The Home Battery Scheme is currently offering $6,000 off a new Home Battery, which is available to qualifying South Australian households. The Home Battery Scheme has been made possible by the $100 million in state Government Subsidies allocated by the South Australian Government.
As the Home Battery Scheme only subsidises the purchases of eligible Home Batteries, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has matched the $100 million in State Government Subsidies to make low-interest finance options available for both Solar and Battery purchases, which is facilitated through RateSetter.
The intent of a home battery system is to reduce one’s reliance on the grid, to get more usage from your solar system, access to blackout power and to reduce energy bills.
How is the Home Battery Scheme Subsidy Calculated?
The Home Battery Subsidy is calculated based on the home battery’s usable storage capacity and is capped at a maximum of $6000 per Home Battery for up to 40,000 SA households. Each SA Household could receive $500 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and Energy Concession Holders could receive $600 per kWh off a battery eligible for the Home Battery Scheme.
For example, a home battery with 5kWh of usable storage capacity could receive a $2500 subsidy, or $3000 for energy concession holders.
Home Battery Subsidy per Eligible Battery
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What is a home battery system?
A home battery system typically includes a battery and an inverter, paired with existing or new rooftop solar panels. Not all battery systems provide backup power. If you want a home battery system that provides uninterrupted electricity in the event of a blackout, additional equipment needs to be installed. (Ask your qualified Home Battery System Provider to include this option when obtaining a quote).
The battery system works by storing excess generation from your solar panels during the day providing stored energy to be used when the sun goes down. By storing and using more of the energy generated by your solar system, your household will draw less energy from the grid, saving you money on your energy bill.
This means lower electricity costs for the households who purchase a solar and battery system. In turn, the installation of these solar and battery systems will reduce demand on the network (especially during peak periods) lowering energy prices for all South Australians.
Home Battery Scheme FAQs
Am I eligible for a Home Battery subsidy?
How much will a Home Battery save me?
Home Batteries store energy produced by roof top solar panels to use at a later stage, such as in the evenings or early mornings when solar is not as efficient.
A Home Battery also allow you to use grid energy when tariffs are low and switch to battery storage when energy rates are high, which reduces electricity usage at peak hours, therefore reducing energy bills. On average, batteries can contribute 30% of a household’s energy usage.
Is a Home Battery Affordable?
A Quality Home Battery is expensive, however, the Home Battery Scheme and CEFC / RateSetter have made efforts to assist with reducing the costs of a home battery to a home owner. These efforts include the introduction of the Home Battery Subsidy of up to $6000 off a new Home Battery and low-finance options from CEFC via RateSetter.
In addition to this, eligible Home Battery owners have the option to join the Virtual Power Plant(VPP) via various Virtual Power Plant Providers.
The Virtual Power Plant plans may include access credit payments, amounts off your battery, sign up bonuses, or affordable “pay as you use” packages for energy usage.
An additional consideration is the expected savings on your energy bill, which can also be written off against the home battery, which increases over the life-time of the battery.
I own multiple properties that I rent out, may I access the Home Battery Subsidy & Virtual Power Plant for these properties?
Yes. This is becoming more popular as this allows property owners to generate greater rental income from properties, while also increasing their properties’ value.
There are various strategies to implement this in such a manner that it benefits the property owner and the tenants. For additional information, please contact our experienced consultants on 8370 9555
I already have a Solar System. May I add more panels when purchasing a battery?
Yes. As we analyse clients on an individual basis, we do find that clients may require an upgrade/expansion to their solar system to meet their energy requirements.
Please keep in mind that the home battery subsidy only applies to the Home Battery and not solar or separate inverters, however the low-interest finance options via CEFC and RateSetter may be used for the purchase of batteries and / or solar.
May I access the subsidy if I do not own my home?
Yes, However you will need to get owner’s consent and demonstrate the owner’s consent to the Home Battery System Provider before installation.You may not remove the battery from the property in the even that you move to another property.
May I live Off-Grid with a Subsidised Battery?
No. The Home Battery Scheme was developed so that home battery systems can become affordable and can also feed the grid to form part of the Virtual Power Plant. Therefore, subsidised home battery systems need to remain connected to the SA Power Network’s electricity network.
Will I lose my Pre 2012 SA Govt Subsidised feed-in tariff?
If you add a home battery or upgrade your existing solar, then yes you will loose the Feed-In Tariff. Often, it is not worth while loosing the high feed-in tariff, however if you have high energy bills, then it might still be a consideration.
With the current Home Battery Scheme, low-interest loans and Virtual Power Plan plans available, it might be something to consider.Feel free to speak to your energy retailer or one of our consultants for expert advice regarding your individual case.
How is the subsidy administered?
Unlike a rebate, where the consumer gets a partial refund on the purchase of a product, a subsidy is a sum of money given to an industry to reduce the cost of a product or service.
The South Australian Government is working with Australian peer-to-peer lender, RateSetter, to administer the subsidy and finance available through the Home Battery Scheme.
Should you accept a quote for an eligible home battery system, the System Provider will provide you with a link to the RateSetter website where the subsidy will be applied and you can apply for finance if required. This can be done over the phone, if you don’t always have access to a computer.
The subsidy is taken off the cost of the home battery system, and given to the System Provider once the system is installed at your home.
How much can I borrow from CEFC/RateSetter?
CEFC/RateSetter allows for low-interest loans from $2,001 up to $45,000 for the purchase of Solar or a Home Battery. A loan application is submitted to RateSetter for approval.
Can I access the subsidy more than once?
Yes. If you own multiple properties, you can access the Home Battery Scheme’s Subsidy more than once. However, the property must be a residential property and you can only access the battery subsidy once per property.
You will be required to provide the National Metering Identifier (NMI) of the property when applying for the Home Battery Scheme subsidy (this can be found on your bill).
How do I access the subsidy if I don’t have a computer or the internet?
You may still apply for the Home Battery Scheme, even if you do not have access to the internet or a computer. Please contact 8370 9555 or visit the Sharpe Energy Hub showroom at 71 Port Road, we will assist and guide you through the entire process. We will also ensure that you have a paper copy of the Home Battery Subsidy application.
To ensure your satisfaction, you will need to confirm your satisfaction once the new home battery has been installed. This can be done by either providing Shsrpe Energy Hub with written confirmation, or telephonically with a RateSetter consultant.
How big is a battery storage system?
Typically a home battery system is between 30 – 125 kilograms, and between the size of a microwave and the ‘outdoor’ part of a split cycle air conditioning unit, depending on the energy storage capacity. Home Batteries can be installed outdoors or indoors and they are often mounted to the wall, but can also be installed on the floor. Call 8370 9555 for more advice about the qualifying Home Batteries and their installation.
Where will the Home Battery be installed?
We conduct a comprehensive site inspection to determine the best position for a home battery to be installed. During the site inspection, our inspector will identify certain locations and will discuss the options with the homeowner.
Will the battery work in a blackout?
Not all batteries will work in a blackout, however, certain home batteries have built-in blackout protection or it is offered as an optional extra.
Generally, blackout protection provides power for lighting, fridges, life-support apparatus and certain important electrical devices. It is important to discuss this option with your consultant to ensure that it does have the blackout feature that you may require.
Am I eligible for an Energy Concession? How do I apply for one?
Eligible South Australians on low or fixed incomes can apply for help with the cost of energy bills. The concession amount is indexed each financial year. For 2018-19, you may be eligible to receive up to $223.01 to cover both electricity and gas payments (including LPG bottled gas). For more information, visit: www.sa.gov.au/topics/care-and-support/financial-support/concessions/energy-bill-concessions
It is also strongly recommended that households contact their retailer when facing difficulty paying electricity bills. Retailers will work with customers regarding repayment of their bills, and may be able to offer a discounted rate if requested.
More information about the eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found online at www.sa.gov.au/topics/care-and-support/financial-support/concessions/energy-bill-concessions Alternatively, call the Concessions SA hotline on 1800 307 758.
Will I have to change my energy retailer?
Not necessarily. Many System Providers will be offering battery systems which are not tied to a program operated by a particular energy retailer.
However, it is anticipated that energy retailers who offer eligible home batteries as part of a virtual power plant program may apply to become qualified System Providers. If you choose to purchase a home battery system that will be part of a virtual power plant, a condition of purchasing the home battery system may be that the System Provider becomes your energy retailer.
If you are interested in signing up to a virtual power plant program, read the terms and conditions carefully. As part of a virtual power plant you will need to allow the operator to access energy from your battery at certain times. Depending on the terms and conditions of the customer agreement, you may be paid for the energy the operator uses from your battery.
Can the battery be re-sold after being purchased with a subsidy?
The objective of the Home Battery Scheme is to assist customers with the upfront cost of purchasing a home battery system, reduce demand on the network and in turn, lower energy prices for all South Australians. It is not intended that customers on-sell products for which they have received a subsidy. Home Batteries cannot be removed from the installation site except for maintenance or repair; or for safety reasons; or to dispose of the battery after the expiry of all warranties; or with the written consent of the SA Government.
If my Energy Concession stops, will I need to pay back part of the subsidy?
No. The subsidy will be determined by your eligibility at the time of purchase.
What is the virtual power plant?
The VPP (Virtual Power Plant) is a network of Home Solar and Battery Systems that are connected and work together to generate, store and feed electricity into the grid, which supports the grid energy requirements, especially during times of higher demand.
How is the Home Battery Scheme different to South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant, announced in February?
The Home Battery Scheme is quite different to South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant and other virtual power plant programs currently being trialled in South Australia.
A key difference between the South Australian government’s Home Battery Scheme and the SA Virtual Power Plant is that households accessing the Home Battery Scheme will be able to choose from a variety of home battery storage systems and they will own the system.
Tesla with support from the South Australian government is developing a network of potentially 50,000 home solar panels and Powerwall battery systems across South Australia – all working together to form the world’s largest virtual power plant.
Beginning with trial phases involving 1,100 SA Housing Trust properties, home energy systems comprising of a 5kW solar PV system, 5kW/13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall home battery and a smart meter are being installed at participating households.
Subject to the success of the trials and private investment, the full program will be rolled out to 24,000 public housing properties and 25,000 private properties from mid-2019.
Households interested in participating in the Virtual Power Plant program can register their interest at Virtual Power Plant
I’ve signed up to a virtual power plant, am I eligible for the subsidy?
Yes, if the operator of the virtual power plant has been approved as a qualified System Provider and the home battery system meets the Equipment Eligibility Criteria of the Scheme, and you will own the battery system.
However, the subsidy cannot exceed the amount you pay for the system.
You should enquire with the operator of the virtual power plant for more information.
Can I get the subsidy for a battery installed before the Scheme launched?
Batteries purchased and installed prior to October 29, 2018 will not be eligible for the subsidy.
Do I need council approval to install a battery?
If you live in a multi-storey residential flat or apartment building, where a dwelling sits vertically above another dwelling, you may need council approval to install a home battery system. Enquire with your local council as to whether a development approval is required prior to purchasing a home battery system. It is also recommend you seek written approval from your body corporate and/or building manager for the installation prior to agreeing to the purchase of a home battery system.