Frequently Asked Questions
How do I purchase the Evergen Intelligent Energy System?
It’s simple. Register your interest here. We will then assess your energy situation and recommend the best system for you and provide a quote. Should you go ahead, we manage the full installation process keeping you informed the entire time.
How long will the installation take?
Installation involves 3 steps:
#1 Site inspection: before you commit to an installation, Evergen organises a site inspection to make sure that there are no surprises that might add additional costs to your installation. The site inspection usually takes less than an hour.
#2 Request Permission To Connect (PTC) to the network: before your system can be activated, you need to be provided with a Permission To Connect from the owner of your local electricity network. Evergen will facilitate the PTC application on your behalf. Depending on the network owner in your area, the PTC process can take between 2 – 65 days.
#3 Installation: once you receive your PTC, your installation can commence. Installation usually takes one day. Once you changed to net metering, you can fully enjoy your Evergen system.
Will the 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.
Can I get a government rebate?
Government rebates are available. Our 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.
We have had some reports from Victorian homeowners that securing a rebate has been challenging so find more information here.
What is included with the Evergen Intelligent Energy System?
Our system includes solar panels, inverter and integrated battery storage as well as the CSIRO energy management system we are known for. We’ll provide you with full visibility of all possible inclusions during our quoting process to tailor the system to your needs.
Is there an option to sell energy 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.
How will the Evergen system save me money?
Evergen saves you money in three ways:
- By generating solar power from your roof, it reduces the amount of electricity you need from the grid;
- By storing cheap energy in the battery to use when prices are high, it lowers your average cost of electricity; and
- By selling excess energy from your solar panels back to the grid, it offsets your energy bill.
How much money will I save?
Our Intelligent Energy System is designed to deliver up to 80% savings on your electricity bill from day one. Before you invest, we can give you a more accurate savings estimate specific to your home.
Do I need to contact my current energy provider?
As part of the installation and connection process, we will advise you if you need to contact your energy retailer and will provide you with information to make the process as simple as possible. Most customers will need to contact their energy provider once the system is installed to organise their net metering.
Where does Evergen operate?
At present, our intelligent system is available in Australia and South Africa.
Who owns Evergen?
Evergen is an Australian owned and operated company. Shareholders include the CSIRO and AMP Capital.
How is the Evergen Intelligent Energy System different?
The Evergen Intelligent Energy System is different in 3 ways:
#1 – Intelligent: The Evergen Intelligent Energy System is run with next-generation energy intelligence developed by CSIRO. Every few minutes the system learns and predicts your energy consumption patterns and uses weather forecasts to anticipate your solar production for the next 48 hours. It then uses sophisticated energy analytics to determine the optimum supply of solar, battery and grid for your home to save you the maximum amount of money. The system then manages the charging and discharging behavior of your battery to minimise wear and extend its useful life – a process which draws from CSIRO’s 20 years of battery research.
#2 – Integrated: The Evergen Intelligent Energy System includes all the components you need in a single integrated unit. This means that, as well as housing your battery, the unit contains components like an inverter, gateway device and battery management system, which you would often otherwise need to buy separately from different manufacturers. The unit has undergone substantial integration and testing to ensure that both the hardware and software work together seamlessly. Having an integrated unit also results in a neater configuration with simpler and more cost-effective installation.
#3 – Managed: After your Intelligent Energy System is installed, Evergen actively manages it to ensure that you are getting the maximum savings possible. Energy systems are complex with multiple potential points of failure. They are beholden to the performance of third parties like your internet service provider and can become obsolete if detrimental changes are made to your electricity tariff or regulations. Evergen has some of Australia’s leading energy experts who constantly monitor your system, looking for ways to maintain and improve its performance, while adapting it to any changes in the environment to ensure that it always delivers the maximum possible savings.
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. Contact us and we can assess the best option for you.
Will the system allow me to go off grid?
Evergen’s systems are grid connected, which means that they are able to 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”.
How long does the battery last?
The Evergen Intelligent Energy system and performance warranties are 10 years and our workmanship warranty is 5 yrs. The Energy Intelligence developed by CSIRO is designed specifically to maximise the useful life of the battery far beyond the warranty period.
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.
What are the CSIRO-developed Intelligent Algorithms?
The Energy Intelligence determines how much energy is sent where between your solar panels, battery, home and grid. Developed by CSIRO, it represents the next generation in energy technology, constantly learning and forecasting your energy needs, solar production and battery characteristics to save you the maximum amount of money for the longest period of time. The Energy Intelligence operates every few minutes, every day, year after year. For more detail, go here.
Are the CSIRO-developed Intelligent Algorithms required for the system to work?
No. Batteries and inverters are generally designed to operate in a basic mode where the battery is charged when there is an energy surplus and discharged when there is an energy deficit. CSIRO designed the Evergen Energy Intelligence to override this basic operational mode to add significant amounts of savings from the system’s operation and to extend the useful life of the battery. The Evergen system has been designed so that if for whatever reason the Energy Intelligence was switched off, the batteries and solar panels can still work.
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.
Is the system upgradable?
Yes. The batteries are also modular, so that if you initially installed a system with one battery module inside, you can easily add up to 2 further modules later on. Evergen will also release innovations in the near future like the ability to manage when certain loads in your home such as a pool pump or hot water unit switch on and off, which can save even more money. All these upgrades are compatible with the Evergen Intelligent Energy System.
Can the system work with 3-phase power?
Yes. While the system is designed to operate on a single phase, in the case of a home with 3-phase power, the system can be connected to the one phase with the highest load. The installer can provide you with detailed advice on which phase is best for the system to be connected to during your pre-installation inspection.
What are Tesla's recycling plans?
Tesla’s Lithium-ion batteries, such as those used in Tesla Energy Products, contain valuable materials that can be recovered and recycled for further use in battery and other applications. Tesla strongly encourages recycling and attempts to retrieve all batteries that have reached end of life (EOL) for purposes of recycling. Tesla has developed, and is working to further improve, a method for recycling our products. Currently, Tesla’s Lithium-ion battery recycling process involves the following steps:
1. When a Tesla product must be decommissioned, it is transported to a Tesla facility for disassembly.
2. Batteries are discharged to a low state-of-charge, and modules are removed from packs. Some valuable components are removed from modules for scrap metal recycling by qualified Tesla employees.
3. Modules are then packaged for shipment to a North American processing partner in accordance with all applicable shipping regulations. Tesla has confirmed that at least two established North American recycling processors are capable of recycling Tesla battery modules.
4. At the processing facility, modules are rendered inert and deconstructed. Constituent metals are recovered in separate processes. Tesla modules are composed of small cylindrical form factor cells, similar to the cells used in many lap tops and consumer electronics.
Tesla lithium -ion batteries do not contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, or mercury. Thus, processors use techniques developed for recycling of consumer electronic device battery packs to recycle Tesla modules. The materials recovered from Tesla modules include nickel, cobalt, copper, aluminum, steel, and lithium. These output products are further refined and used in new applications. If disposal is required without return to Tesla, entire battery systems can be recycled by a lithium-ion battery recycling facility.
A number of North American recycling processors are able to deconstruct large format battery packs, much like Tesla products. Note that Tesla Powerwall systems are designed to allow replacement of modules, which also ensures that full system deconstruction is straightforward to accomplish.
Note: Tesla has an operation based out of Melbourne, Australia
What are Alpha's recycling plans?
For the product series manufactured by Suzhou Alpha Energy Storage Solutions Co, Ltd. (herein by AlphaESS), including but not li-mited to lithium ion phosphate battery unit M4850/M4860/M48100/M15020. AlphaESS will be responsible to recycle the lithium ion phosphate batteries sold by itself and its subsidiaries.
Definition of end of life – when the battery capacity degrades to 60% of its original nominal capacity, Alpha ESS consider the battery as has reached its end of service life. However the client can choose to keep the battery for service until it reaches an even lower capacity or stops working.
Recycling procedure – Alpha ESS will collect the battery, ship back to the factory and dissemble the battery pack into battery cells and other components. The battery cells will be collected by the cell manufacturer for recycling while other components will be treated as regular electronic waste.
Recycling method – Recycled battery cells will go through:
1) Sorting by voltage;
2) Capacity test;
3) Safety analysis to select cells that can be utilized in other applications such as UPS. Others will be scrapped to produce chemicals that can be used to make new battery cells.
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. We 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.
What are the differences and advantages of Lithium Iron Phosphate vs. Lithium-Ion based batteries?
Lithium-ion batteries are small, light and can be quickly charged or discharged. They also have a longer lifespan than other competing technologies. For information on the differences between Lithium Iron Phosphate vs. Lithium-Ion battery technology, read below.
Will seasonality affect the performance of my system?
In summer, when the sun is stronger and the days are longer, your solar panels will produce more electricity than in winter, so you can expect better performance. If there is not enough solar power to charge your battery enough to meet your needs, Evergen can top it up with cheap off peak power from the grid, allowing you to save money all year round.
Will I need to change my electricity meter?
Maybe. For the Evergen Intelligent Energy System to to interact with the grid, you need what’s called a smart meter with the ability to measure the amount of energy imported from and exported to the grid at different times of day. There are many different types of electricity meters installed today and Evergen can help you determine what kind you have and whether or not it needs to be changed or re-programmed.
Will I need to change my current electricity tariff?
No. One of the benefits of Evergen is that it is designed to work with any electricity tariff and can adapt if tariffs change in the future. However, the amount of savings that Evergen can generate will be different depending on what tariff structure you are on and the energy characteristics of your home. Once your system is installed and operating for a reasonable length of time (around 3 months), Evergen can analyse the energy characteristics of your home and recommend a tariff structure that will give you the most savings. The Evergen system will work regardless of which energy retailer you choose, meaning you are free to choose any retailer that can provide you the best deal.
What kinds or electricity tariffs are there and which work best with Evergen?
Electricity tariffs are determined by your electricity retailer. While they come in a variety of different kinds, there are 2 components that are particularly important to your Evergen system:
#1 Time structure – some tariffs are designed so that you pay the same rate per unit of electricity regardless of the time of day. These are called ‘flat rate tariffs’. Other tariffs are designed so that you pay a different rate per unit of electricity depending on what time of day or day of the week it is. These are called ‘time of use tariffs’. Time of use tariffs may have periods of high prices (‘peak’), medium prices (‘shoulder’) and low prices (‘off peak’). Because Evergen has the ability to store energy, with a time of use tariff, it is able to lower your average price of energy by charging the battery during off peak times so that you can use the cheap energy during peak times. A time of use tariff gives Evergen more options to save you money, so it is generally the preferred type of tariff structure to go with your system.
#2 Feed in – the Feed in is the component of your tariff that allows you to get paid for the energy you export (or feed in) to the grid. Evergen will almost always recommend having a feed in component as part of your electricity tariff so that the surplus energy you send to the grid is not wasted.
What is a Virtual Power Plant (VPP)?
Virtual Power Plants are formed when a set of decentralised units in a power network are linked and operated by a single, centralised control system. Any decentralised unit that stores, produces or consumes electricity can become a part of a Virtual Power Plant. Sources of energy for a Virtual Power Plant can be derived from power producing units such as solar, wind, hydro, CHP and biogas; as well as power storage units, power consumers or power-to-x plants such as power-to-heat and power-to-gas. When joined into a Virtual Power Plant, the power and flexibility of the combined assets can be traded collectively. This allows small units to be given access to markets such as the balancing reserve, that they would not be able to enter independently.
The central control system in a Virtual Power Plant uses a special algorithm to adjust balancing reserve commands from the transmission system operators and grid conditions, making it similar to a conventional power plant. Virtual Power Plants can react quickly and efficiently when it comes to trading electricity by adjusting plant operations according to price signals from the power exchanges.
Register your interest to be part of the Evergen VPP here.