As you may know, the Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS) in Western Australia is changing. Already existing systems will not be affected by these new changes unless they choose to switch to DEBS; install a battery which is not currently eligible for REBS; or upgrade their solar panel system.
Currently, almost a third of Western Australia households have panels on the roof. With most families at work and school during the day, we don’t use a lot of power when the sun shines the brightest. This puts clean energy back into the grid where the dirty energy already on the grid sometimes gets upset, putting a strain on the system. So the answer is to get consumers to shift more of their power use to off-peak times when the sun is shining and to incentivise putting solar energy back into the grid when the sun’s no longer overhead.
The DEBS will replace the existing buyback scheme for new customers and means you will get two different buyback rates for peak and off-peak times. For new installations (or existing users who opt-in – upgrade/add panels or a battery), the new scheme will reward customers for feeding energy back into the network at peak times (3pm-9pm) with a boosted rate of 10c/kWh. Electricity exported at other times, (like during the day when a normal battery-less system that’s isn’t storing the energy sends it back to the grid) will only earn 3c/kWh. To support the uptake of batteries and electric vehicles, the new scheme will extend buyback payments to export from these sources in the same way as rooftop solar in the peak times. The new pricing is supposed to better reflect the cost of electricity at different times of day, with the 10c provided during the greater demand period when the wholesale cost of electricity is high. The DEBS will also encourage households to install batteries and west-facing panels, systems which means renewable energy can power more of the Western Australia households, and keep our network getting along with the clean energy solar provides.
So what does this mean for your business? It more than subtly implies we should be pushing battery systems and larger systems that can store energy created by the sun during the day when no one is using it. This way, we can not only draw from the battery when the power costs more, but we can export some to the grid to get the 10c rate.