Australia has an abundance of sun so it makes sense to convert it into electricity. The sun provides us with free energy, every single day. It has been said that if we could store just 20 days of sunshine it would provide as much energy as is contained in the world’s stores of fossil fuels. The obvious advantage of solar power is the absence of greenhouse emissions that contribute to Climate Change.
Australia has a relatively large uptake of solar without a battery – between 15-35% of households. It’s easy to spot panels on roofs around your neighbourhood. This is a good start, but we can do even better.
When the sun is shining, panels that aren't connected to a battery produce electricity that is either used by the household or exported to the grid.
Even with panels, households draw energy from the grid at night and pay peak period charges. Users have no say on how this grid-supplied energy is produced. In Australia, 80% of our electricity production is from burning fossil fuels (2018, Clean Energy Council). This needs to reduce rapidly to combat climate change.
Most households have higher energy use at night. Often, households are empty during the day (when the energy is being created) with families returning home in the evening. A typical pattern is that power use goes up at the end of the working day when families are home cooking meals, watching TV with lights and other appliances on.
This means that the majority of solar households without a battery are exporting their clean, home-made energy during the day for 2.5c/kWh and buying fossil fuel supplied energy for 30c/kWh. Often savings expectations are lower than anticipated.
What happens when you add batteries to a solar system?
You get Smart Solar.
By adding a battery AND solar panels, clean energy can be stored in a battery for use at night. The house will draw directly from the panels then divert to fill the battery.
This makes households far less reliant on the traditional grid.
Even better, with a Plico solar battery system, if the grid goes down (even for extended periods) you are not left in the dark. The Plico system will recharge the battery each day for your use every evening. This is not typical of other systems in the market.
Considering going off-grid solar? Read our blog about off-grid vs on-grid solar first!
Comparing Tesla with Plico? See Tesla Powerwall vs Plico Solar Battery system.
Why doesn’t everyone have batteries?
Batteries are expensive. A household solar battery costs anywhere from $15,000 - $30,000 to buy upfront. Until very recently, this was the only way to obtain a battery. You might even ask are solar batteries worth it?
Additionally, battery technology is changing, and purchasing upfront means the day you purchase, you are locked into that technology.
Click the following link to learn more about solar battery sizing for a home.
However, this is very different with Plico. With Plico you are effectively buying services from a company you own and that company pays out the investor. You can purchase the system outright at any time. We believe that staying in is ultimately better for the customer as we have already priced in battery upgrades as part of the program. We look at the total cost of ownership over 20 years and believe we represent 50% savings over buying from the grid and cheaper than any other equivalent, fully serviced product. Click the following link to use our solar system calculator to see how much money you could keep in your pocket.
Working as part of a company – a collective – means we are able to sell energy services back to the grid to stabilise it and could potentially earn income back to the company worth thousands of dollars.
Each day we delay getting batteries for our home means we continue to burn fossil fuels every evening.
Who owns the energy created by household solar and battery systems?
Plico members with an installed system own the energy they create and can export any excess to the grid. As this is a very inexpensive method of energy creation, we encourage you to use more energy to improve your lifestyle rather than making sacrifices. That being said, wasting energy is harmful to your hip pocket and the planet. Read our tips for saving energy in spring for some inspiration.
Many of our members reduce their Synergy usage significantly. See what some of our customers had to say about their new Plico installation.