27 March 2023

Haines introduces Bill to reduce cost of solar home batteries

Independent Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines will on Monday introduce a Bill to reduce the cost of home batteries, bringing down both household power bills and emissions.

The Cheaper Home Batteries Bill 2023 would amend the Renewable Electricity Act 2000 to include home batteries in the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

The Scheme is responsible for bringing down the cost of solar panels, which are now on a third of Australian households – the highest take up of rooftop solar in the world.

“This Bill will replicate an incredibly successful Government program and extend it to battery technology,” Dr Haines said.

“Thirty per cent of Australian households have solar panels but just 1.4% have home batteries to store this renewable energy. We need to make it cheaper and easier to install household batteries. This plan would reduce the cost of a $14,500 battery by around $3000.”

The plan, costed at just $3.6 million, reduces stress on the electricity grid, provides energy resilience and helps households take practical action on climate change.

“If 500,000 batteries are installed, that’s the equivalent of taking 500,000 cars off the road each and every year,” Dr Haines said.

“Batteries will reduce our power bills, secure our energy supply and reduce our emissions. It should be a no-brainer for the Government to provide that extra help so households can afford them.”

Dr Haines is also pressuring the Government to release details of its package to assist low-income households to transition to take up cheaper and more efficient electrical appliances.

“The Government made the commitment to this package in December but we still haven’t heard any details,” Dr Haines said.

“Around Australia people are looking at their energy bills going up as winter is coming. We need to know how the Government will help people electrify their homes and move to more efficient and cheaper way to run appliances. No-interest loans for low-income households will make a huge difference.”

How the Cheaper Home Batteries Bill works:

  • Home batteries would be included as an eligible technology to earn Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) through the SRES.
  • The amendment would also extend the “deeming rate” – the period for which a home battery can create certificates, which is set at 15 years, until 2027 at which point it is calculated as the number of years until 2041.
  • Generally, householders who purchase these systems assign the right to create their certificates to an agent in return for a lower purchase price. The number of small-scale technology certificates required to be submitted by electricity retailers is set each year by the small-scale technology percentage​.​​

The Parliamentary Budget Office published an official costing for the Cheaper Home Batteries Bill which costed it at $3.6 million over four years.

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