The battle of the solar batteries hots up
But while Tesla’s announcement generated international headlines, there’s an Australian company ready to give it a run for its money – in more ways than one.
Tesla’s Powerwall, and similar products being developed by Bosch, GE and Samsung to name a few, are user-friendly and relatively affordable batteries that will cost $3790 to $4473 plus installation costs.
Aussies lead the charge
But Inhouse Energy is set to steal Tesla’s thunder. “We timed our launch to coincide with Tesla's announcement," says InHouse director Peter Choquenot.
"Tesla's website states the Powerwall isn't even available in the US yet, let alone Australia. Our solar energy storage system, which uses similar lithium-ion battery technology, is available for sale now," he says.
"Prices start at $4625 and the installation cost will be around $2500. Which means for well under $10,000 individuals can reduce their reliance on the grid by what we estimate will be up to 75 per cent, maintain power to their business or home in the event of a blackout, and do their bit for the environment by making use of the sun's energy rather than electricity supplied by a coal-burning power station."
Peter says InHouse offers four solar power storage systems that can cater for the different size and energy requirements of businesses or homes.
Consumers ready and willing
Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes believes consumers will “run not walk" towards home battery providers. "The power companies have treated their customers badly and I see real anger towards them across the Australian community," he says.
"I'd predict that even with the significant upfront outlay, people will be keen to buy the solar energy storage systems local businesses such as InHouse Energy, Solar 360 and Alpha ESS are offering in order to have greater control over their energy future."
But it seems the new kids aren’t concerned that the established big players will bully them out of the playground.
"I don't think energy retailers need to see us as a threat," Peter says. "In fact, having their customers using stored solar energy will address two of their biggest headaches by smoothing out demand levels and reducing grid maintenance expenses. We'd welcome the opportunity to work with them."