When Tesla release a new product, the world watches. At the recent release of the Cybertruck, the company’s EV ute, the unveiling almost broke the Internet when Elon Musk’s attempt to demonstrate the ute’s unbreakable windows demonstrated the opposite. Four years ago, when Tesla released the much-anticipated Powerwall battery storage solution, the world was similarly attentive, and in Australia at least our eyes were on Nick Pfitzner, the first Australian and one of the first worldwide to install the Powerwall in his home.
After four years with the Powerwall installed, Natural Solar thought it was a good time to check in on Nick and see how the then much anticipated battery had stacked up. How has the Powerwall turned out? Well, it’s more than stacking up, it’s stacking up a load of cash in saved bills too. Although, it should be said, the bulk of the savings are provided by solar PV. Regardless, the system as a whole has saved the Pfitzner family $8,463.43 over the last four years. Pfitzner claims that in the time since the Powerwall was installed he’s managed to power his home for a mere 46 cents per day, that’s using appliances, air-conditioning, electricity, pool, everything, and for the price of a handful of Red Frog jelly lollies.
“For many families, these results sit firmly in the ‘too good to be true’ realm,” says Chris Williams, CEO & Founder of Natural Solar. “Nick was one of the first people in the world to have his Tesla Powerwall installed, and effectively started what we term the ‘battery boom’ globally. To see the numbers stack up after four years proves the technology is truly here to stay and will likely only continue to grow with a huge demand worldwide.”
The drop in the Pfitzner’s bills has been staggering since they took up the 5kWp solar system and battery. Where previously the Pfitzners had been paying an average of $572.29 per quarter to power their home and all its bells and whistles, with the Powerwall they’ve seen a drop in their average quarterly bill of 92%, down to just $45.16.
“When the price of power is increasing by an average of 10-15% per annum, these unprecedented savings really speak to the benefits of battery power,” said Williams. Natural Solar claims to have received more than 425,000 consumer enquiries for battery power in the last four years, and has installed thousands of systems around the country.
Since the Pfitzner’s installed their Powerwall four years ago batteries have been popping up all over the place. In Queensland, a combination of solar and a Powerwall has produced Australia’s first totally off-grid solar-powered classroom, the Hivve. The Queensland Government launched, and then expanded, its battery grant and loan scheme, and thousands of Australians across the country have installed batteries in their homes, not to mention the famous Hornsdale Big Battery in South Australia.
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I notice that they installed 5 Kw of Solar as well as the Powerwall.
So to actually calculate the saving from the powerwall itself you have to compute the save from the solar panels by themselves first – the difference between that and the actual bill is the save from the battery.
I installed solar by itself and my annual bill fell by $2,800 (cost $15k) so 5 years 4 months to pay for itself on a system that should last 25 years.
If I now install a 16 KwH battery (cost about $15K) I can save another $850 a year (approx) so 17 years to pay for itself – on a system with an expected life of 10 years.
Solar panels save you money, batteries – even today – are an expense rather than a saving.
You do your readers no service by pretending the Powerwall saved this money, when it will have actually been the 5 Kw of Solar.
Interesting, “The system has saved the Pfitzner family $8,463.43 over the last four years. Pfitzner claims that in the time since the Powerwall was installed he’s managed to power his home for a mere 46 cents per day, that’s using appliances, air-conditioning, electricity, pool, everything, and for the price of a handful of Red Frog jelly lollies.”
There’s a bunch of folks in the California PG&E service territory that has the ‘famous’ PSPS to ‘prevent’ wildfires, that could sure use this set up for their daily energy needs.
It’s very wrong to claim that the Tesla Powerwall did all the savings. No, the solar panels would have done most of the heavy lifting in terms of cost.
The only part when the Powerwall saved money is when the solar system production drops off early in the afternoon, evenings and early in the mornings. They need to calculate that bit.
In fact, on the Tesla App, it will break down how the energy was distributed. It will clearly show how much was dispersed by the Powerwall, Solar Panels and Grid.
I know, I have one. For the last 12 months the Tesla Powerwall provided, the following figures:-
21% of the energy for the house came from the Tesla Powerwall.
54% of the energy for the house came from Solar Panels
25% of the energy for the house came from the grid.
Total house energy was 7946kWh for 2019
So, the Tesla Powerwall provided 1668kWh (at an average of 32c/kWh), this is about $533
Solar Panels provided 4290kWh which is worth $1373, nearly 3x what the Powerwall provided.
So, there’s no way the claim the Tesla Powerwall did the bulk of the savings.
But, I’m not concerned because there are other benefits that the Powerwall provided. Backup power. I had 84 blackouts lasting a total of 104 hours. So, it’s done its job in that respect. And to keep the solar panels going in the event of grid outage during the day which it’s done a few times.
To report that the Tesla Powerwall (or any other battery systems) does the bulk of the bill savings is and will be a total lie. Because without solar, the battery alone will never make financial sense. Until one has access to ridiculous ToU rates where off-peak tariff is extremely low in value compared to Peak tariff to take advantage of arbitrage.
Please report the real figures what the Tesla Powerwall did for the Pfizers. This is just a misleading headline grabber.
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