Switching on with solar batteries just got a whole lot cheaper

Jarrod Brown
By Jarrod Brown
4 Min Read

A new government incentive is helping NSW homeowners buy cheaper, subsidised batteries to store solar energy when the sun is shining.

The significant price drop, announced as a key part of the NSW government’s latest Peak Demand Reduction Scheme late last week, aims to encourage more households and businesses to reduce their energy use at peak times, such as in the evenings or on hot days.

From November 1st this year, businesses and households with home batteries will be able to share their energy capacity across the grid through newly established Virtual Power Plants (VPP) – meaning the more homes that switch on, the more potential the grid has. 

But the biggest boon for solar-conscious citizens comes in the shape of a $1600 to $2400 price cut to the steep upfront installation cost of solar batteries for the nearly one million NSW homes with existing solar panels. 

Along with the hefty subsidy, the systems also deliver a $250 to $400 incentive to connect a battery to the VPP, with the payment being able to be claimed a second time three years later. 

Dean Spaccavento, CEO of solar provider Reposit Power, said the initiative comes as a “win-win” for both everyday Australians and the states overworked electricity grid. 

“Home batteries are now playing a crucial role in a cleaner, more secure energy future for NSW and earning money for their contribution,” said Spaccavento.

“Homeowners can maximise the benefit they get from a battery system at their home by shopping around for deals that offer guaranteed bill reductions for at least 5 years.”

With the average install cost of a battery having Aussies cough up anywhere between $17,000 to $30,000 (depending on the size) in 2024, this latest incentive promises to put a sizable dent in the steep entry fee and would finally have homeowners seeing a return on their climate-conscious investment within ten years. 

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According to Rewiring Australia Executive Director Dan Cass, the initiative will go a long way toward knocking old coal-fired power plants off their perch, instead allowing millions of “solar household heroes” to become the “backbone of the grid.”

“Increasing the growth rates of distributed solar and batteries is the fastest way to reduce peak demand and shore up energy reliability as old coal-fired power stations retire,” he said.

“Offering this incentive as part of the Peak Demand Reduction Scheme will remove the financial barrier of household batteries for many households, helping more NSW residents reduce their energy bills, lower emissions and improve reliability.

“The incentive to encourage households to deploy their batteries in virtual power plants points to a future where millions of solar households with batteries and EVs become the backbone of the grid.”

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Penny Sharpe said Australia was committed to helping households and businesses unlock the true power of solar. 

“More than one million NSW households have solar panels on their roofs and adding a battery will see them benefit around the clock, not just when the sun is shining,” she said.

“This is a targeted action to support those with solar to take the next step to lowering their bills by using renewable energy. It also supports the state’s transition to renewable energy.”

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Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.