As energy costs continue to rise there has never been a better time to examine your options. Power bills have risen significantly in recent years and are predicted to continue to rise. The price of electricity across much of Australia’s main grid rose to record highs in the first quarter of 2019, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) Quarterly Energy Dynamics report, released in May.

The AEMO reports that Victoria’s quarterly average spot wholesale electricity price was the highest on record.

Warmer summer conditions, which increased the cooling load, saw increased electricity demand across all parts of the day, compared with the same quarter a year earlier.

At the same time, a leap in solar installations in Australia in the past year is having a dramatic impact on the daytime electricity market, with AEMO reporting that operational demand fell in Victoria due to increased generation from rooftop solar panels.

Solar technology is now the world’s fastest-growing energy source. From home rooftops to utility-scale farms, solar power is reshaping energy markets around the world. In Australia, more than two million households generate energy on their rooftops, according to the Clean Energy Council.

“Solar energy is a free, renewable source that is sustainable and totally inexhaustible,” says Ian Parkinson, CEO of SENEC Australia.

“Clean electrical energy generation and battery storage systems are becoming increasingly accessible to home owners, allowing them to become independent from the mains supply and ever-rising prices.”

The innovative SENEC.Home energy management system uses a rechargeable battery, about the size of a dishwasher, that automatically steps in when the sun goes down, providing a round-the-clock source of electricity.

Founded in Germany in 2009, SENEC has developed energy storage solutions specifically for homes. The savings can be significant. The Clean Energy Council estimates that households with solar save an average of $540 a year.

According to Mr Parkinson, installing a SENEC.Home battery consistently would triple the amount of savings compared with solar panels alone.

“Battery storage is a way to harness excess power and use it later to reduce reliance on retail electricity. By using more of the energy produced on the roof, you can increase self-sufficiency,” he says.

“When the grid is stretched to capacity, as it increasingly is during the summer months, and most people are paying the top rate for electricity, you can be almost totally independent.”

The cost of solar systems has fallen significantly in recent years – to the point where solar panels are now affordable enough to make economic sense for most homes.

“Interest in solar-plus-battery systems, allowing households to increase their level of retail energy independence, is growing dramatically,” says Mr Parkinson.

“The Australian Government has offered incentives for [solar panel] installers since 2000. Battery storage systems, on the other hand, have not enjoyed the same sort of subsidies.

“Governments need to rebate the batteries earlier in the supply chain, to make them more accessible to householders,” he says. “Home energy storage is expected to become commonplace in Australia within the next few years, and should be affordable for everyone.”

SENEC storage systems are serviced locally in Australia and are backed by a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.

‘Home energy storage is expected to become commonplace in Australia within the next few years, and should be affordable for everyone.’