Couple recommends batteries use with solar panels
A Umina couple are recommending the use of storage batteries with solar systems.
Mr Peter and Ms Jo-Anne Feltham said they had used solar panels and household battery storage for two years.
"When we first bought them, we saw a real change in our power bills almost immediately," said Mr Feltham.
"Our solar panels power our house through the day and collect a huge amount of battery storage for use during the evening.
"Overnight our oven, hot water system and our washer and dryer all benefit from clean stored energy we've collected at home," he said.
"We have also been able to better understand our energy usage and track how much we are saving using our provider's mobile app.
"Now that I am retired and my wife has recently finished work we are gaining from the solar panels during the day, but the solar batteries kick in after the sun goes and you still get the energy."
The Felthams paid a total of $4000 for their batteries two years ago "but there is an awful lot that goes into the wiring back to the fuse box and connecting batteries to the metre that goes to the solar panel so the actually batteries were half that total cost.
Mr Feltham said he believed the combination of panels and batteries had halved the household's yearly power bills and would pay for themselves within four years.
"We have two batteries and on sunny days we have batteries up to 100 per cent so the excess power does go back onto the grid.
"We think it is a long-term investment and good for the environment as well," he said.
Labor candidate for Robertson, Ms Anne Charlton, said Peninsula residents would benefit from her party's proposal to subsidise household batteries for solar power storage.
As part of Labor's plan, households on the Peninsula could claim a subsidy of up to $2000 to install household battery storage and solar panels like the Felthams, Ms Charlton said.
"Labor's policy will mean we can afford another battery and put another big dent in our energy bills and a big saving on our household budget" said Mr Feltham.
He said he believed Peninsula households who use small amounts of electricity during the day but have heavier requirements of an evening and overnight would be able to use the proposed subsidy to benefit from battery storage and break even on the capital cost earlier.
Under the Household Battery Program, from 2020, Labor would provide a rebate for up to $2000 for eligible battery systems for households with a gross annual income less than $180,000, Ms Charlton said.
The rebate would be complemented by low cost financing and will also support the purchase of solar systems.
Australia's Smart Energy Council has estimated solar panels and battery storage could save up to 60 percent in household bills, she said.
Stored energy would also put less pressure on the power grids and create more green jobs on installation.
Media release, Nov 28
Anne Charlton, Labor Candidate for Robertson