar power it can making the system produce up to 25% more power than others, irrespective of the solar panels used.

Add LG solar panels and we believe you have a high power winning combination. We use LG solar panels because they not only win award after award for their performance but they also come with a 25 year product and labour warranty.  Other solar panel manufacturers only warrant their panels for around 10 years.  They produce more power than other similar sized panels. LG’s NeOn 2 solar panels at 335W are a similar size to 275W solar panels. We have tested many solar panels over the years.  We believe that a well designed SolarEdge system with LG solar panels will deliver the maximum possible solar energy the system can produce.

Using all Your Solar Power

The limiting aspect of solar energy is that it can only be generated when there is sunlight.  The introduction of affordable solar storage batteries has enabled its use after dark.  If you do not wish to add a battery to your system, there are other options we can advise you on.  Some small changes to when you use appliances can make a big difference.  We can help you turn your home into a ‘Smart Home’ using inexpensive appliance control devices and by using the SolarEdge immersion device you can have solar powered hot water without the expense of  a solar hot water system.

If you want complete control of your power and what you pay for electricity then you should purchase a sonnen battery and apply to join sonnenFlat.  This caps your electricity costs at $30+GST for a 5kW solar power system and you become part of a renewable energy community.  The sonnenBatterie eco is the World’s most popular solar storage battery. If you want large storage capacity then Tesla Powerwall 2 at 13.5kWh is one of the largest on the market and a popular choice.  We can go through your energy needs and find the best solution.  One thing we are certain of is that you get much better value for money by using your own solar power rather than sending excess solar power to the electricity grid.

 

 

 

 

High electricity prices – latest report

A recent report on Austalia’s wholesale electricity market predicts that higher prices are the “new normal”.  The report from the Grattan Institute* calls on the Government to encourage investment in low emissions power like solar energy.  If the report is correct, homes and businesses that look to solar power systems and battery storage for energy will beat high wholesale electricity prices by generating their own.

Why higher wholesale electricity prices are here to stay

Across Australia’s National Energy Market (NEM) wholesale electricity prices rose by 130% between 2015 and 2017.

The value of electricity traded in the NEM more than doubled from $8 to $18 billion. In 2017, household bills increased up to 20%.

The report concludes there have been three main reasons for the upward trend in wholesale electricity prices:

  1. The closure of two large and ageing coal fired power stations. South Australia’s Northern closed in 2016  and Victoria’s Hazelwood closed in 2017.
  2. Prices of key inputs like gas and black coal rose just as more generation was required to balance closures.
  3. Energy generators ‘gaming’ the system by creating artificial scarcity of supply in concentrated markets. (This occurs in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria but has not appeared in NSW)

The report recommends governments to provide stable energy and climate change policies.  It says keeping ageing coal-fired power stations open is not the solution even though two large closures in the last couple of years have contributed to the upward trend in prices.  Instead it says investment in renewable energy should be encouraged.  Clear investment incentives should exist during times of low energy supply and rising prices. Australian households and businesses would subsequently get reliable low-cost, low-emissions electricity.

SonnenFlat capped electricity prices

Solarpro is advising prospective customers not only to invest in battery storage but to specifically consider the sonnen battery because it gives access to sonnenFlat which is a effectively a solar community electricity retailer.  When you join sonnenFlat you no longer receive an electricity bill and your costs are capped at $30 or $50 a month for average homes and there are larger options for businesses.  Learn more…

*The Grattan Institute is an Australian public policy think tank, established in 2008. The Melbourne-based institute is non-aligned, however it defines itself as contributing “to public policy in Australia as a liberal democracy in a globalised economy.”