By Ryan Wood, Head of Residential Sales at Evergen
So you have made the decision you want to transition to renewable energy. Whether you are driven by the savings or your green contribution, it’s a big investment and you want to make sure you work with a trusted, reputable company. Here are the top questions Evergen receive to help you make the most of your system.
1. How does Evergen’s Intelligent Control work?
Evergen software was developed in partnership with the CSIRO, Australia’s leading scientific agency and together we have spent lots of time finding definitive answers to the big questions around optimising solar and battery storage. Once installed, your solar and battery are connected to a cloud-based algorithm. This energy intelligence uses up-to-the minute data to make sure your system’s performance is always optimised. By taking 42 separate factors into account such as the weather forecast, the electricity demand profile of the premise, the tariff structure and battery characteristics (to name a few), this technology will provide you with the maximum Return on Investment which will result in the quickest payback on your expenditure.
2. How much money will I save?
Even the best hardware will perform an average of 26.4% better with Evergen’s Intelligent Energy Control software. This technology delivers an average of an 80% saving on your energy consumption charges from day one. Before you invest, Evergen will give you a more accurate savings estimate specific to your home.
3. Can I get a government rebate?
Government rebates are available for both solar and in some states, batteries. Evergen’s quoted price will include any available rebates in your area. In particular, the STC, or Small-Scale Technology Certificate, which is an upfront rebate on the purchase of solar panels, is taken care of for you by Evergen. You can search your state savings here.
4. Will a battery power my entire home?
Your battery will power your home for periods of time (Tesla batteries can provide full backup; Alpha batteries only partial). Typically, the most cost-effective way to power your home is with a mix of solar, battery and the grid, so to minimise your costs, it is normal to see the energy source switch throughout the day.
5. Can I add more batteries to my system in the future?
Yes. Additional batteries can be added to your existing Evergen system if you would like to increase your total battery storage capacity.
6. I already have solar panels. Can I just get the integrated battery storage system?
Yes, adding an integrated battery unit to your existing solar installation is possible. Evergen will typically couple a new battery unit to the AC side of your electricity meter box without touching your existing solar installation. By connecting the battery in that way, you can preserve any warranties you have with your existing solar installation.
7. How long does a battery last?
The Evergen Intelligent Energy Control software and performance warranties for the batteries we install are 10 years and our workmanship warranty is 5 yrs. Evergen’s technology, developed in partnership with the CSIRO is designed specifically to maximise the useful life of the battery far beyond the warranty period.
8. Is there an option to sell energy back to the grid?
Yes. Any energy produced by your solar panels that is not needed to power your home or charge the batteries can be exported (or sold) to the grid. Your electricity retailer will be able to provide you with the specific amount that you receive for grid exports, known as your Feed-in Tariff. Learn more about selling back to the grid from Evergen customer Jake Campbell here.
9. Can the batteries be housed outdoors?
Evergen offers different types of batteries – some can be located outdoors or indoors, while some are suitable for indoor use only. As part of your system design, Evergen staff will discuss with you the most suitable location for your battery and provide you with the best options for your home.
10. Can the battery provide back-up power in case of a blackout?
Yes. If you select the back-up power option for your installation, then up to 2 circuits in your home can be connected to the battery to receive back-up power in case of a blackout. While this will not power your entire home, it can provide power for your most essential items while you wait for grid power to be restored. When deciding which of your home’s circuits are connected to the battery for back-up power, we recommend the circuit your fridge is connected to (which will usually include a few additional power points for charging phones and laptops) as well as an important light circuit. The installer can provide you with detailed advice on which circuits to choose during your pre-installation inspection.
11. Will the system allow me to go off grid?
Evergen’s systems are grid connected, which means that they can draw energy from the grid or export energy to the grid when it makes sense to do so. Generally, this configuration is the most economical as it allows the maximum optionality for Evergen to save you money. Although Evergen systems are connected to the grid, owners typically experience extended periods of time where their system supplies all of their home’s energy needs without requiring energy from the grid. With the Evergen App it is possible to track the percentage of time that you have spent “off-grid”.
12. What are the battery manufacturers recycling plans?
Both Tesla and Alpha produce lithium batteries that can be recovered and recycled for further use in battery and other applications. They strongly encourage recycling and attempts to retrieve all batteries that have reached end of life (EOL) for purposes of recycling.
13. What is a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) and how does it work?
A VPP is formed when a set of de-centralised batteries are linked and operated by a single, centralised control system. This allows network operators, the ability to explore how VPP’s can enable the grid to be managed more flexibly. If you have a battery optimised by Evergen’s Intelligent Control software, you can opt into a VPP. Once you opt-in, your network operators or energy retailer will send signals, known as dispatches, to customers’ batteries via Evergen’s software which will allow them to trial and investigate the different ways the VPP interact with the grid. Those signals request the batteries export stored energy back into the grid when need. With your permission, Evergen can also adjust your electricity use (like air conditioners or pool pumps). By being part of a VPP, you will be paid by Evergen or your retailer when your excess power is dispatched, save more money, and share excess clean power with the system as a whole.
If you are an Ausgrid customer and have a Tesla or Alpha battery, you can register your interest to be part of their VPP pilot here.