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Home battery rebate of up to $2,400 revealed, day after deal to keep coal plant running

The New South Wales government has announced a home battery rebate that will reduce the cost of adding storage to existing rooftop solar systems by up to $2,400 and reward battery owners for joining virtual power plants.

The move to help households take further control of their energy bills comes just a day after the Labor Minns government revealed NSW ratepayers would foot the bill of up to $225 million a year to keep Australia’s largest coal plant operational after its sell-by date.

As Giles Parkinson writes in Renew Economy, the long-awaited and controversial deal with Origin Energy is being sold as necessary to “keep the lights on”, without offering any guarantee that the old plant can actually achieve this goal.

The widely unpopular move has in particular angered consumer and electrification advocates, who have long called for subsidizing home battery storage as the best, fairest and cheapest way to increase reliability. of the New South Wales network.

A day later, they finally got their wish.

“This is a targeted action to help those with solar energy take the next step in reducing their bills by using renewable energy. It also supports the state’s transition to renewable energy,” the state’s energy minister, Penny Sharpe, said on Friday.

“More than 1,000,000 New South Wales homes have solar panels on their roofs and adding a battery will allow them to benefit 24 hours a day, not just when the sun is shining.”

The rebate, part of the state’s Peak Demand Reduction Plan, offers a discount of between $1,600 and $2,400 on the initial cost of installing a home battery for homes and businesses with existing solar power.

For those homes and businesses that also want to install solar, the government says the incentive “will be considered in the quote for the installation of a new solar and battery system.”

For those who have already shelled out for a solar battery, an incentive of between $250 and $400 is offered for connecting to a virtual power plant, and this can be claimed a second time, three years later, the government says.

The incentives will be available from November and will be accessed through approved providers, who will be accredited through the scheme from now until the rebate opens.

Rewiring Australia, one such group tirelessly advocating for targeted government support for consumer-focused energy solutions, says the incentive will remove the financial barrier to batteries for many households.

“Increasing growth rates for distributed solar and batteries is the fastest way to reduce peak demand and shore up energy reliability as aging coal power plants retire,” Rewiring CEO said Friday Australia, Dan Cass.

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

“In the time it takes the bogus nuclear power debate to go from one crazy idea to another, hundreds of thousands of solar home heroes can buy a battery and do something tangible for energy security and emissions reductions,” Cass said .

Dean Spaccavento, CEO of smart energy company Reposit Power, says the expansion of the Peak Demand Reduction Plan to include home batteries is a win-win for consumers and the grid.

“Home batteries are now playing a crucial role in a cleaner, safer energy future for New South Wales and are making money for their contribution,” Spaccavento said on Friday.

“Homeowners can maximize the benefit they get from a battery system in their home by looking for deals that offer guaranteed bill reductions for at least five years.”

How NSW households and businesses will receive the refund will be something to watch. Considering that the installation cost of a Tesla Powerwall 2, for example, is still between $13,000 and $15,000, a $2,400 rebate won’t make much of a difference in initial affordability for many households.

In Victoria, the state government last year decided to scrap its nearly $3,000 rebate for home batteries and replace it with an interest-free financing offer, hoping this approach would become more popular.

Solar Victoria’s $8,800 interest-free battery loan can be repaid over four years and is expected to, in some cases, completely eliminate upfront installation costs.

In 2020, the previous NSW Coalition government piloted a program offering interest-free loans of up to $14,000 for a solar battery system, or up to $9,000 to add a battery to an existing solar system.

This post was published on May 24, 2024 1:23 pm

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