Batteries, For Consumers, Renewables, Residential, Solar

Call for government subsidy of household batteries

A survey by independent community group Solar Citizens reveals more Australians would install batteries if interest-free government loans were available, writes Casey Cann.

According to a recent survey commissioned by independent community group Solar Citizens, 78 per cent of Australians believe the Federal Government should subsidise household battery storage.

Solar Citizens is an apolitical organisation striving to grow renewable energy in Australia, and its national poll of 2084 Australians was conducted by market research, communications and analytics platform uComms.

From the survey respondents, the following results are revealed:

  • 41 per cent have rooftop solar at home.
  • 73 per cent of people are concerned about affording their next electricity bill.
  • 48 per cent would consider installing household solar or battery storage if they could access a government-provided interest-free loan.
  • 31 per cent would consider replacing gas appliances with electric if they could access a government-provided interest-free loan.
  • 78 per cent agree the Federal Government should expand the national rooftop solar subsidy to make it more affordable for Australians to install household battery storage.

“Australians are world leaders in the uptake of rooftop solar because generating your own electricity is a guaranteed way to take back control of spiralling power bills,” says Stephanie Gray, deputy director of Solar Citizens.

“We are hearing from a lot of people that they would like to take the next step and invest in home battery storage to be more energy independent, but the upfront cost is a barrier.

“There are simple steps the Federal Government can take to help make solar and storage more affordable, including expanding the national Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme to include support for people to install household storage, and providing no-interest loans for people to invest in clean technology.

“Incentivising more battery storage is a win-win that will help bring down electricity costs for all consumers by supplying cheap solar energy to the grid at night and reducing the need for expensive grid upgrades.”

Gray says Australia’s recent history of government incentives for renewable energy should make a household battery incentive scheme essential in the accelerated transition to clean power.

“Smart government policy kickstarted Australia’s world-leading rooftop solar industry, and now governments can replicate that success by supporting the accelerated uptake of household battery storage and electrification,” she says.

“High gas prices are not only driving up our electricity bills, they are making it unaffordable for people who rely on gas to cook and heat their homes. Making it accessible for Australians to match electric appliances with rooftop solar is a guaranteed way to help households save.

“We are lucky in Australia to have abundant renewable energy resources that, if harnessed, could mean we are completely protected from the global fossil fuel market that is pushing energy costs out of control.

“But to help more households cash in on the savings, governments have to further support the rollout of solar and storage, and help households switch their gas appliances for efficient electric ones.”

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