Wall mounted battery with electric car charger

The Home Battery Scheme gives all grid-connected South Australians access to state government subsidies and low-interest loans - provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation - to help pay for a home battery system and new solar if required.

The subsidy is available to all South Australians, and calculated on the kilowatt hour capacity of the battery purchased. Furthermore, Energy Concession Holders are eligible for a higher subsidy, ensuring low-income households are supported to access the Scheme.

 

Current Home Battery Scheme subsidy levels

Energy concession holder $300 per kWh
All other households $200 per kWh
Maximum subsidy per battery installation $3,000

 

The subsidy will continue to be phased down as uptake of the Scheme increases. Read more about the most recent subsidy change.

What is a home battery system?

A home battery system typically includes a battery and an inverter, paired with existing or new rooftop solar panels. Not all battery systems provide backup power. If you want a home battery system that provides electricity in the event of a blackout, additional equipment may need to be installed. (Ask a qualified System Provider to include this option when obtaining a quote).  

The system works by storing excess generation from your solar panels ready for use at other times - such as during cloudy periods or when the sun goes down. By storing and using more of the energy generated by your solar system, your household can draw less energy from the grid, saving you money on your energy bill.

This means lower electricity costs for the households who purchase a system. In turn, the installation of these systems will reduce demand on the network (especially during peak periods) lowering energy prices for all South Australians.

Image: courtesy of the Clean Energy Council.

Solar and battery diagram

"Best thing we ever did"

John, a semi-retired building surveyor, and his wife Brenda, installed a 10kWh battery using the subsidy and upgraded their existing solar panels to 5.4kW at the same time.

“I’ve always believed in doing it – I’m a building surveyor by profession and I assess energy efficiency daily when I’m approving buildings,” said John.

“My previous bill was $684. The first bill came nine days after the system went in and we got a $58 rebate. I was flabbergasted – my jaw dropped. Our last full bill came the other day and I got a $159 rebate for the quarter. We don’t get any bills anymore, only rebates.”

“The new batteries are a viable technology. They’re affordable and there’s a reasonable payback time. We worked out it would take eight years to break even – with the rebate I’m thinking it’s down to about four or five years. That puts it in the realms of being affordable."

John, St Andrews Farm

SOLAR AND BATTERY SYSTEM:10kWh BATTERY AND 5.4kW SOLAR

Content courtesy of NewsCorp

Green question icon

Am I eligible for a subsidy?

The Scheme has been designed to ensure every household on the grid is eligible to purchase a subsidised home battery system.

However, South Australian Energy Concession Holders will be able to access a higher subsidy, further assisting low-income households to access the Scheme.

To claim the subsidy, an approved battery system needs to be installed by a System Provider who is qualified under the Scheme.

The Terms and Conditions of the subsidy are available to download below:

Money icon

How much does a battery cost?

The cost of a home battery system varies depending on the size of the battery, and whether you need to purchase new or additional solar panels. As a guide, download the HBS System Price Guide.

The subsidy is calculated on the kilowatt hour capacity of the battery – meaning the bigger the battery, the larger the subsidy – but it is capped at the same value for every household.

Low interest loans are available to assist households cover the purchase of the subsidised battery and new solar panels if they don’t already have them.

How is the subsidy administered?

Unlike a rebate, where the consumer gets a partial refund on the purchase of a product, a subsidy is a sum of money given to an industry or business to reduce the cost of a product or service for the consumer.

The South Australian Government is working with Australian peer-to-peer lender, Plenti (formerly RateSetter), to administer the subsidy and finance to households.

Should you accept a quote for an eligible home battery system, the System Provider will provide you with a link to the Plenti (formerly RateSetter) website where the subsidy will be applied for. If you are looking for a finance option for your system, you can apply for this at the same time. If you don't have access to a computer or the internet, you will be able to apply over the phone.

The subsidy amount that you are eligible for is deducted from the amount quoted by the System Provider. Once you have confirmed that you are satisfied with the installation in your home, the subsidy amount will be paid to the System Provider.

Green confirmation icon

How do I access the subsidy if I don’t have a computer or the internet?

If you don’t always have access to a computer or the internet, you can call the Home Battery Scheme enquiries line on 8463 3555 and someone will help you to find a qualified System Provider and request a quote(s) for a home battery system.

If you have any questions about the subsidy application process or how to apply for finance you can call Plenti (formerly RateSetter) on 1300 396 078.

Green borrowing icon

How much can I borrow?

The subsidy from the State Government will only apply to the battery component of the system purchased.

Subject to credit approval, additional finance will be available to assist participating households pay for the balance of the home battery storage system, as well as new or additional solar panels if needed.

When applying for the subsidy, a loan application can be made through Plenti (formerly RateSetter), the administrator of the Government’s Home Battery Scheme subsidy and $100 million in finance provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Customers are encouraged to carefully consider their options for funding their purchase and to seek independent professional advice if necessary.

Use the Plenti (formerly RateSetter) Home Battery Scheme calculator to calculate your loan repayments.

Green application icon

Can I access the subsidy more than once?

Yes. If you own multiple properties, you can access the subsidy more than once. However, the property must be a residential property and you can only access the subsidy once per property.

You will be required to provide the National Metering Identifier (NMI) of the property when applying for the subsidy (this can be found on your bill).

Green solar powered house icon

I already have solar. Can I get more panels when purchasing a battery?

Households with existing solar systems will be able to purchase new or additional solar panels if needed when purchasing a home battery system.

The subsidy only applies to the battery component of the system, however you can apply for a low intersest finance loan through Plenti (formerly RateSetter) to pay for the remainder of the battery and new solar panels.

Green solar panel on roof icon

I have an existing solar system. Will I lose my feed-in tariff?

One important consideration when adding a battery to an existing solar system is the impact this may have on your existing solar feed-in tariff. If you have an existing solar system and receive the 44c/kwh feed-in credits under South Australia’s statutory feed-in scheme, you will no longer be eligible to receive feed-in credits if the capacity of your solar system is increased or a battery system is installed. Your eligibility to receive feed-in credits will cease from the date of your application for approval to connect the home battery system is submitted to SA Power Networks.

You may also wish to speak to your retailer about how adding a battery may affect any feed-in tariff you currently receive.

Green houses icon

How big is a battery storage system and where will it be stored on my house?

Typically a home battery system is between 30 – 125 kilograms, and between the size of a microwave and the ‘outdoor’ part of a split cycle air conditioning unit, depending on the energy storage capacity. Batteries can only be installed outdoors or inside a garage and they are often mounted to the wall, but can also be installed on the floor. Talk to a qualified system provider to find more specific information about battery sizes.

Green battery with plug icon

Will the battery work in a blackout?

The main benefit associated with having a home battery system is energy independence – being able to store the electricity generated by your solar panels for use during the evenings and mornings when electricity is at peak demand. However an additional benefit for many can be the ability to have power from the battery during a blackout.

Not all battery systems offer ‘blackout protection’ and the amount of energy that can be provided during a blackout can vary from system to system. Households looking for backup power during an outage will need to request this feature and should ask for information on how it works and what it will power when talking to a qualified System Provider.

Green multiple houses icon

I don’t own my home, can I still access the subsidy?

Yes. You don’t have to own the home you live in to access the Scheme, however you will need to obtain approval from the homeowner to have the battery system installed and be able to demonstrate the homeowner’s consent to the System Provider prior to installation. Importantly, you will not be able to remove the battery system should you move out of the property.

Green monitored home icon

If I get a subsidised battery, can I live off the grid?

No. A requirement of the Scheme is that eligible home battery systems are capable of being part of a virtual power plant. For this reason your home needs to be connected to the SA Power Network’s electricity network.

Change Retailer Icon

Am I eligible for an Energy Concession? How do I apply for one?

Eligible South Australians on low or fixed incomes can apply for help with the cost of energy bills. The concession amount is indexed each financial year. For more information, visit: www.sa.gov.au/topics/care-and-support/financial-support/concessions/energy-bill-concessions

It is also strongly recommended that households contact their retailer when facing difficulty paying electricity bills. Retailers will work with customers regarding repayment of their bills, and may be able to offer a discounted rate if requested.

Customers applying for the energy concession should check the expected processing time for their concession application. Home Battery Scheme customers applying for the energy concession holder subsidy rate must have been approved for the energy concession for the higher subsidy rate to be applied.

More information about the eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found online at www.sa.gov.au/topics/care-and-support/financial-support/concessions/energy-bill-concessions Alternatively, call the Concessions SA hotline on 1800 307 758.

 

Green contract icon

Will I have to change my energy retailer?

No.

However, an example of when you might want to change your energy retailer is if you are accepting a battery system offer that is tied to a virtual power plant program. Under these offers, a condition of purchasing the home battery system may be that the VPP operator, or the retailer they have partnered with, becomes your energy retailer.

If you are interested in signing up to a virtual power plant program, read the terms and conditions carefully. As part of a virtual power plant you will need to allow the operator to access energy from your battery at certain times. Depending on the terms and conditions of the customer agreement, you may be paid for the energy the operator uses from your battery and/or receive other financial benefits for providing them with access to your battery either at the time of purchase or over the term of the agreement. If you are interested in joining a virtual power plant, you can read summaries of current programs on the 'Join a VPP' page of this website.

If you are looking to change your energy retailer or compare offers available in South Australia visit the Australian Government’s Energy Made Easy website.

Green piggy bank icon

If my Energy Concession stops, will I need to pay back part of the subsidy?

No. The subsidy will be determined by your eligibility at the time of purchase.

Green virtual power plant icon

What is a virtual power plant?

A virtual power plant is created by a network of home solar panels and battery storage systems all working together to generate, store and feed energy back into the grid.

Energy from the home solar panels and battery systems installed as a part of a virtual power plant mainly provides electricity for the house on which it’s installed. However, energy generated or stored by the system can be automatically dispatched to support the needs of the grid and can help power the rest of the state when its needed.

If you are interested in virtual power plant programs, you can read summaries of current programs on the 'Join a VPP' page of this website.

Green home battery icon

How is the Home Battery Scheme different to South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant, announced in February, 2018?

South Australia's Virtual Power Plant was announced prior to the launch of the Home Battery Scheme, and was designed in phases to demonstrate the viability of a virtual power plant to reduce energy costs for households and support the energy grid in ways that could reduce energy costs for all South Australians.

The trial phases involved 1,100 Housing SA properties being fitted with solar and battery storage systems. All installations under the trial phases were completed in 2019. Tesla is now rolling out Phase 3 of South Australia's Virtual Power Plant to another 3,000 Housing SA properties, and plans to have up to 50,000 South Australian homes connected over time.

With the Home Battery Scheme subsidy, private households can purchase a Tesla Powerwall and enrol their home energy system in South Australia's Virtual Power Plant. To find out more about the Tesla Energy Plan visit https://www.tesla.com/en_AU/tesla-energy-plan.

To learn more about a range of virtual power plant programs available in South Australia, you can read summaries of current programs on the 'Join a VPP' page of this website.

Green natural power icon

I’ve signed up to a virtual power plant, am I eligible for the subsidy?

Yes, if the operator of the virtual power plant has been approved as a qualified System Provider and the home battery system meets the Equipment Eligibility Criteria of the Scheme, and you will own the battery system.

However, the subsidy cannot exceed the amount you pay for the system.

You should enquire with the operator of the virtual power plant for more information

Green solar energy icon

Can I get the subsidy for a battery installed before the Scheme launched?

Batteries purchased and installed prior to 29 October 2018 will not be eligible for the subsidy.

Green funding icon

Can the battery be re-sold after being purchased with a subsidy?

The objective of the Home Battery Scheme is to assist customers with the upfront cost of purchasing a home battery system to reduce their energy bills and use VPP capability to improve grid management. It is not intended that customers on-sell products for which they have received a subsidy. Subsidies will only be processed after installation of the systems. Batteries cannot be removed from the installation site except for maintenance or repair; or for safety reasons; or to dispose of the battery after the expiry of all warranties; or with the written consent of the SA Government.

Website and paper form side by side

Do I need council approval to install a battery?

If you live in a multi-storey residential flat or apartment building, where a dwelling sits vertically above another dwelling, you may need council approval to install a home battery system. Enquire with your local council as to whether a development approval is required prior to purchasing a home battery system. It is also recommend you seek written approval from your body corporate and/or building manager for the installation prior to agreeing to purchase a system.

Two green wrenches

I am building a new home. Can I access the subsidy while my home is being built?

Yes. The Subsidy Terms were amended in January 2020, to ensure that South Australians are able to access the scheme while their property is under construction.

When applying for the subsidy, your chosen System Provider can identify the property as a 'New Build' and the subsidy will be guaranteed for up to 12 months from the point of conditional approval (formerly six months), allowing adequate time for the property to be built and the home energy system installed.

For all other subsidy applications, the subsidy is secured for 6 months from the date it is conditionally approved.

Home icon with light bulb inside

Do the 'Regulatory Changes for Smarter Homes' affect my battery?

South Australia's 'Regulatory Changes for Smarter Homes' are designed to increase the amount of rooftop solar generation able to be installed in the future, and to assist the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in maintaining the required supply and demand balance on our electricity network.

The Smarter Homes regulatory changes include new technical standards and requirements for solar and battery installations. When speaking with System Providers, customers should ask how their proposed systems and installations will comply with the changes.

More information about the changes and answers to frequently asked questions are available via these links:

Grid pattern

Are homes in an embedded network eligible for a subsidy?

Yes, homes in embedded networks are eligible for a subsidy under the Home Battery Scheme. When applying for a subsidy, applicants simply need to use their electricity meter number in lieu of a National Meter Identifier (NMI).

Compared to a regular household, there can be extra things to consider when researching a battery for a residence in an embedded network. To help with this research, a fact sheet has been developed to step you through what to consider and where to go for help. The fact sheet is available to download below: