ABC News reported that households with solar panels are fast looking to batteries as a way to offset the fast fall in rebates Synergy pay customers for their electricity, but making the move could cost them the tariff together.
David Walker, a solar battery user did his research before installing a five-kilowatt solar panel system at his home in Bicton, south of Perth last year. Walker generates three times the amount of energy he uses and like tens of thousands of other households in Western Australia. Synergy pays him a tariff to feed his excess energy back into the grid.
Since 2010, the amount of Synergy pays customers for their excess power has been cut down. According to Walker, the feed-in tariff is less than a third of what they import the cost of electricity, thus they have to export a lot to break even on it. He also added that they could get away with a 3-kilowatt system but the 5-kilowatt system means that they actually help to pay the cost of the capital.
Customers who got in early signed up for a 10-year contract under the premium feed-in tariff scheme. Any contracts that were signed between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 – customers are paid $0.40 per unit of power they sell or feed back to the grid. The tariff was then lowered to $0.20 for contracts between July 1, 2011 and August 1, 2011.
New customers are presently paid just $0.07 per unit under the renewable Energy buyback scheme and have to buy electricity back at night for $0.26 cents per unit.
Battery installers stated that the rule will affect most households that installed renewables early. So the scenario is that people who have existing systems will be unable to install batteries because of the restriction.
For now, people will have to wait and hope the government changes their rules.
Featured Image Credit: ABC News