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With rooftop solar already commonplace, batteries are the next frontier in home energy. But as long as home battery prices remain high, it’s key that households with (or considering) batteries shop smart and manage to maximise battery value after installation.

Below we’ve detailed five reasons why carbonTRACK is the perfect companion for a home battery storage system.

1. Do you really need those batteries in the first place?

As appealing as it is, home battery storage is still quite pricey – and is not an investment to be taken lightly. You might be wiser to first find other opportunities to increase your home’s energy efficiency and effectiveness.

For example, would your home benefit more from installing a more efficient air conditioning unit or washing machine first? Could you swap out your existing light globes for LEDs?

carbonTRACK’s platform can help you understand your electricity usage & production in detail, allowing you identify the easiest and most cost-effective ways to cut down on your energy bills.


Taking steps towards energy efficiency will not only help you cut down on your electricity bills, it will also ensure that your home is already a lean energy user in the event that you do decide to have batteries installed down the road.

carbonTRACK can help you identify the ‘low hanging fruit’ energy savings opportunities within your home – before you splash out on expensive battery bank.

2. You’re ready for batteries. What size makes sense for you?

 

Let’s say that you’ve already optimised the energy usage within your home by getting super-efficient, or that you’ve decided that you want batteries first. How do you know how much storage capacity to opt for?

Households are interested in battery storage for a variety of reasons which will depend on their situation and goals. Some homes may want enough battery capacity to afford them a high degree of energy self-sufficiency, while others would be happy with a battery bank just large enough to soak up their excess solar energy or provide a bit of backup power.

 

Enphase Energy’s AC Battery has a capacity of 1.2kWh, making it one of the smallest on the market. Multiple units can be ‘stacked’ together to form battery bank sizes appropriate for a wide range of homes & situations. (Image via Enphase Energy.)

Still others will look at their battery purely as an investment – wanting to select the size (and product) that offers the best returns. The key in this case is to find a battery bank that is appropriately sized and priced for that home, promising a payback period shorter than its warranty period (usually about 10 years). A battery that passes must for this requirement is something that can be surprisingly difficult to come by unless all the stars align.

Tesla’s Powerwall 2 has a usable storage capacity of 13.2 kilowatt-hours (kWh). This may be perfect for your home – or larger than what you need. (Image via Tesla.)

 

 

carbonTRACK can help you to work out what size battery bank would best suit your needs.

3. Putting your batteries to work

Although prices are coming down, home battery systems are still expensive. A big enough solar-plus-battery setup can enable a household to reduce their energy bills down to almost nothing – but it’s not likely to hold much appeal if the installation comes at a break-the-bank price and delivers poor returns.

What really matters most to the majority of households is knowing that their batteries will be dispatched to the full extent of their capabilities, maximising savings at every possible turn. Charging with sunlight for nighttime use (‘solar shifting’) is the most basic way to accomplish this, but batteries can also be used to help households on time-of-use (TOU) billing to reduce expensive peak-time rates (‘tariff arbitrage’), or to send stored energy into the grid when rates are high with spot price trading.

 

Following the wholesale spot market price on the National Electricity Market (NEM) via carbonTRACK’s user platform. carbonTRACK can utilise this data to set your batteries to export energy when it makes financial set to do so. (Note that appropriate arrangements must be made with your electricity retailer.)

carbonTRACK can manage your batteries to do all of these things, thus helping you maximise the value of your battery once it is installed.

4. Keeping tabs on your battery’s health & performance

In the event that there is a problem with your batteries, you’ll want to know right away. Without some kind of notification or simple way to check, days, weeks or even months could go by before you realise that something is amiss. During this downtime, you’ll be losing money.

The severity of potential problems may vary. On the ‘very bad’ end of the spectrum, there could be a dangerous situation (like an earth fault), or a total ‘system black’ failure where that battery is not working at all.

The more insidious but less noticeable problem would be system under-performance – what if the battery is delivering less than what was promised? This could serve as grounds for a warranty claim, or a visit from the company who installed your system. The trick is that you need to be aware of the problem in the first place.

carbonTRACK will give you insights into how your batteries are performing – and let you know if anything is wrong.

5. Identify opportunities for system expansion

Electricity usage patterns are not static – your habits will almost inevitably change, in which case so will the amount of electricity that you use. If you end up consuming more electricity in the future – after the birth of a child or the addition of a home office, for example – it may be worthwhile to add more solar or battery capacity to keep up with your growing needs.

carbonTRACK can help you assess if and when it makes sense to add more solar & batteries in the future.

Want to learn more about how we can help you with batteries?


Get a quote from carbonTRACK today