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New home buyers in South Australia will have the opportunity to have solar and battery systems installed during the build as part of a rule change to the $100 million Home Battery Scheme (HBS).

“This latest development in the $100 million Home Battery Scheme will turbocharge the take up of home solar and battery systems, delivering savings on electricity bills for new homeowners and benefits to the grid,” Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said.

“Thousands of South Australians have already slashed their electricity bills with batteries, so it’s great news that the scheme is now accessible to people purchasing a new home.”

Under a change in the rules to the HBS, developers are now able to receive the subsidy to help them install the batteries on new homes. By identifying an application as a ‘new build’, the subsidy is guaranteed for up to 12 months from the point of conditional approval, instead of the standard six months, allowing appropriate time for the property to be completed and the system installed.

The solar and battery systems will be offered to new home buyers for no additional cost.

One of Australia’s leading suppliers of building products to the residential building industry, Stoddart Group, will use the government’s subsidy to install 2,000 solar and battery systems on new homes built in South Australia in 2020 – growing to more than 10,000 over four years.

Stoddart’s SA partners, including Metricon Homes, Rivergum Homes, Sterling Homes, Hickinbotham, SA Housing Centre, Statesmen Homes, ABC Homes and Metro Homes, will offer a 6.5kW solar system with 11.6kWh SolaX Power battery.

Using 4G technology, the batteries will form the new Stoddart Virtual Power Plant (VPP), which would be one of the largest VPPs in the world.

Mr Holst Pellekaan said the combined storage would equate to more than 20MWh of new storage installed in the first year and 100MWh over four years, making a significant contribution towards supporting the wider grid.

“As well as helping to stabilise the grid, Stoddart’s battery VPP will offer new home buyers discounted power and will provide protection during an outage,” Mr Holst Pellekaan said.

“South Australia’s transition to a renewables-based economy needs commitment from industry as well as government, and I applaud the Stoddart Group for this exciting new initiative.”

Stoddart Group’s project will join other VPPs in South Australia currently being offered, including AGL, ShineHub, Simply Energy, EnergyAustralia, Sonnen and Tesla.

Stoddart Group has partnered with energy retailer Powershop and technology provider Reposit to deliver the VPP.

Interim CEO of Powershop Australia, Catherine Anderson, believes this project is another positive step in giving Australians more control over their energy.

“Consumers deserve to feel in control of their energy bills and also the opportunity to play a role in Australia’s energy transition,” Ms Anderson said.

Available to 40,000 households, the HBS allows South Australians to access $100 million in State Government subsidies to help pay for the installation of home battery systems.

More than 6,000 subsidies have already been approved under the State Government’s HBS.

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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