A 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall installed alongside solar at a home in the New South Wales Hunter region has marked the first of up to 300,000 battery storage systems to be delivered via the state government’s interest-free loan scheme.
The milestone installation completed on Friday by Natural Solar, comes just under two months after the Berejiklian government launched the first pilot of its Empowering Homes Program to a select group of postcodes in the Hunter region.
The up-to 12 month pilot offers interest-free loans of up to $14,000 for a solar-battery system, or up to $9,000 for the addition of a battery to an existing solar system, to eligible owner-occupiers with an annual household income of up to $180,000.
The government has said it expects the average household that installs a battery through the scheme to save more than $250 a year on their electricity bills after loan repayments, and up to $2,000 per year on their energy bills.
As in Victoria, the NSW offer is being rolled out in limited release to targeted parts of the state, in this case starting with the areas of Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Muswellbrook, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter.
The NSW program is being rolled out via just five government-approved suppliers (retailers), including Natural Solar, HCB Solar, Instyle Solar, Smart Energy Group, and Sunbank Solar.
The brand, or even type, of battery households can install is not specified by the program, but each of the approved suppliers offer a range of brands, including from Tesla, Enphase, Sungrow, Sonnen, and Senec.
Natural Solar founder and CEO, Chris Williams, said that his company had seen “an unprecedented number” of consumer enquiries about battery storage in the weeks since the program’s launch.
“With many homes in the Hunter having an abundance of roof space, or already with solar panels installed, there is no doubt people are excited by the opportunity to adopt battery power and reap the benefits of the interest free loan, coupled with future savings,” Williams said.
And he added that the benefits of adding battery storage to rooftop solar systems were becoming increasingly clear to householders.
“We are seeing annual household savings on energy bills of up to $2,000, homes reduce their carbon emissions and a reduced reliance on the grid,” Williams said.
“Our vision is to make solar and battery accessible to every Australian household, and the NSW government’s Empowering Homes Program will go a long way to achieving this goal for up to 300,000 homeowners across the state.”
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