Growing interest in home battery storage and electric vehicles

Interest in home battery storage systems and electric vehicles continues to rise in Queensland.

These were the key findings of the most comprehensive survey of customers’ energy use and behaviour undertaken in Australia.

The Queensland Household Energy Survey, conducted for Ergon Energy, Energex and Powerlink canvassed the views of more than 4,500 residents around the State.

Energy Queensland Chief Executive Officer David Smales said the survey produced valuable information on a range of key energy use patterns, awareness and intentions, plus current and forecast trends regarding electrical equipment in the home.

“This survey produces some really useful information, including a gauge of Queenslanders’ awareness of, interest in, and buying intentions in all things to do with energy,” he said.

“For example, one key finding was that among solar PV households, intention to purchase battery storage jumped in 2015 and remained high in 2016.

“The survey also showed that 62 per cent of regional Queensland respondents were aware of battery storage systems, while awareness was 56 percent for south east Queenslanders.

“These figures have continued to rise in recent years. For example, just back in 2013 only 38 percent of regional Queenslanders were aware of home battery systems, and only 31 percent of south east Queensland respondents were aware of them.

“The high cost of battery storage remains the primary barrier to uptake among home owners, with 50 percent of those survey respondents not wanting to take up battery storage stating it doesn’t make financial sense because it is too expensive or has a long return on investment.”

Mr Smales said another key finding of the survey was that electric vehicles could become more popular from mid-2018.

“The household survey shows that roughly half of all Queensland households who are in the market for a new vehicle are willing to consider an electric vehicle, a plug in hybrid, or a regenerative braking hybrid car,” he said.

“A combination of improved charging infrastructure and electric vehicle tariffs could greatly accelerate uptake of electric vehicles and help manage the demand placed on the network.

“Those who are willing to consider an electric vehicle fall within two groups - those primarily motivated by the value or cost effectiveness of electric vehicles, and those who are primarily motivated by the environment.

“Those who are primarily motivated by the value and cost effectiveness of electric vehicles are more likely to be the earliest adopters.

“The adoption of electric vehicles may begin to increase in mid-2018 following the release of new models which could address the two main barriers to uptake - that they are too expensive to purchase, and their range is not long enough.”

He said the survey also showed that evolving technologies will alter the way the electricity grid is used.

“The survey also flags that modern energy efficient technology will continue to replace older technology.”

“For example, split system air conditioners replacing box air conditioners, LED TVs replacing LCD and Plasma TVs and LED light bulbs replacing CFL (compact fluorescent) light bulbs – these behaviours will result in less demand on the network.”

The Queensland Household Energy Survey has collected eight years of data and trend analysis and provides an insight into changing energy use across the State.

The results, combined with other community engagement and research, will help Energy Queensland and Powerlink to develop network planning and energy management programs.

The next survey will be conducted in late 2017.

Contact - Justin Coomber 0437 472 442