Cost of living and power bills spark interest in home solar and battery

3 April, 2023

The number of South Australian households installing solar and battery systems is on the rise, as more look to save money amid soaring power prices and cost of living pressures. 

Data from RAA’s Solar and Battery business shows sales in the three months from December to February were up by 58 per cent when compared to the same period in 2022.

Enquiries are also continuing to grow – up 74 per cent in the last three months when compared with last year. 

It comes as power prices are predicted to rise by more than 21 per cent for South Australian households in the coming months, according to the Australian Energy Regulator’s draft determination of the Default Market Offer 2023-24.  

RAA General Manager Home & Energy Ben Owen said, “It’s no secret that cost of living is the main challenge facing South Australian households at the moment,” Mr Owen said. 

“This has led to a record number of sales and enquiries coming through RAA’s Solar and Battery business. We’re seeing more South Australian households than ever asking us to help cover their roof with solar panels, so they can reduce their power bills and save money.” 

Mr Owen said that while solar systems required upfront investment, rising power prices were helping more and more homeowners justify their decision. 

“The more power prices rise, the quicker the pay-off for a solar and battery system becomes. 

“At the moment, the average solar panel system can deliver a return on investment in under three years. For a full solar and battery storage system, it’s about five to six. 

Recent RAA Solar and Battery customer Jaye Turnbull, from Athelstone, said the decision to install a solar and battery system at her family home was driven by both cost of living and recent weather events.

Jaye and Chris Turnbull with their home battery. Image: The Advertiser/Ben Clark

“It was definitely the power bills that prompted us to install a solar and battery system – as a family of four our power bills were costing us around $800 per quarter,” Ms Turnbull said.

“Since installing the system our last bill was only $160, and some of that period was before we had it installed so they should come down even more.

“Initially we only enquired about solar, but because we aren’t home during the day it made sense to install a battery so we could use the power we generate at night.

“After the storm in November we had no power for more than three days but our battery kept the kitchen fridge and freezer running, so we saved money there as well.”

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