Should I get a battery when buying solar panels?

We spoke with leading experts in the solar industry about whether people are buying batteries to go with their panels

Should I get a battery when buying solar panels?
Consumers looking to go solar usually research what options will help them save the most on their energy bill. While solar panels can help generate clean energy during the day, homes with solar systems sometimes have to buy energy off the grid at night or in cloudy conditions. The introduction of solar batteries allows homes with solar systems to store energy for use outside of peak times, such as night. There are many benefits to installing solar powered panels and solar storage batteries together. However, some consumers hesitate to install batteries with their solar roof system due to the added price. Education on the subject outlines the benefits of adding batteries to your solar system. LG Energy have also demonstrated the value of batteries, as we recorded in our FAQs on the best solar system for you. For more information on the subject, we spoke to leading experts who are LG certified solar dealers and installers in the solar industry. Here are their observations on the value and popularity of solar batteries when it comes to consumer trends across Australia.

Cost as a motivator for going solar

Kash, from True North Solar in Townsville, remarks on the constant demand for rooftop solar:
Townsville has one of highest saturation points of solar  so over the years surely we expect to get to a stage where there are no roofs left. Yet here we are in 2020 and still so busy.
Jarrod, from Generate Energy in Adelaide, has noticed that the primary reason people look into solar is to reduce their energy bill:
We tend to find the main motivator for customers interested in solar is to reduce their power bills. While solar comes with an environmental feel good factor, realistically out of 100 customers, we find 1 customer will be primarily motivated by the environmental benefit, while the other 99 are doing it to ease the strain on their back pocket!
This observation is corroborated by Dean, from E-Smart Solar, located in the Blue Mountains and Penrith:
People always talk about batteries but they are waiting for the price to come down – eventually it will, but it might be a long wait.

Education on solar products

Damien from Soltek Energy, located in Sydney, observes that consumers are doing their research more before committing to going solar:
Customers are more solar savvy and are doing their homework before contacting us.
Dean, from E-Smart Solar, agrees and makes a point to educate his customers to help with their decision-making:
We give our customers data to help them justify the spend and how they can justify a battery later on.  We offer consumption monitoring so they can see how they’re using solar (in terms of habits, work patterns affecting usage, and appliance usage).  They can see for themselves how much they have sold back to the grid today, and we show them that if you had a battery then you could have sold more.  They like seeing consumption patterns, tailored to their usage, because they feel looked after and get the process.

Adding batteries to your existing solar roof system

The next step for households still looking to save on electricity costs is to add a battery to the existing roof set up. Dean from E-Smart Solar explains why he encourages his buyers to consider solar battery storage but accepts that most won’t:
We encourage people to still go ahead with solar installation without a battery. Paying out over $10k for a Tesla powerwall is expensive for most of my customers, we get that, but we explain you can still save money just by having the solar system in the meantime.
However, at this point, it is imperative for consumers to research whether their installers work with batteries, as not all do. Ideally, you should research which installers do and do not install batteries before you install roof panels. This means that should you eventually choose to add a battery to your roof set up, you can try to work with the same installer for the sake of consistency and guarantee of the quality of work. With these observations in mind, we hope you understand the value of battery storage in your decision to go solar.

Next Step: LG Solar Guide

If you’re interested in going solar we encourage you to download the LG Beginner’s Guide to Solar eBook for more information.

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