Blog

Prioritising health and safety

Posted by Annie Liew on 09-Oct-2019 15:39:14

eko energy have an extremely strong focus on health and safety in our office and on our work sites. We take safety seriously and, to that end, recently appointed a Health, Safety and Environment Manager, Travis Cameron and a Field Service Manager, Keith Aggus. 

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Topics: neighbourhood solar

Solar Victoria Battery Rebate Information

Posted by Annie Liew on 21-Aug-2019 16:49:40

The end of August is fast approaching, and with it, the second month of the Victorian solar battery rebate. While the solar rebate was quickly snatched up in record timing, the battery rebate remains open for applications and is a generous offer for eligible households.

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Topics: battery storage, sustainability, solar battery, solar battery system, solar rebate, victorian solar rebate

Changes in your electricity prices - 1st July 2019

Posted by Annie Liew on 12-Jul-2019 15:12:00

The new financial year brings big changes and one of the most important changes are the Victorian Default Offer and the price cap in NSW, SA and south-east QLD.  

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Topics: electricity price

Solar Victoria Officially Release Rebate Information

Posted by Sam Quennell on 19-Jun-2019 12:53:45

Solar Victoria have officially released all information regarding the solar rebates that will be on offer from 1st July 2019.

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Topics: solar energy, sustainability, government incentives, residential solar, incentives, solar pv, solar battery system, solar rebate

The Risks of High Voltage

Posted by Sam Quennell on 29-May-2019 11:37:37

High voltage issues are often ignored or simply not even considered. However, if not managed properly, it can become an annoying problem for your household. In Australia, the normal grid voltage is between 225 and 240 Volts (V). Voltage levels will fluctuate during the day depending on how much power is being drawn from the grid, and how much solar is being sent back. It is up to the electricity distributor to monitor the voltage levels; however, it is becoming more difficult to keep voltage levels below 254V.

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Topics: residential solar, voltage

Important changes to the Victorian solar rebate and our commitment

Posted by Sam Quennell on 02-May-2019 13:12:03

It's fair to say there's a little confusion surrounding the Victorian solar rebate. So, just to clarify, it has closed. However, the rebate will be re-opening from 1st July with even more on offer for Victorians - including:

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Topics: sustainability, residential solar, solar pv, demand response, solar rebate, victorian solar rebate

Two reasons why now is a good time to lock in your solar purchase

Posted by Sam Quennell on 14-Mar-2019 11:07:03

1. The number of STCs being created is higher than the target set 

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Topics: renewable energy, solar energy, sustainability, government incentives, community solar, incentives, solar rebate

Jim's Energy transforms into ekoenergy

Posted by Sam Quennell on 08-Mar-2019 10:16:04

Following a decision not to progress a franchise model, Echo Group has moved away from the Jim's Energy brand, and has officially become ekoenergy.

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Topics: sustainability, residential solar, community solar, solar pv, neighbourhood solar

The Ultimate Guide to Residential Battery Storage

Posted by Eko Energy on 20-Nov-2018 15:07:51

Solar battery storage solutions have become a hot topic recently but despite the rapidly falling cost of technology, their financial viability is still up for debate. It’s important to make an informed choice when installing a battery storage system, so we have developed our Ultimate Guide to Residential Battery Storage to assist you.

Is residential energy storage right for you? >


The benefits of investing in battery storage >


Financing solar storage and typical payback >


 

Is residential energy storage right for you?

Quick battery storage checklist – is solar battery storage right for me?

  1. Is your current electricity bill over $500 per quarter?
  2. Is your roof suitable for solar?
  3. Do you use most energy during peak times?
  4. Are you worried about continuously rising electricity prices?
  5. Are you in a regional area or impacted by blackouts?
  6. Do you have a well-ventilated space in your house or garage to install a battery?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to three or more of the above, a solar battery storage system could make sense for you.

As you are probably aware, batteries alone do not produce electricity, they simply store and release it. So, your first step should be determining your suitability for residential solar, click here to read our guide. When choosing a solar provider, preference should be given to a Clean Energy Council (CEC) approved solar retailer that provides quality products, has a proven track record and dedication to customer service. Select a supplier who can offer both solar and battery storage solutions rather than trying to find a separate battery provider as most reputable companies will not retrofit a battery into an existing system they have not installed.

Learn more about residential solar systems and the solar PV options available through Eko Energy >

Already have a solar system installed?

Generally, we do not recommend battery storage for older solar PV systems less than 4kW as you may not be generating enough excess energy to store in a battery. However, if you know you are exporting the majority of your generation, a battery could still be a good option. It’s possible to replace your existing inverter with a battery-ready inverter or a hybrid battery-inverter, but we recommend speaking to an expert to fully understand your options. The cost of a battery system alone can be broken down into:

  • The battery itself
  • A battery-ready inverter to convert DC to AC power
  • A battery management system to monitor and control charging and power dispatch
  • Installation
  • Maintenance

As with any major purchase, be wary of providers offering cheap battery options, they are likely to be too small, have limited warranties or hidden costs.

Types of batteries

  • Lead Acid
  • Lithium-Ion the most popular choice for on-grid battery storage
  • Flow
  • Sodium Nickle Chloride

Suitable consumption profiles

The primary purpose of installing a battery storage system is to store any excess energy produced by your solar system, instead of feeding it back into the grid. This allows you to use more stored energy at times throughout the day or night when your solar panels are not producing energy. If you use most energy during peak times (early morning or late afternoon), or export most of your solar generation, a battery could be a good option.

 

The benefits of investing in solar battery storage

As electricity prices continue to rise and with the current lack of policy certainty, Australians are looking to take back control of their energy usage and become less reliant on the grid. Solar battery storage systems are an excellent way to secure a lower electricity rate long-term, while reducing your carbon footprint.

Store excess energy

If you are on a time-varying rate, electricity will cost more during peak hours and less during the daytime when your solar panels are at their most productive. Therefore, you could benefit from a battery storage system to store electricity generated by your solar system during the day and use it during peak times mentioned above.

Understanding time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates and feed-in tariffs

From 1 July 2018, the Essential Services Commission (ESC) has announced that energy retailers in Victoria must offer at least one of two feed-in tariffs (FiTs):

  • the time varying FiT and/or
  • the single-rate FiT

 

Off-Peak

Shoulder

Peak

Time-Varying FiT

10pm – 7am

7am – 3pm & 9pm – 10pm

3pm – 9pm

Rates

7.1 c/kWh

10.3 c/kWh

29.0 c/kWh

 

You can see from this diagram that the average household will see consumption spikes first thing in the morning and again in the evening. These spikes are largely unaffected by solar generated during the middle of the day, using stored energy during the spikes makes a strong case for battery storage.

Understanding battery capacity

It's a common misconception that batteries can power an entire household. A typical battery can power household lighting and appliances (like your all important fridge and TV) but cannot power multiple air conditioning units or other high energy users like electric car chargers.


Prevent blackouts

With a standard solar system, you will still lose power during an outage because your panels are connected to the grid. However, when you add a battery, your home can use the solar energy stored in the event the grid goes down. Solar battery storage is more attractive than traditional diesel generators as they provide backup power without producing greenhouse gas emissions.

Reduce your carbon footprint

Going solar is a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint and consumption of electricity generated by fossil fuels. A 5.4kWh solar system typically generates as much energy as it takes to drive 2 cars for a year or represents the carbon sequestered by over 250 trees grown for 10 years!

Our CEO, Erik & Project Coordinator, Jack at a Redback installation 

Financing solar battery storage and typical payback

Paybacks for solar and battery storage are different for every household and depend on your electricity usage over time, the price you pay for electricity and your system’s performance over and above the warranted specifications.

The good news is that batteries are now financially viable.

Eko Energy are offering an exclusive opportunity to finance a 6.4kW solar system + 4.8kWh Redback storage for as little as $29 net outgoings per month^.

 REPAYMENTS 

 ENERGY SAVINGS 

= $67

x84 MONTHS OUTGOINGS

 

$29 

x84 months

net outgoings^

 

$208.40 x84 MONTHS

$140.83 PER MONTH

 SOLAR VICTORIA SUBSIDY 

 POWERRESPONSE CREDIT 

= $38 

MONTHLY SAVINGS

$2,225

$1,000

 ^Terms and conditions apply. Based on 28 c/kWh electricity rate, 84 month finance term,  8% annual increase in electricity prices, 0.5% annual solar degradation rate, eligibility for the maximum Victorian Solar Homes subsidy and EnergyAustralia's PowerReponse program.

PLUS if the Victorian Labor party win November's election, there will be an additional subsidy of $4,838 for the first 10,000 households to install battery storage.

 

Eko Energy are making solar and battery storage affordable.

Make the most of our PowerResponse program and get $1,000 upfront discount for switching to EnergyAustralia plus an additional $120 per annum minimum over 3 years.

Request a Quote Learn more about solar and battery storage

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Topics: renewable energy, solar energy, battery storage, sustainability, feed-in tariffs, government incentives, residential solar, solar pv, solar finance, solar battery, solar battery system, solar rebate, victorian solar rebate

Applications open for the Victorian solar rebate

Posted by Eko Energy on 18-Oct-2018 11:05:30
If you haven't already heard the news - the Victorian Government's Solar Home rebate applications are now open! You can now check your eligibility and apply to claim up to $2,225 off the cost of your solar system.
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Topics: renewable energy, solar energy, sustainability, government incentives, residential solar, community solar, incentives, solar pv, neighbourhood solar, solar rebate, victorian solar rebate

STC price changes coming into effect from 1 October 2018

Posted by Eko Energy on 11-Sep-2018 17:38:05
As you may be aware, the number of small-scale technology certificates (STCs) you are able to claim for solar systems <99kW is set to decrease again by 6.5% on 1 January 2019.

If you didn't already know, STCs are a federal government subsidy that are set to be phased out by 2030.

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Topics: renewable energy, solar energy, government incentives, residential solar, incentives, solar pv, solar rebate, victorian solar rebate

Andrews' Victorian Solar Rebate Explained - Get Up To 50% off Residential Solar

Posted by Eko Energy on 20-Aug-2018 15:26:01
Great news for Victorians! Yesterday, the Andrews Government invested $68 million to launch their Solar Homes program. The new Victorian solar rebate will give homeowners the opportunity to install a solar panel system for half price and pay the rest of the cost back over four years with an interest-free loan.

What do we know?

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Topics: renewable energy, solar energy, sustainability, government incentives, residential solar, solar pv, solar finance, solar rebate, victorian solar rebate

Solar battery storage installations ramping up

Posted by Lillie Gredley on 16-Aug-2018 11:28:04
Over the last few months, it has been fantastic to see an increase in solar battery system installations.

Particularly for customers in more regional areas, solar battery storage now offers a viable financial return. A residential energy storage system allows you to:

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Topics: renewable energy, battery storage, residential solar, solar pv, solar battery, solar battery system

Exclusive PowerResponse Opportunity

Posted by Lillie Gredley on 17-Jul-2018 14:35:52

Eko Energy are pleased to invite customers to join EnergyAustralia's PowerResponse program.

The PowerResponse program received funding as part of ARENA's Advancing Renewables Program - Demand Response and is available for a limited time only. Join and receive:

  • Discounted electricity rate from EnergyAustralia
  • $1,000 credit on your bill
  • Additional credits for each demand response event*
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Topics: renewable energy, solar energy, battery storage, sustainability, residential solar, incentives, solar pv, electricity retailer, grid connection, demand response

Eko Energy Sales Professionalism

Posted by Lillie Gredley on 13-Jun-2018 09:51:27

We recently received a fantastic testimonial from an Eko Energy customer, explaining the importance of sales professionalism.

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Topics: renewable energy, residential solar, solar pv

Understanding time-varying feed-in tariffs

Posted by Lillie Gredley on 22-May-2018 08:34:45
From 1 July 2018, the Essential Services Commission (ESC) has announced that energy retailers in Victoria must offer at least one of two feed-in tariffs (FiTs):
  • the time varying FiT and/or
  • the single-rate FiT
Read More

Topics: solar energy, energy efficiency, feed-in tariffs, solar pv

What's the best way to finance a solar system?

Posted by Lillie Gredley on 20-Mar-2018 17:10:21
If you're considering solar for your home, you're probably weighing up the options for financing your project.

There's no 'best way' to finance a solar system, but this article explains some of the most popular ways to finance a residential solar energy project:

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Topics: renewable energy, solar energy, feed-in tariffs, residential solar, solar pv, solar finance

Jim's Energy launches in NSW

Posted by Lillie Gredley on 23-Feb-2018 09:21:51

After the success of our inital launch in Victoria, Jim's Energy has now officially expanded to New South Wales. Offering a portfolio of solutions to improve households' energy efficiency, Jim's Energy specialises in the supply and install of residential solar, energy storage, energy broking and energy monitoring systems.

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Topics: renewable energy, solar energy, battery storage, energy efficiency, sustainability, residential solar, community solar, solar pv

Customer demand surges for Jim's Energy

Posted by Lillie Gredley on 25-Jan-2018 16:18:05

As 2017 comes to a close, Jim’s Energy, celebrates its launch and huge growth, having already installed solar systems for hundreds of customers throughout Victoria. Divisional Manager, Erik Zimmerman says:

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Topics: renewable energy, solar energy, energy efficiency, sustainability, residential solar, community solar, incentives, solar pv, neighbourhood solar

Jim's Group goes Solar!

Posted by Lillie Gredley on 05-Dec-2017 09:47:52

Jim Penman explains why Jim's Group has gone solar.

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Topics: solar energy